You Brought “Happy” to Young Liberian Students!

You Brought “Happy” to Young Liberian Students!

Your compassion and generosity filled our new learning center with happiness. On October 29, 2016, we held the grand opening of our new Uniting Distant Stars (UDS) Learning Center in Liberia. During this program, your gift of school supplies was delivered to the remaining children, who are the grateful recipients of your service. This post highlights the fun-filled day from the words of Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Country Director:
You helped make this program success. Kelvin in upper left hand photo. Students performing in upper right. Lower two photos show the students attending our grand opening program. 
First of all, we’d like to say thanks to the Almighty, the entire UDS team, and support team in USA and around the world for making this program a success. The program was so great, wonderful and exciting! The hall of our learning center was so congested, some people overflowed outside to the courtyard. We had about 450 kids, 150 parents, and about 30 special guests, including UDS Liberian team in Liberia attending the program.

UDS Learning Center is near many schools and as you can see the children can walk to it. 
As you can see, our overflow of people were in the courtyard. 

The miraculous part was this: all the kids were able to receive their school supplies individually along with their refreshments of popcorn and KoolAid.  Rev. Samuel Enders, CEO & Founder of African Dream Academy, served as the keynote speaker of the program. He was so impressed about the development at the new learning center and the large population of kids filling the great hall. He also pledged $10,000 Liberian Dollars (equivalent to $120 USD) to be collected nest week.

Your brought happy to these young students as they receive their school supplies. 
These smiles are for your kindness and support for their education.
You are the reason why these young students will succeed in school this year.
Rev. Samuel Enders is wearing the red & white striped shirt. 
Video of  Rev. Samuel Enders Introduction

As you can see in the photos, kids wearing the blue and red uniforms are from City of Joy School, The students in green and yellow uniforms are from Christian Kingdom Academy. Hossana Children Foundation  and Russ Wood Christian Academy students were not in uniform. 

                                                                Listen to the students chat before the program starts.

This is the largest program UDS has ever had. The kids performed numerous dramas, songs, and jokes that had everyone clapping and laughing. Also thanks, praises, prayers were shared from the kids, youth, parents, guests, the schools’ administration to You and all our UDS family in Liberia, USA, and around the world.    

We end this post by sharing this happy day with all of you. Rev. Enders led the children in singing “If Are You Happy & You Know It,” and we invite you to sing along as you play this video.

Our heartfelt thanks to you for bringing happiness and joy to young students in Liberia!!!

2016 School Supplies Drive, Only Headed Upward!

2016 School Supplies Drive, Only Headed Upward!

Dear Star Supporter,
Things, thanks to YOU, are only headed one direction: upward! 
Everyday, we come closer and closer to reaching our $7,000 goal for the 2016 Annual School Supplies Drive. Just this week, an additional $401 was raised toward this very important cause! That means we’re at $1,386, which is about 20% of our total goal… ✩​And we’re only headed upward!✩​
We, and hundreds of youth on the other side of the globe, would like to express our sincerest gratitude for your unfailing generosity. Your contributions are literally changing the world. By providing bright young minds with the means to leverage their brilliance and problem-solving abilities, you are making a real difference.
With the funds raised from this campaign, UDS will provide 700 young students attending City of JoyRogma International, and Russ Wood Schools with much needed school supplies. 
In recent, exciting news, UDS leader, Kelvin Fomba, was honored on the behalf of UDS by the Hossana Children’s Foundation. Hosanna is partnered with City of Joy school, and their mission as an organization is to serve impoverished children.
Here are photos from the recognition ceremony.
Kelvin (pink shirt) recieving an award on behalf of UDS’ work in Liberia.

Students from city of Joy School. Your generosity provided school supplies to these children in 2015, they can’t wait to start this school year off, too!
Kelvin (pink shirt) pinning a flower on a little girl for her academic efforts.
And now, we would like to shed a little light on you. 
The first five individuals to donate over $75, from now until August 14th, will receive special mention on our site for the month of September as “Honorary Donors.” (For those who have already made contributions of $75 and more, your names will be featured as well!) This is in addition to the the personalized handwritten Thank You letter received from a student for donations:
  • $100 or more, you will receive a letter from one student.
  • $500 or more, you will receive three letters from three different students representing each school.
Your letter will be emailed during the months of September and October.
That’s not all! The 3 highest donations made by the end of this campaign will not only receive acknowledgment on the site, but will also obtain special recognition when the school supplies is delivered to the students in September, in the form of a PSA Video! UDS students will get to express to you through digital media their appreciation for you themselves. 
All donations are 100% tax-deductible, and can be gifted according to the following methods:  
Donation by PayPal (go to website and click donate button) or Check payable to “Uniting Distant Stars” at:
Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446
      ​    ✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩ ​✩​
Please share this email with others to ensure all 700 young students attending City of JoyRogma International, and Russ Wood Schools will be given school supplies in September. 
Alternatively, feel free to post our attached flyer at your church, coffee shop, or any other place that has a community board!
Many, many thanks,
Anna Bertch
Uniting Distant Stars, National Youth Leader
Liberia: Delivering School Supplies to Rogma International

Liberia: Delivering School Supplies to Rogma International

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