UDS Training Center Powered By Solar

UDS Training Center Powered By Solar

As a small and humble organization, our gratitude reaches beyond the stars everytime you make a dream come true. Our quest for solar started a year ago when our small group visited a farm in Carver, Minnesota that was fully operated by this renewable energy. This experience gave us the hope and inspiration to make this possible. In June, we discussed this opportunity at our strategic plan meeting to determine the feasibility. After agreeing to move forward with this project, the fundraising plans began. In October, a fundraiser in New York City raised over $5,200 for this initiative. And as of January 26, 2019, solar power electrifies our center.

The first phase of our solar initiative provides 24/7 lights, runs ceiling fans for cooling in our classrooms, and supports our business office during the day. A total cost of $6,000 (includes general funds) purchased all the materials for phase 1. As a learning opportunity, the vendor Taleance T Tokpah (the owner of T & T Solar Tech) worked with our electrician students to install the solar.

Taleance T Tokpah standing in the center by the table instructs our students on how to test the panels.

Before we can implement phase 2, our diesel generator will be used for our computer training course three times a week. In the near future, we will discuss the next steps to cover all our center’s power needs on solar. In the meantime, please enjoy the photos of our students learning something new.

Panel Installation

You empowered our electrician students (blue and red shirts) to help install our solar panels with our vendor and technician, Taleance T Tokpah.

Your electrician students working together to install solar panels under the guidance of Taleance T Tokpah.

Wire Connection

Your students and Kelvin Fomba (UDS Co-Founder & Director) testing the connections between the roof and ceiling.

Your student preparing the wire to connect the panels to the control box.

UDS Lights Powered By Solar

UDS Training Center now powered by solar.

Thank you so much to our generous supporters in New York City! You gave our students reliable and stable electricity at our center. What remarkable gift! Also, our sincere thanks to Taleance T Tokpah for sharing his knowledge and expertise with our students!

UDS Students Advance Their Skills With Real Experience

UDS Students Advance Their Skills With Real Experience

Your investment in Liberian Youth teaches them marketable skills and prepares them to be ready for any opportunity that comes their way. As you have witnessed, our students work diligently in perfecting their craft, and through your continued support, they are able to advance their skills with real experience.  

One of our sustaining supporters, Joel Decker of Starland Charities in Minnesota, donated $350 to purchase the advanced learning materials for our electrician students and four ceiling fans for our center to help improve the learning environment.

Joel fulfilled a wish expressed by our electrician students during the general meeting on September 29, when they requested supplies to learn how to install three-phase power for commercial buildings. The instructor, Boakai Dillon, started working with the students the day the supplies were purchased. Our students practiced how to connect three-phase and how to add the different type of breakers to the control box. This simple act of kindness by Joel helps our electrician students take their skill training to a higher level.

Your electrician students learning how to install three-phase power

Our students also received the opportunity to install the our ceiling fans in the great room of our center and connecting them to the breaker. The electrician students received real experience, and all students will benefit from a comfortable learning environment with the onset of hotter temperatures from the dry season.

Your electrician students installing ceiling fans to provide a cooler climate at their training center

Your commitment to young men and women allows them to hit the ground running after graduation. They are prepared to adapt to any type of work environment with the foundation of skills in their given trade. Your support is essential to their future success.

Thank you, Joel, for fulfilling the wishes of our electrician students!

Backpacks for Peace: Project for Learning and Giving

In the spirit of this season of giving, we welcome your contribution to inspire 20 youth in making 300 Backpacks for Peace through our innovative training program. The cost of making a backpack is approximately $10, so a generous gift of $50 will get us that much closer to our goal. For the second year in the row, Uniting Distant Stars will invite some of Liberia’s promising young men and women leaders to participate in the March 6, 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum Youth Festival organized by youthrive, a Minnesota-based non-profit.

Three Liberian youth modeling our backpacks in each color–white, blue and red
The Backpacks for Peace project will instill peace building within the community and re-spark their creative flame by using recycled plastic to make the backpacks.  The first phase of the program focused on teaching four trainees on how to sew the backpacks and care for the sewing machines as future trainers of this program. The goal of the first phase was to make 250 backpacks to be given to the students at our adopt-a-school program as part of our 4th Annual School Supply Drive.

Video shows launch of our first phase of this project on 09/26/14; narrated by Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-founder and Country Director.

Twenty young men and women from primary to post-secondary education will launch the second phase of our backpack training program the beginning of January 2015 by making 300 bags that they will give to the beneficiaries of the Straight From the Heart Center in Liberia. This center was founded by Agnes Fallah Kamara-Umunna to provide a space for rehabilitation, reintegration, and reconciliation for youth who were on all sides of Liberia’s Civil War. Agnes is the author of the book “And Peace Still Did Not Come: A Memoir of Reconciliation”.

Photos: Left is project team lead and professional tailor Charles Mamba sitting at his machine on left that he has donated for this project. Next two photos show three of the four trainees.
We have already raised $590 towards our goal of $3,000 to buy four more sewing machines and the supplies such as zippers and thread, to make 300 backpacks. Our partner—African Dream Academy—has been donating the recycled plastic drinking water sachets, the primary material for the backpacks.

No
Items
Qty
Unit Cost
Total Cost
1
Machine
4 each
190 USD
760 USD
2
Zippers
600 yards
2 USD
1,200 USD
3
Thread
3 cartons
50 USD
150 USD
4
Scissors  
5 each
10 USD
50 USD
5
Machine needles
3 packets
25 USD
75 USD
6
Machine oil
8 bottles
4 USD
32 USD
7
Cloth Lining
3 rolls
50 USD
150 USD
       8
Participant Benefits
583 USD
TOTAL
3.000 USD

Your contribution is not only tax-deductible; it is also developing a sustainable youth training program that teaches life-long skills in sewing and marketing a product needed by many Liberian youth. The need for rebuilding from the Liberian Civil War is still relevan, and it is even more urgent now due to the Ebola epidemic that recently devastated many families in Liberia.

Our team has been working hard and made nearly 200 backpacks when this photo was taken.
Please support our Backpacks for Peace service learning project with a donation by PayPal or by check to Uniting Distant Stars, Inc. and mail to:

Uniting Distant Stars, Inc.
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

Thank You For Your Generous Support