Thank you to Tashie George of IfriMarketfor hosting and sponsoring a successful Dinner & Movie fundraiser on November 3. Thank you to our Classroom Heroes who raised $635 to support Liberian Youth in our training courses. Thank you to Taste of Africa for the second (or third) helpings of delicious food. And thank you to the cast and crew of the Out of My Hand movie!
About 20 people gathered that day. They learned more about Uniting Distant Stars and how we are helping Liberia’s young men and women gain independence with trade careers. They networked with each other. They ate Jollof Rice, potato salad, corn bread, and much more (food table photo take by Boyd Morson). And they sat back and enjoyed an entertaining movie.
Tashie is committed to holding this event each year, and we are grateful for her continued support!
You are cordially invited to a Dinner & Movie Fundraising organized by Tashie George, owner of IfriMart. This is your time to stay up late, eat delicious Liberian Cuisine, and watch a compelling movie as daylight savings occurs overnight.
The featured movie is Out of My Hand (PG-13): a film about “a struggling Liberian rubber plantation worker risks everything to discover a new life as a Yellow Cab driver in New York City.” The film is directed by Takeshi Fukunaga, and the leading role is played by Bishop Blay.
The dinner will be prepared by Taste of Africa with Jollof Rice (popular one-pot dish), potato salad, fufu (like a dumpling), soup, chicken, ginger beer, donuts, and cornbread.
The program will highlight the work Uniting Distant Stars is doing to support young men and women in Liberia as they receive valuable vocational training in our center.
In celebrating our successes, we are celebrating YOU, our highly valued Star Supporters! Uniting Distant Stars held our first-ever Christmas Celebration at our new training center for over 350 children and youth on December 26.
The event ran from noon to 7PM (GMT) and it was a fun-filled day. The children performed skits, cultural dances, sang favorite songs, and shared funny stories. They were served a nourishing meal of Jollof Rice (Liberian favorite), Potato Salad and Chicken. They participated in a raffle draw for three prizes: 1st – Bag of Rice, 2nd – Package of Breakfast Food such as Quaker Oats, and 3rd – Backpack (made by our youth) filled with school Supplies.
Our team of dedicated volunteers worked around the clock in preparing the food and activities for this highly appreciated event. A heartfelt Thanks to AB, Blessing, Deborah, Godfrey, Ishmail, Korlu, Korpu, Ma Siah, Mamie, Princess, Roseline, Saah, Umaru and all volunteers who made this celebration a joyous occasion!
Please take a moment and watch this short video showing the photos of our children and youth celebrating YOU!
Uniting Distant Stars supporters and volunteers continued to give children and youth in Liberia a reason to be happy with our 2015 school supply campaign. On September 13, Rogma International School in Paynesville, a suburb of Monrovia, held their back-to-school program. This was the second of series of three programs that started with City of Joy School on September 6 and ended with Russ Wood Christian Academy on October 11.
Rogma’s location required UDS to transport our team in three vehicles, because it was too far to walk and it was raining heavily. Our Liberian Co-Founder and Country Director, Kelvin Fomba, enlisted two volunteers to carry 24 UDS team members and 6 invited guests to the program.
Rogma International Staff and UDS Leaders.
Kelvin and Daniel Lloyd, UDS volunteer, delivered a huge surprise to our staff and youth group by having shirts made for the group that they paid for. UDS was making their debut in Paynesville and wanted to make our presence known as an organization serving children and youth in Liberia. The photos below show our team proudly wearing their beautiful shirts.
UDS volunteers and youth group standing outside Rogma’s school
UDS Youth Group displaying the back of their shirts.
Another highlight came from Rogma’s community when they organized a cookout, which UDS contributed $40 towards food. Each child received a bowl of Jellof (aka Jollof) Rice, a popular dish in Liberia and other West African nations. This recipe will be included in our Recipes for Learning Cookbook currently in development by our dedicated project team.
Rogma Students eating their Jellof Rice. Each student was served a bowl by volunteers.
Kelvin standing in the middle talking with children as they eat their Jellof Rice.
After eating their delicious meal, it was time to distribute supplies. Students were called up individually to receive their packet of school items. Kelvin and Moses Lahai, UDS volunteer, handed out gift packages to Rogma’s aspiring students from our Star Supporters generous donations. As shown in the four photos below, this day uplifted the hopes of children attending Rogma International School.
The program provided entertainment form children and youth. Our youth group created a play called “The Greedy Man” and it was performed by three of its members. The performance is filmed in three short video clips with our youth speaking Liberian English, which a brief summary is provided for each scene.
Scene 1:A teenage boy invites an older man to share his food. However, this older man, who happens to bring his own spoon, eats all the food without any concern for the boy. This clip features the man drinking from a mineral water from a bag. This is the plastic we use for our Backpacks for Peace project.
Scene 2:The boy’s sister, who prepared his food, instructs him to not let this greedy man eat all his food again.
Scene 3:When the teenager sees the greedy man approaching him, he quickly takes appropriate action to prevent him from eating his food.
The moral of this story was to teach young people how to share and be good to each other. This was UDS Youth Group first performance and it had Rogma’s children laughing throughout. Our youth decided to use performing arts to address social concerns facing youth in Liberia.
The program ended with UDS giving Rogma some reading textbooks, kick balls and other supplies. The reading textbooks were donated in 2012 from a supporter, who is a teacher at St.Vincent de Paul School in Minnesota. We shipped nine boxes with our annual supply drives in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Our original plan was to send all the books in one shipment, but paying $75 per box prevented us from fulfilling this goal. We definitely need help shipping the 19 remaining boxes to get these books in Liberian children’s hands. Please read our Learning Center post to learn how to help.
Kelvin sharing to Rogma’s community about the other supplies being donated to their school.
Our wonderful supporters made this program a huge success. Both parents and school staff were praising our generous donors for supporting their children’s educational needs. Please view additional photos in our Facebook album.
Rogma Students holding their gift packages of school supplies.
Uniting Distant Stars Teams in Liberia and the U.S. offer our heartfelt Thanks and Appreciation for helping the children and youth we serve!
Photos and videos taken by Rodney John, UDS Volunteer