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!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiZLTIXf1uU[/embedyt]

Two New Computers for UDS Training Lab

Two New Computers for UDS Training Lab

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!

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

Wishing You a Happy New Year!

Your continued passion and service made 2018 our best year yet! As we move into 2019, your generosity will make the following possible:

  1. a graduation celebration for current eligible students in late March or early April
  2. new vocational training students for the 2019/2020 one-year term
  3. small social enterprises for sustainable day-to-day operations
All the Uniting Distant Stars Youth, Instructors, Staff, Board Members, Volunteers, and Co-Founders wish you a delightful and fruitful 2019!

Thank you for being part of the Uniting Distant Stars Community of Supporters!!!

Thank You For Your Gift of Learning!

Thank You For Your Gift of Learning!

We greatly appreciate your support on Giving Tuesday! As a result, you raised $420 on Facebook. Despite our best efforts, we did not benefit from the matching funds from PayPal. In fact, the number of donations within seconds of event start time exhausted the funds.

To sum it up, every dollar of your donation goes towards the development of your students enrolled in one of our eight vocational training courses. Thank you for making a difference and changing the lives of Liberian Youth for the better!

Enthusiastic Discussion with Osseo Students

Enthusiastic Discussion with Osseo Students

I served as the guest speaker at the Osseo Secondary Transition Center’s (OSTC) Large Group Activity on November 21. This school serves students ages 17 to 21 with varying abilities and disabilities. OSTC provides students needed assistance to transition from school to life. Also, their programs include expanding interpersonal and job skills and building confidence. This is why Jeri Levinson, the Special Education Teacher, invited me to share our work in Liberia. She further explained that our centers share a common mission in preparing young people to be independent.

I spent the first 20 to 25 minutes sharing stories and photos of our programs. Before each course slide, I asked how many of them had dabbled in the given trade. Their responses resulted in auto mechanics, computers, cooking, and sewing as the most popular ones. I then explained how and what our students learned in their given trades such as:

  1. Auto mechanic students learn how to use and convert parts from other types of vehicles. I further explained how people ship vehicles from the U.S. and elsewhere but do not include the spare parts.
  2. Catering students bake their cakes in our charcoal powered oven, a converted upright freezer. Also, they use a coal pot to cook meals.
  3. Tailoring students use a treadle machine to sew clothes, uniforms, etc.
I also shared some of the challenges that our students face. This includes:
  1. limited to no access to electricity and running water in their home,
  2. high unemployment,
  3. high inflation, and
  4. little to no parental support.

Finally, I opened the floor to questions from the Osseo students, who face additional challenges of homelessness and poverty. They followed by asking several good questions about Liberia and how our students learn.

Three of the students volunteered to help. First, one boy named Dallas volunteered his graphic design skills. His first assignment is updating our banners for all our social media sites. Another two boys, Alex and Michael, will help with making videos. Their first assignment is to create marketing videos to promote our work. I look forward to working with these three teenagers.

As you can see, Uniting Distant Stars welcomes talent from anywhere. Hence, we allow people to shine their light for service to others.