Your Students Complete 4 Weeks of Training

Your Students Complete 4 Weeks of Training

September 22, started a new term for a new group of students. In fact, many of your new students asked to start their practicals during the first week. For instance, the Event Decoration Students started making bangles on the second class day and sold them to other students. Just like that, they are learning a skill while earning some money

Your Event Decoration Students Making Bangles

Additionally, your Cosmetology Students began practicing plaiting hair at the Uniting Distant Stars Salon. In the near future, they will be working with actual people to advance their application of this valuable skill. Your students waste no time when it comes to learning a trade career. 

Your Cosmetology Students Learning How to Plait (Braid) Hair.
Classroom Hero Giving Day

Classroom Hero Giving Day

How are you today? Tuesday, December 3, is Giving Tuesday! Please don’t’ forget to support Classroom Hero Giving Day, our 24-hour fundraiser will empower and equip Liberian Youth with the necessary learning materials for their vocational training courses. Our $2,000 goal can’t happen without your generosity and support of Liberia’s Rising Stars!

Three are three options to donate to our Classroom Hero Giving Day:

  1. Website Donor Page
  2. Facebook Campaign
  3. CashApp $UDStars

Every generous dollar you donate buys learning equipment, materials, and supplies for all vocational training courses. Your students fully utilize your gift in applying and practicing their skills to master their given trade(s).

Thank you for including Uniting Distant Stars in your annual charitable giving!

Plumbing Students Applying Their Skills

Plumbing Students Applying Their Skills

One of your key investments is buying needed equipment, materials, and supplies to give your students practical experience. Without these essentials items, your students would sit in a classroom doing nothing. UDS aspires to give young men and women over 80% hands-on training either as field experience or in their respective learning labs.

Almost two years ago, you made our Plumbing Learning Lab possible. It now serves the third group of plumbing students. As you see in the photos, our students practice laying pipe in their lab. They learn how to connect various types of pipes with fittings. Soon they will be connecting the pipes to fixtures like commodes and tubs. 

Thanking donors for supporting plumbing students. They are practicing their skills in their learning lab.
Your Plumbing Students practicing laying pipe and connecting the fittings.

Thank you so much for supporting your plumbing students in learning this much-needed trade!

Your investment in Liberian Youth is paying off

Your investment in Liberian Youth is paying off

As we move into September, your vocational training students continue to progress in their year-long program. Additionally, each course meets three times a week for two-hour sessions and spend over 85% of their on practicals. The students that started late receive extra help from their instructor and fellow students to catch up with their course work.

Also, some of the students started last month after Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director, offered a partial scholarship to the Bethlehem Baptist School graduates (Deborah’s Alma Mater) during his talk. Furthermore, over half (about 40) took him up on the offer and started their courses in the last two weeks. 

Previously, we shared how a few students enrolled in two courses. Well, one student juggles three courses—computers, cosmetology, and hotel management and volunteered to help the children attending our academy. We applaud, Grace Gweh for going the extra mile in learning and giving back to younger students! 

As you will see in these photos, your investment in young men and women is paying off by giving them valuable skills. They enjoy learning their respective trades and love showcasing their results.

Catering Students

Can you taste these sweet morsels? Your Catering Students, 12 to be exactbaked some delicious dinner rolls and then made pigs in the blanket. As they say in Liberia, “let’s eat!” Your Cosmetology Students practice and practice their hair plaiting (i.e. braiding) skills whether they have volunteers or not. Our school provides heads with hair as a practice tool. The students remained committed and focused on perfecting their craft. 

Your catering students showing their dinner roles & pigs in a blanket.

Cosmetology Students

Your Cosmetology Students practice and practice their hair plaiting (i.e. braiding) skills whether they have volunteers or not. Our school provides heads with hair as a practice tool. The students remained committed and focused on perfecting their craft. 

Your cosmetology students practice plaiting (braiding) hair.

