In November 2017, UDS Friends Yeamah Brewer and John Buettner sponsored a six-day BioSands Water Filtration training by Friendly Water of the World. Also, Yeamah introduced us to the trainers. Read our 2017 Blog Post.
Our team of seven learned how to wash and sift the gravel and sand, use the mold to make the filter and implement the filtration system in the communities.
Kelvin Fomba invited the three trainers–Wayne, Ken, and Alisa–to visit our center and present them with gifts.
The UDS team completed the training on making and using a BioSand Water Filter and received their certificates.
As we close 2017 Star Reflections, watch our video of the UDS Team making their own BioSands Water Filter https://youtu.be/c0wy32dyskI. This video features the song “Let’s Come Together,” written and produced by Othello Collins, and vocals by Kendra Glenn Johnson.
We are happy to announce thathat Kelvin Fomba, Co-Founder & Director, wigraduaten May 30th with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree in Geology fom the College of Engineering, University of Liberia. He started his journey in 2012 and stayed with it as he worked tirelessly with Uniting Distant Stars. He inspires our students because he demonstrates that no one is too old to learn. Please join me in congratulating him for accomplishing this milestone at 58.
Kevin Nah, one of our Minnesota volunteers, wrote a reflective piece, “This could have been me.” He talked about his experience of immigrating to the US and receiving access to quality education. Also, he explained how we make education accessible to Liberian youth. Read Kevin’s 2017 Blog Post.
In a few months, the first cohort (2017/2018) spent most of their time doing practicals. They came to their classroom or learning lab ready to work. Our training provides at least 85% hands-on learning. Read 2017 Blog Post.
To achieve at least 85% practical experience, this required creating learning labs and storage places for the materials and equipment. Here is the electrician lab to practice wiring a home. Read 2017 Blog Post.
In 2017, we held our first house party at John Trepp’s home in Minneapolis. Our guest speaker, Branko Tambah, a long-time supporter, shared his story about how vocational training changed his life in Liberia. Listen to his talk. Read 2017 Blog Post.
Since the beginning of 2023, Kelvin and I have met with Matthew Manning ofGumbo Media. Last year, I reconnected with Matthew, who knew our work and wanted to help. First, Matthew asked Kelvin and me questions about Uniting Distant Stars. Next, he started to create our new logo and brand kit.
As part of celebrating our 10th anniversary, it was time for a new look. The new logo is simple and versatile. The new design kept certain elements like our colors–blue and gold, stars, and a circle. From the start, the circle meant “uniting,” but Matthew saw it as a hug. We liked that. Also, he explained the meaning behind each color:
Gold represents community, vitality, prosperity, and joy.
Blue represents trust, loyalty, dependability, and sustainability.
Below are a few examples. The first logo is for banners and backs of t-shirts. The second logo is for business cards and letterhead. The third logo is for ball caps. The fourth and five logos are icons. The sixth one is a cut-out icon. Each logo has more than one option from our six-color palette of three shades of blue, gold, black, and cream.
We had a great time at today’s Virtual Team Time. Chatting with our students and instructors about their experiences at UDS is fun. During the introductions, we asked everyone’s favorite color, and yellow won hands down. Questions flowed from the US side first; then, we opened it to questions from our youth. These are valuable exchanges, and the youth enjoy meeting people outside Liberia.
Our next virtual Team Time will be August 12, 2023. We hope you join us then.
Photo from top left going clockwise:
Augustus Appleton, Solar & Satellite Dish Installation Instructor;
Charles Porter, Driver’s Ed Student & Crossing Guard for Academic Students;
Henrietta Knuckles, Solar & Satellite Dish Installation Student;
Kelvin Fomba; Co-Founder, Director & Driver’s Ed Instructor;
T. Josephius Charley, Solar & Satellite Dish Installation;
Godgift Barrolle, UDS Academy 9th Grade Student & Class President, and UDS Electrician Student; and
Fencelia Smith, UDS Academy 9th Grade and UDS Electrician Student