UDS sees educating children and youth as an investment for the future. We started our work with academic scholarships and school supply drives in 2011. We later added a library and provided after-school study programs. So, starting a primary school serving 350 children in September 2018 fit into our programming.
The UDS Academy is not like other schools in the area because it was a community effort. Our team worked around the clock with the parents in preparing and implementing the plan. What sets this school apart from others?
It is a tuition-free school for pre-K to 6th-grade students.
The parents buy the uniforms directly from UDS (made by our staff and students) and the funds cover the operations costs and teachers pay.
The UDS library contains all the materials that meet the nation’s curriculum.
The teachers are selected for their passion to impart knowledge in students and trained to adhere to our high-level learning standards.
The students are evaluated to determine if they could meet the grade level requirements and some are moved back a grade to ensure their success.
Since most of the vocational training courses either have their own learning labs or meet in the afternoons or evenings, our center easily accommodates the academy. Plus, some of our vocational training students benefited from our academy because they could enroll their children.
Furthermore, the parents showed their gratitude by donating three bundles of zinc roofing to help with our building extension and some offered their skills like carpentry to complete the work.
Now as we move forward to June 29, the UDS Academy held their closing ceremony for the academic year. Also, students graduated from Kindergarten and 6th grades. Again, the parents were involved in the closing program and asked if the graduates could receive culture clothes made from a lappa (i.e. fabric) instead of a rented cap and gown. This made perfect sense because they paid a $20 graduation fee and a new outfit for their child is priceless.
Your continued support empowered our Liberian Team and the community we serve a program for over 300 young children. Thank you for helping them make this happen!
Your students took to the fields on March 28 and 29 to participate in their first Inter-Vocational Kickball and Football (aka soccer) Tournament held at the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC). This tourney brought together 8 schools with UDS being the newest and smallest. Our teams played their hearts out during this two-day tournament with UDS Kickball team winning the tournament and the UDS Football team coming in second due to a penalty in the final game.
Both teams came into this tourney with high spirits because they wanted to take home both trophies to show small schools have the zeal to succeed. So when the Football team lost the final game they succumbed with emotion because they hoped and prayed they bring home the trophy.
The trophy presentation is scheduled mid-April. In the meantime, We are very proud of both teams performance during this important two-day tourney. Their wins promoted UDS to the spectators and other schools. We celebrate both teams’ achievements…Go UDS!
Our team in Liberia works tirelessly each day to ensure your investment is making a lasting impact on the youth we serve. They deploy various marketing strategies to raise our profile in the community and pique the curiosity of people passing by our center. It is important that we connect with the community because they are potential students, collaborators, and partners.
Our uniforms are one form of advertising because the front of the shirt displays our logo and the back shows the department (i.e. course) the student is enrolled in. Our students receive positive feedback on the quality and the colors of their uniform. Each student wears their uniform proudly because they know UDS is committed to their development.
Blue uniforms are for the auto mechanic, electrician, and plumbing courses; Gold uniforms for catering, computers, cosmetology, hotel management, and tailoring courses.
Our building is another way we draw people to our center. Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director, and Godfrey Solomon, UDS Registrar & Artist, painted images of our courses on the front of the building. This has proven effective in attracting people to our doors. On one occasion, a man from Nigeria was staying at the hotel next to our center and noticed the artwork. He paid our team a visit to inquire about our programs. These images also have welcomed students with limited to no reading and writing abilities. Not all our courses require reading and writing, and our instructors are able to adapt to the various learning styles.
UDS Vocational Training Center front entrance; Photos by Jasoe Sharpe
Our classrooms aremobile as our students work on their practicals outside the front of the building. This is where people will stop and notice because they see our students working attentively on their given projects. This is where “seeing is believing” comes to play when people are looking for a quality training facility.
Your electrician and auto mechanic students working diligently on their practicals outside
Your continued generous giving built a strong foundation for UDS to connect with the surrounding community and provide life-changing training in trade careers. Thank you for making this happen!