Solomon is 24 years old and graduated on April 13, 2019, with Diplomas in Computers and Hotel Management. He was hired as a non-contracted employee about a week before he graduated. I interviewed him on Messenger on July 12 to see how work was going for the first 90 days.
Heather: Are you ready to share how your job is going?
Solomon: I am getting very interested and comfortable with my job. The beginning was very hard because I never had much experience, but now am serving as a night auditor.
Heather: Are they paying you?
Solomon: Yes. They are paying me but am not really happy with what they are giving me. However, to be real I am getting a lot of experience.
Heather: Did your courses at UDS help with learning this job?
Solomon: Yes, everything I am doing at work is what I got from my study at UDS.
Heather: What are your future hopes in this career?
Solomon: My future hope is to become a manager of one of the best hotels in our Liberia.
Heather: What was your educational background before UDS?
Solomon: I’m a high school graduate. I went to college for two semesters for a computer programming degree and drop out because I couldn’t afford it.
Heather: Has UDS prepared you to meet your future goals?
Solomon: So true, I strongly believe that we from UDS are very qualified and we can do better from what I experienced.
Solomon works a foreign-owned guest house about 10 minutes from our center. Although they have not offered him a permanent employment contract, he is able to support his family for now.
Thank you for giving Solomon the chance to learn two trades in our center and start his career in hotel management!
Our heartfelt Thanks to our long-standing supporter, Julie B. from Oklahoma! She gave a generous donation of $500 during our Give to the Max Day and selected to purchase two computers from our Become a Classroom Hero donation page.
Earlier this month (January 2019), we purchased two new used desktops for our computer training lab. As a result of Julie’s generosity, our computer lab continues to benefit the Liberian Youth taking our most popular course.
Thank you so much, Julie, for these two beautiful computers!
Your continued generosity flows like a river of opportunity for aspiring young Liberian men and women. One of our graduates Abu B Kiawu, who rode your current of hope, posted his inspiring testimony on Facebook of his journey with Uniting Distant Stars. He gave us permission to share his eloquently written message of gratitude:
You made Abu’s journey possible, and his expression of gratitude illustrates how your continued support is making a difference for him and his fellow graduates. Thank you!
As a valued Star Supporter, you improve the learning environment for our ambitious students. In the last newsletter we shared the story ofAdam Pederson’s Facebook Fundraiserfor our computer lab. We combined the $2,020 raised from his two donors with the $180 fromFlorkime Paye’s Facebook Fundraiser(the remainder went towards the graduation) earlier this year to purchase additional computers.
Kelvin Fomba, Co-Founder and Director, negotiated a deal with a vendor to purchase:
12 used desktop computers loaded with Microsoft Software, Mavis Beacon Typing Application, and other software
12 combo chair desks
Photos (clockwise starting top left): 1) New computers 2) Dauda Dassin and Roseline Sonday setting up the computers 3) Kelvin Fomba arranging the desks
The final price is $2,800, and we are raising funds for the $600 balance. Thank you to all the Star Supporters for fulfilling this need! Because of you, our lab consists of 20 computers for the benefit of our students.
You are moving mountains with your heartwarming generosity! You made #GivingTuesday a remarkable success. Not only did you help unlock the matching gift of $500, but you raised another $320. In other words, you raised $1,320 (24%) towards our $5,500 goal.
It gets even better! One of our fabulous board members, Miriam Monono, started a fundraiser for UDS on Facebook, sponsored by the Network for Good, to raise a $1,000 that will be matched dollar for dollar by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Facebook is waiving the fees to make your online donations. Six donors raised $215 within the first three days. You can double your generous gift by clicking on this link and the blue Donate button as shown in the screen shot below. This fundraiser is in conjunction with our year-end campaign. Your holiday gift-giving for children & youth in Liberia can have a greater impact when it is doubled…raise a $1,000 to give $2,000 to provide educational and vocational training resources for children & youth in Liberia.
Also, we hope to see you this Thursday (December 8, 2016) at Ten Thousand Villages for their charitable event on Uniting Distant Stars’ behalf. Please stop by between 5PM and 8PM to shop for fabulous gifts, enjoy a treat on us, and learn more about our programs. For all in-store shopping during this event, UDS will receive a percentage; 10% of sales up to $150 and 20%, if sales total more than $150. The store is located at 520 Selby Ave, St. Paul, MN 55102.
Finally, this post will close with a simple prayer request. Our team in Liberia has recruited 120 students for our January vocational training courses with a third signed up for computer training course. We have one young man, who signed up for the masonry course. Each course needs at least 10 students to offer it. He was given the option to select another one. He declined and said, “this his heart’s desire”. How can we refuse someone’s dream? So we ask for your prayers to help us recruit nine other students who share this young man’s passion.
You are celebrated for making everything STARtacular for children & youth in Liberia!!!
You are the reason behind all our successes this year. We celebrate your gracious efforts everyday. Liberian children & youth are happy because of your generous heart!
Spreading the news: Uniting Distant Stars Co-Founder & Country Director, Kelvin Fomba, was interviewed on United Methodist Radio 98.7 FM in Liberia on Friday 11/11/16. He was accompanied by two of our youth leaders Roseline Sonday & Patrick Junusa Jr. and shared on what we accomplished with your help and where you will take us next.
Left to Right: Kelvin’s interview at radio station; Patrick at his college graduation earlier this year; & Roseline wearing one of the backpacks she helped make.
Today, a local artist painted the UDS logo on our new center. Adding our brand to our building is another way to spread the news about your unyielding support of Liberian children & youth.
Your generosity is making a different for children & youth in Liberia.
Save the date: Thank you for being a valued part of the Uniting Distant Stars Community.
Each year, generous Star Supporters like you celebrate Give to the Max Day by making your online donation on GiveMN.org. Your generosity on this makes a difference far beyond the 24-hour giving event.
Your generosity on Give to the Max Day will provide Liberian children & youth with the “Tools for Success“. Thank you!
Please join us on November 17, 2016, for Give to the Max Day and help us continue to change lives through providing education & vocational training.
Your donation on Give to the Max Day also may help UDS receive an additional donation of $1,000. How? On November 17, every gift made on GiveMN.org will be entered into an hourly drawing for a $1,000 GiveMN Golden Ticket to be awarded to a non-profit organization. Your gift of $10 or more could instantly turn into an $1,000!
And, here’s the really exciting part: Two donations made on GiveMN.org during the Give to the Max Day campaign will be randomly selected to receive a $10,000 Super-Sized GiveMN Golden Ticket!
The more gifts we generate on GiveMN.org during Give to the Max Day, the more our chances increase to receive that additional 10,000 donation. Image what we could do with $10,000 to help children & youth in Liberia.
Our goal is to raise $5,500, and you can help us reach it!
Your generous gift will buy additional copies of books for our library, 12 more used computers for our lab, and 8 sewing machines for our training program. These are the “Tools for Success” needed for Liberia’s children & youth to get the upper hand in developing knowledge and skills.
Your fabulous gift will add more books to our library (left), additional computers for our lab (center) & sewing machines for our training program (right).
Be sure to mark your calendar and make your gift on November 17 by visiting our campaign page “Tools for Success: Books, Computers, & Sewing Machines” at GiveMN.org.