Please Meet Your Graduates, Viola and Anthony

Please Meet Your Graduates, Viola and Anthony

Your investment in Liberian Youth pays a dividend of marketable talent ready to make a difference in their nation. We’d like to introduce you to two graduates whose lives were transformed because of you. 

Viola Blaine, Cosmetology Graduate

Viola Blaine is one of six who graduated with a Diploma in Cosmetology on April 13, 2019 at the Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Center (UDSVTC) in Liberia. She is 40 years old and a mom of three children: 16-year-old boy (lives in Ghana), 14-year-old boy, and 11-year-old girl (both live with Viola).

She left Liberia during the civil war in 1996 and became a refugee in Ghana. During that time she took advantage of the United Nations educational programs including graduating from high school, receiving a certificate in cosmetology, and attending a one-month business school. This gave her the opportunity to start plaiting hair and giving pedicures to be self-sufficient.

Viola returned to Liberia in 2012 and continued to work as a hairdresser. In 2018, she was praying to God to find a school to gain more knowledge. While listening to her favorite station, Radio Advent, she heard Kelvin Fomba (UDS Co-Founder & Director) and others talk about UDSVTC. She took down the phone numbers and called the school. She was invited to the campus to complete the admissions form and to attend orientation.

She shared how much she appreciated Kelvin’s encouragement and stressed the importance of learning skills that lead  to self-employment. She expressed her gratitude for all the support given to her to achieve her goal of graduating from our program.

Viola shared how UDS provided the advanced skills in manicures, pedicures, facials and much more that she was seeking. She now holds a diploma, and she is looking for a small shop where she can launch her salon business. She currently does home visits to plait hair, and she hopes to continue this service once she finds someone to work with her at the shop. 

Quote from Viola: “Thanks go to Mr. Kelvin Fomba from the UDSVTC school where I came from with a diploma in cosmetology. This will provide a good opportunity for me to do my own business. Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Center is one of the best schools you can go and get good vocational skills. Thanks to all of you for the knowledge I received!

Anthony Bombo Kpehe Jr., Computer Graduate

Anthony Bombo Kpehe Jr. graduated with a Diploma in Computer. He is 27 years old and the father of one young son. He is also a Freshman at the University of Liberia and is focused on an Economic Major and Management Minor. 

Anthony’s shares his journey to UDSVTC: “After being a college drop out in 2013 from the A.M.E. Zion University, I struggled with finding financial support to continue my academic sojourn, I was left with no option but to do things that I could sustain myself until the appropriate time came for me to go to school or for me to enter the University of Liberia.

One day in 2017 while I was sitting at home, I received information about a newly opened vocational school located on the Old Road. So, I thought wisely to go and see their information sheet. When I got there, I met my sister Roseline who told me that the school had a scholarship.

Unfortunately, I went late to make an inquiry to the school and was unable to be part of the first graduating class. I was told to wait for the next year which I did. Today, I am proud to be a graduate of the Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Center. But before then I was judging myself of what to do when I was given the opportunity to attend the school. So I said to myself since I was studying Economics in college, then I will do computers because it is the future.  We in Liberia will depend on them so I will learn computers. This was how my computer studies came about. To my supporters please continue your hard work for UDS and God will richly bless you.”

Anthony hopes to become the Finance Minister or Central Bank Governor and plans to become a computer expert. He will use his skills to create an IT network system that promotes transparency and prevents corruption within Liberia. 

UDS Presents the 2018-2019 Graduating Class

UDS Presents the 2018-2019 Graduating Class

You brought so much joy and gratitude to your graduates who received their diplomas in eight trades on Saturday, April 13, 2019. 

You gave these young people a reason to smile and rejoice in their successes! 

The celebration started on Friday, April 12, at their class party held at our center. The student council initiated a project to make white polo shirts with the UDS logo and their names underneath it. They funded this initiative on their own. They received their class medals that same night. One side of the medal shows the UDS logo and name. The other side featured the Map of Liberia and the theme, “Vocational Skills Build A Nation” created by Kelvin Fomba, Co-Founder and Director.

Your students proudly wearing their new shirts and medals.

The ceremony featured two guest speakers. First, is our dear friend, Reverend Samuel Enders, Founder of African Dream Academy (ADA) and Representative of District 6 in Paynesville, Liberia. He shared how Kelvin provided much needed mechanical work for ADA in 2016. When he paid Kelvin for his work, he asked him what he would do with it. Kelvin said I will put it to opening our school in 2016. Rev. Enders commented on how Kelvin continues to invest his own money back into UDS. He also commended Kelvin for his efforts because people who have far more money are not taking such initiative to help young people. 

