On Saturday, August 17, Kelvin Fomba (UDS Co-Founder & Director) served as the guest speaker for the Bethlehem Commencement Ceremony. As a note, 7 out of 17 Uniting Distant Stars scholarship students attend Bethlehem with one graduating, Deborah Tweah.
Kelvin spoke about 30 minutes talking about the role the teacher, parent and student all possess in achieving academic excellence. In addition, he explained how the UDS Vocational Training Center teaches the necessary skills for young people to learn a trade.
Next, he shared stories of our graduates finding work either through employment or using their skills for paid projects. As a result, the graduates responded and said they would like to attend UDS as they apply for colleges.
After Kelvin completed his talk, some journalists approached him for an interview. They wanted to interview him about our academic scholarship and vocational training program. He graciously shared how UDS brings supporters like you from different parts of the world to help with educating the youth. He expressed his gratitude over the radio for all of you in making it possible to serve Liberian Youth.
Your continued and generous support does changes the lives of young men and women for the better. Thank you for being their Classroom Hero!
Your continued support is making a huge impact on the lives of children and youth in Liberia! Your investment in their knowledge and skill building at our training center is an investment into their futures as builders, educators, innovators and leaders. You have raised $2,090 (38%%) towards our goal of $5,500.
You still can double your impact with our Facebook Fundraiser today. Click this link and make your end-of-year tax-deductible gift. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar: Your $10 donation becomes $20. Your $25 donation becomes $50. Your $100 donation becomes $200.
Your generosity puts books in our library, computers in our lab, and sewing machines in our classroom.
Our headline today “Did you take secondary school shop classes?” is the question relating to why Uniting Distant Stars is providing vocational training programs. Depending on your generation, you may have benefited by shop classes in junior and senior high schools. You were given hands-on skills on how to use woodworking machines like lathes and saws. Or you may have had an opportunity to work on machinery gaining mechanical skills. During the first of half of the 1980s, I had wood shop classes in 7th and 8th grades and power mechanics class in my senior year. These skills carried out through my adult life when I had to install a new faucet in my kitchen and bathroom sinks or do minor repairs around my home. Also, I am one of countless students who learn best with our hands. We loved to hear how these classes benefited you so we can share with our young students in Liberia.
In talking with one of our donors Branko Tambah, who grew up in Liberia. He had the opportunity to attend the only vocational training high school–Booker Washington Institute (BWI)–in Kakata (city in Margibi County). He shared that no other junior or high schools in Liberia provided shop classes for their students. Through his courses at BWI, he learned how to do many things with his hands to where he is now pursuing his own business construction in Minnesota.
Booker Washington Institute is named after “Educator Booker T. Washington was one of the foremost African-American leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, founding the Tuskegee Normal and Industril Institute, now known as Tuskegee University (citation). Photo taken by Heather during 2011 mission trip.
Our co-founder and country director, Kelvin Fomba, in Liberia recently shared how the trades make our lives better. He said, “Who built the roads you drive on? who built the buildings you sleep, work and worship in?, who keeps your car working?, who maintains the plumbing and electricity?” The answer is the same…someone who was trained in a vocational trade.
Uniting Distant Stars will start in January our first vocational training courses at our new center. As you will recall, our youth put their hands together this year to get this new center open. As you see in the photo collage below, they cleaned it, they painted the interior and exterior walls, and they helped with some of the renovations, and cleaned it again after the work was done. They wanted to show you how important our programs mean to them. They love having the opportunity to learn valuable skills to either seek employment or entrepreneurship.
Your commitment inspired our youth to help prepare our new training center for opening in 2016.
Our year-end campaign is increasing the materials to provide for this training in January. Please help young Liberians learn a trade by donating online and match your gift through our Facebook Fundraising (click here) or send a check payable to Uniting Distant Stars at:
Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446
Thank you whole-heartily for being a valuable Star Supporter!!!