Your Support Gives Liberian Youth a Better Tomorrow

Your Support Gives Liberian Youth a Better Tomorrow

Did you enjoy Elijah Kotee’s garden tour from our last newsletter? Your investment in his training in both catering and permaculture design certification gave him the inspiration to take the necessary steps forward realizing his dreams.

Your continued support gives more than the gift of learning a valuable skill but also gaining the confidence to succeed in their career goals. You can take great pride in what your generosity is doing for Liberian Youth!

As July winds down, we are in the final days of accepting new students for our vocational training courses. Your current students actively recruited new students. They helped get a female plumbing student which we have had one in all three cohorts. Also, they recruited our very first female electrician student (included in the photos below wearing the yellow shirt). During the next month, our newest students will receive extra attention in the next month to get them caught up with their fellow students. 

Your electrician students at work. 

Our UDS Academy Teachers opened a summer vacation school to help our students prepare for the upcoming academic year. Since this school was created by our team last year, they are committed to providing our children with quality education and help them advance to the next grade. Sylvester Yeah Jr. shared these photos of his students. He also graduated on April 13 with a Diploma in Computers.

Sylvester Yeah Jr. teaching students during summer vacation school

Your compassion and support of Liberian Youth allow them to dream big! 

Announcing Upcoming Vocational Training Schedule

Announcing Upcoming Vocational Training Schedule

As we near the end of another one-year term of our vocational training courses, we wanted to announce the following schedule:

  • 2019/2020 VoTech student recruitment starts the end of January. Stay tuned to the radio airwaves in Liberia for more information.
  • 2018/2019 VoTech classes end February 28.
  • 2019/2020 VoTech classes start around the second week of March.
  • 2018/2019 Commencement Ceremony on March 31. If you are visiting Liberia at this time, please stop in and celebrate with our amazing graduates.

Please expect more updates in the next couple months as we prepare our current students for the transition after graduation and welcome our newest students.

Before we go, this short video shows the front of our building as the permaculture training students return from their field assignments. We hope you will stop and visit our center in the near future. Thank you!


Is Spring Time Here?

Is Spring Time Here?

By Crystal Soderberg, Uniting Distant Stars Communication & Volunteer Coordinator

Not quite! However, our current students’ graduation is coming up March 3, which means we are now accepting new students for this spring! Not only do we have information sessions and aptitude tests ready to be scheduled, but we have a tremendous deal going on for tuition as well. Uniting Distant Stars is offering a 50% discount on tuition for students until we reach our goal of 300 students enrolled.

Co-Founder Kelvin Fomba addressing the new student recruits for our 2018 courses.

One of our main goals is to make our courses affordable while also providing as much money as possible towards costs such as teacher’s stipends, student study guides, and general operations. A portion goes back to the students with their uniforms and ID cards. Also, our students are driven to learn by investing in their education. The course costs are as follows:
  1. $200 ($100 with 50% scholarship) for 12-month programs: Auto Mechanics, Electricity, Masonry, and Plumbing.
  2. $150 ($75 with 50% scholarship) for 9-month programs: Catering, Computers, Cosmetology, Hotel Management, Interior Event Design, and Tailoring.

UDS Team on Radio Talk Show to Recruit Students. Left to right: Roseline, Godfrey & Kelvin (left photo) and Roseline & Godfrey (right photo).

UDS has come a long way from holding classes out of our co-founder, Kelvin Fomba’s home and hopes to continue to grow our graduating classes each class period in our new Training Center. Previous graduates have been able to provide for their families by running printing and copying services, repairing and servicing cars or generators, working for local tailors or working side jobs to do nails and hair for the community.

If you or someone you know may be interested in registering for classes or supporting these youth in pursuing an education please reach out to [email protected]. Classes are anticipated to begin the end of March or Beginning of April! Other ways to spread the news are by following us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Introducing the Uniting Distant Stars Training Center

Your tremendous support is giving Uniting Distant Stars the momentum to provide what children and youth want in Liberia! You gave us the strength to renovate & move into a new building this year, to better accommodate young Liberians seeking our services in academic support, vocational training, and youth leadership development. And, now you have helped us reach a new milestone: We are an official training center in Liberia!

Uniting Distant Stars Permit to Operate Professional/Technical Institute in Liberia.
This distinction by Liberia’s Ministry of Education gives us the opportunity to offer certificates and diplomas for our training programs. These programs are designed to support our young Liberians seeking help with their education or developing marketable skills. 

You may not realize how much your support inspires our youth & team in Liberia. For the last six months, they have been creating a strategic plan on how to expand our vocational training course offerings. On Saturday, November 19, 2016, they took the first step in putting this plan into action by hitting the streets to recruit vocational training students. 

Young UDS volunteers reaching out to surrounding communities to recruit youth for our vocational training courses.

About 75 volunteers canvassed 20 communities in Congo Town & Sinkor (suburbs of Monrovia) to recruit youth for our first vocational training programs starting in January. They handed out 1,500 flyers to interested youth within these communities. Beginning Monday, young candidates were invited to visit our office and register for one of the available courses. Young men and women will be required to take an assessment test and pay a $75 registration fee to be accepted. The tuition is free for all courses. 

You inspire our youth into action in sharing our programs with people in nearby communities.

Our volunteers were warmly welcomed by each community they visited. Young people and their families were excited to learn about our programs. Our team members have received a steady stream of phone calls from interested candidates answering their questions about registration and training requirements.

Our volunteers talking with people near a market area.
Our youth meeting with a community elder, who is very interested in what we are offering for young people. 

You will continue to receive updates as we move forward with this initiative. Our team in Liberia greatly appreciates your generosity and prayers because this gives them the energy to propel UDS forward.

You bring hope and opportunity to these young people. 

Your gracious support is an investment into our youth’s futures as employees or entrepreneurs. Our Tools For Success: Books, Computers, & Sewing Machines campaign is one way to help children and youth expand their knowledge and learn valuable skills. You can make a tax-deductible gift today and give young Liberian an opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency.

Tools for Success: Books, Computers, Sewing Machines  | GiveMN