Our second guest speaker what a representative, Bro. Aleiu L Kemokai, to the Honorable Peter S. BemahDeputy Minister of TVET from the Ministry of Youth & Sports. Mr. Bemah gave an inspirational talk about vocational training and reminded our youth of the benefits of having trade skills. His presence was welcomed by our team because we have held a TVET (Technical and Vocational Educational Training) Permit since 2016. We hope this connection will get us closer to cracking the code for being short-listed for funding opportunities. For now, Mr. Bemah said he would help with recruiting youth to our trade school. 

Rev. Samuel Enders on the left addressing the graduates and Bro. Aleiu L Kemokai on the right presenting a diploma to a graduate. Both men presented diplomas to your students throughout the ceremony. 

More photos and stories from our graduates will be shared in the next few issues. For now, please enjoy this moment because this is your success story! Thank you for your generous support!!!

Uniting Distant Stars Graduates Singing and Walking Together as they make their way to the UDS Vocational Training Center to Receive Their Diplomas! 
Thank You For Extraordinary 2018!!!

Thank You For Extraordinary 2018!!!

Your continued generous support gave Uniting Distant Stars their best year ever! As a result of your efforts, you accomplished the following:

  1. Raised $25,426! This is a record for our small organization. Compared to last year, you raised 28% more.
  2. Increased our Monthly Donors from three to seven. Also, please consider our Star Champion Monthly Donor Program,
  3. Graduated 75 vocational training students on March 24, 2018.
  4. Supported 150 vocational training students enrolled in one of eight one-year courses.
  5. Sponsored 17 academic scholarship students attending primary and secondary schools.
  6. Sponsored 5 vocational training students enrolled in our program.
  7. Supported 35 youth to attend the 2019 Permaculture Design Certification Training.

Furthermore, your passionate commitment to giving Liberian Youth knowledge and skills is a worthwhile investment. Here is a video showing your tremendous accomplishments in 2018.


By the way, this video features the music “Education is Better than Silver & Gold” written and sung by one of our former computer students, Enoch Daniel Tarr. Additionally, Ernest Norris Jr. created and published the video. Thank you to these aspiring young Liberian Artists!

To conclude this extraordinary year, Liberian Youth give you their heartfelt thanks! 

A Donor’s Words of Encouragement

A Donor’s Words of Encouragement

One of our great joys is hearing from you, our esteemed Star Supporters and Classroom Heroes. Recently, a sustaining donor from Colorado responded to our Thank You and said the following:

You are the one to be thanked for your dedication in this area of need. Kelvin Fomba is such an outstanding leader across the ocean. All the others who provide the help that is needed to keep this organization going are also to be commended. The training and education that is being provided these eager students are truly wonderful.” ~ Dorothy B, Colorado, USA
It is so beneficial to receive encouraging words from our donor community because it inspires our teams in Liberia and U.S. Your words are shared with our hard-working staff in Liberia who tirelessly ensures that our students receive quality training.
Kevin recognizing some of the dedicated staff during the March 24 commencement ceremony
Left to right: Emmanuel Somah (plumbing instructor), Amed Saah Blama (Hotel Management Instructor), Kelvin Fomba, Patrick Kende (Tailoring Instructor), & Roseline Sonday (Student Coordinator & Cosmetology Teacher’s Aide)
A Mother’s Nurturing Spirit

A Mother’s Nurturing Spirit

As you celebrate the Mothers in your life, who are with you or in their forever resting place, we’d like to honor you for your nurturing spirit. Your encouragement and kindness planted the seeds for our development and growth. You watered the seeds with your generous heart and created opportunities for young Liberians to learn valuable skills. Your harvest reaped 75 graduates from our vocational training programs. Now, you foster the hopes of our new students as they secure their roots in the soil of knowledge. Thank you!

Your graduates on March 24 feeling proud of their accomplishments

An Expression of Gratitude by Abu B Kiawu

An Expression of Gratitude by Abu B Kiawu

Your continued generosity flows like a river of opportunity for aspiring young Liberian men and women. One of our graduates Abu B Kiawu, who rode your current of hope, posted his inspiring testimony on Facebook of his journey with Uniting Distant Stars. He gave us permission to share his eloquently written message of gratitude:
You made Abu’s journey possible, and his expression of gratitude illustrates how your continued support is making a difference for him and his fellow graduates. Thank you!