How are you today? We hope you found ways to adapt to the new normal as we move forward with 2020. It seems like things change daily and we learn to adjust as needed. Again, your dedication to Liberian Youth allows UDS to be agile during these trying times. Thank you again for including UDS in your charitable giving!
In Liberia, they are trying to balance managing the cases as they increase with removing some of the restrictions. Let’s look at the current numbers for COVID-19 as August 9: 1,234confirmed cases, 79 people who have died, 714 people recovered, and 267 cases per million people. Again, testing is limited, so these numbers might not reflect reality.
The Government of Liberia announced that the 6th to 11th graders will return on August 10 to resume the 2019/2020 school year. The year will end in December. There is no return of the preschoolers to 5th graders. All schools are waiting on any guidance if we can promote them from what they accomplished during the time they attended. Therefore, the academic year will start either end of December or early January.
Also, universities and vocational training schools are reopening. We have a tentative date of September 15 to start our fourth vocational training cohort. Currently, our tailoring instructor and graduates are making masks for the 6th and 7th graders and the new vocational training students. Additionally, We will be adding extra handwashing stations and taking their temperatures before entering the center. Keeping all students safe is our number priority.
We want to extend our heartfelt Thanks to The Rock Insurance Agency, owned by Chris Lohrey! Chris and his company are one of our corporate sponsors, and we wanted to share more about his service.
When I met Chris in March, I asked him to give me a quote on my auto insurance, and he came back with an amount that I could not refuse. He is an independent agent, so he can search for the best deal from several companies and providers nationwide.
Also, a portion of the profits goes towards helping non-profit organizations in Liberia, like Uniting Distant Stars.
I highly recommend you call Chris today (–952-222-3486–) to discuss your insurance needs–personal and business. He provides the following services:
When you invest in young people of any nation, you are developing the leaders of tomorrow. Your continued support provides leadership development with our youth. In July, the students elected their student council from a field of interested candidates. They planned an installment program for their new leaders and to celebrate their accomplishments in their given courses.
As they were planning their program, Jackson George (Consul General of the Minnesota Liberian Consulate) contacted us about visiting our center during his trip to Liberia. The original plan was to have him visit on July 30, but this became a holiday for the senatorial election, so the students decided to invite him to their program so he could endorse their leadership and be their guest speaker.
Jackson enjoyed being part of this program and meeting our students. When asked in an email if he had anything to share about his visit he responded, “I just want people to know about the great work you are doing to help the people of Liberia. It was a learning and exciting process for me.” Everyone is very grateful to Jackson for making this a successful and memorable program.
The program started with the students from the various courses showcasing what they have learned during the first third of their term.
Your students showcasing what they have learned (left to right, top to bottom): Catering, Computer, Cosmetology, Electrician, Plumbing, and Tailoring students
Next, Jackson shared motivational words with the students about the benefits of learning a trade and also how to use social media to share what they are learning and to connect with people.
Jackson George, Consul General of Minnesota Liberian Consulate, inspiring UDS students to achieve their goals and make a difference
Jackson followed his talk by endorsing our new Student Council who will be serving until they graduate next year.
Congrats to the 2018/2019 Uniting Distant Stars Student Council!
New Student Council (left to right): Teddy Jr, Ngayenga (President), Caraton M. Mahn (Vice President), Sylvester T. Yeah Jr (Secretary-general), Emmanuel L. Tarr (Financially secretary), Abraham C. Morgan (advisor), Zawida Gaylee (Treasurer), & Aujustine Kouadio (Chaplain)
We encourage and welcome people to visit our vocational training center in Liberia because seeing is believing. On Sunday, June 3, it was a pleasure to receive a visit from one of our long-time supporters, Jasoe Sharpe. She has been part of the UDS family since 2012 before we even became an official non-profit.
She discovered our work through Twitter posts and asked how she could volunteer during her vacation in 2012. At this time, we were partnering with a local primary school and invited her to provide a teacher’s workshop, because she has an extensive background in education. She then started sponsoring a student in our scholarship program.
During Jasoe’s (gray shirt) July 2012 visit, standing with UDS Co-Founder & Director Kelvin Fomba and the teachers at Russ Wood School
When Kelvin received the call from Jasoe on June 3 that she was stopping by on her way to the airport, he was overjoyed to see her again. Jasoe came with a friend and Kelvin gave them a tour of the center. This is what she shared in an email:
“I was in Liberia and visited the Uniting Distant Stars campus and just wanted to say I love what you guys are doing there. It is quite an improvement from the last time I visited. Just wanted to say thank you.“
Kelvin and Jasoe during her visit on June 3, 2018
Her friend returned later that week to get more information about the UDS center and talk with our students. She will be posting this on her website. We are looking forward to this post because she will be sharing her first-hand experience of how you, our valued supporters, are making a lasting impact on the lives of Liberian Youth.
Jasoe’s photo of our center
Your continued support allows for the positive development of Liberian youth who are seeking to make this world a better place!
Enoch Daniel Tarr wrote the song, “Education is Better Than Silver & Gold” for UDS.
One of our computer students, Enoch Daniel Tarr, from 2016 wrote a song to promote Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Center. Enoch is 16 years old and wanted to express his gratitude for our programs through music.
Our creative and talented board member, Anna Bertch, created a music video of Enoch’s song with photos of all our courses. Please enjoy listening to this uplifting song that will get you moving with the music.