Electrician Students

As we complete the extension of our center. your Electrician Students help with the electrical connections. This course has grown to 25 students with one female. Fortunately, our center’s growth keeps them busy because they are hungry to put their skills to work. 

Your electrician students connecting the wires to power the extension.

Tailoring Students

Your Tailoring Students proudly wear shirts they made in class. Don’t you love this colorful fabric? The students first must master peddling a treadle machine, then they move into making clothes, uniforms, and so much more.

Your tailoring students modeling the shirts they made.

If you are planning to visit the center in the next six to eight months,you can taste some food from your catering students, get measured for a new outfit made from your tailoring students, enjoy a manicure/pedicure or hairstyle from your cosmetology students, or enjoy watching your other students demonstrate what they learned. Thank you for investing in these eager and hard-working students! 

Congrats to Deborah Tweah’s High School Graduation

Congrats to Deborah Tweah’s High School Graduation

Since 2011, Uniting Distant Stars partnered with generous sponsors to provide academic scholarships in primary and secondary level education. As we move forward to 2019, we are excited to announce the Graduation of Deborah Tweah! She is our fourth graduate from this program with the first in 2014 and the other two in 2016. 

Deborah (left  & center) and her fellow graduates (right).

Deborah joined UDS in 2015 as one of the participants in the Backpacks for Peace Service Learning Project. While she was learning how to sew backpacks, she shared her struggle in finding support to return to school. Based on her efforts in the backpacks project, she received a sponsor to see her through graduation. 

On Saturday, August 17, 2019, Deborah received her diploma from the Bethlehem Baptist School, a 5-minute walking distance from our school. Not only did she successfully pass the 12th grade but she also passed her national exam. 

Sadly, Deborah did not have any family to attend her graduation. So, UDS leadership and scholarship students showed up to support her on this special day. Also, they held a celebration party at the center after the commencement ceremony. She felt honored to receive such a gift that she gave UDS Co-Founder & Director, Kelvin Fomba her gown and Brother Daniel Lloyd her cap (he helped facilitate the scholarship program when working with one of the partnership schools). 

Left to right: Deborah giving Kelvin her gown, Kelvin & Deborah, Bro. Lloyd, Godfrey Solomon, Deborah & Kelvin

Thank you to Deborah’s sponsor for allowing her to graduate from high school! We hope that she can share her own story in a future article.

Continual Improving Our Vocational Training

Continual Improving Our Vocational Training

Being recognized in Liberia is one of our greatest challenges as a three-year-old vocational training center. That changed when Alieu Kemokai, Technical & Administrative Assistant/TVET of Youth & Sports Ministry, invited Kelvin Fomba to attend the TVET teachers workshop from July 22 to July 27. Mr. Kemokai presented diplomas at our April 13, 2019, commencement ceremony and left impressed with what he saw. It included 50 participates from several vocational training institutes along with staff employed at the Ministry of Youth & Sports. 

Kelvin sitting with his fellow attendees during the 5-day TVET workshop.

Kelvin found this workshop invaluable from both the information shared and the connections made. The instructor, a U.S. woman from UNESCO (UN Agency that developed the TVET program). She started with reviewing the top four learning styles, moved into developing effective learning plans and core concepts in providing quality TVET training. Importantly, UDS maintains a TVET permit since November 2016. 

Additionally, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) helped facilitate this training. Both UNESCO and UNIDO realized the need for additional support of vocational training organizations in Liberia. They plan to provide advanced training to all the attendees in the future.

Throughout this training, Kelvin noticed some of his peers lacked computer knowledge. At the closing program, Kelvin offered six scholarships to instructors to attend our computer course. The Deputy Minister of TVET, Peter Bemah, commended Kelvin’s effort and stressed the importance of helping each other.

Peter Bemah, Deputy Minister of TVET, addressing the training participants at the closing program.

Now that Kelvin completed this training, he will be holding a workshop with our instructors next month. His workshop will provide the information he learned and discuss how to implement it into our program. 

Kelvin received his certification of participation from his instructor.

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