September 22, started a new term for a new group of students. In fact, many of your new students asked to start their practicals during the first week. For instance, the Event Decoration Students started making bangles on the second class day and sold them to other students. Just like that, they are learning a skill while earning some money.
Additionally, your Cosmetology Students began practicing plaiting hair at the Uniting Distant Stars Salon. In the near future, they will be working with actual people to advance their application of this valuable skill. Your students waste no time when it comes to learning a trade career.
In response, to the urgency of protecting your students, our team combined the items we purchased from the first half of the donations ($1,500) into individual student packages. Additionally, Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director made a brochure explaining COVID-19 and how to stay safe with proper handwashing.
Primary Students Receive Their Packages
On Tuesday, May 12, your 350 primary students came to pick up their items. As the students socially distanced outside the center, our team would review the student list to ensure everyone received their packages. Your young students were so grateful to receive these items!
Vocational Training Students Receive Their Packages
Two days later on May 14, your 100 vocational students were asked to pick up their items. Again, your vocational training students were so appreciative of your generosity. Surprisingly, one posted this in a group chat room later that day.
As stated above, each student received a brochure with their package. Since UDS is an educational institution, it was important to provide your students with additional information to keep them safe during this global pandemic. Kelvin designed the brochure with the information he had been compiling from various sources. He then printed enough brochure s for all your students and spent time folding each one. The next photos show the cover and inside of the brochure.
Thank you! Your generous heart is helping your students stay safe!
My worldview changed when I visited Liberia for the first time in 1998. This small West African Country was praying for peace after ensuring a devastating civil war for nine years. Much of the infrastructure was damaged and destroyed but the spirits of the people remained hopeful.
While we visited different areas in Monrovia (Liberia’s Capital), the people greeted us with warm welcomes and gracious hospitality. The children, on the other hand, showed signs of malnutrition but they displayed their resilience by laughing and playing. This challenged my beliefs of impoverished children that I learned from watching countless commercials of Sally Struthers crying as the spokesperson of the Christian Children’s Fund.
Children’s Desire to Learn
During this trip, I noticed the desire and hunger of children wanting to go to school when visiting a tuition-free school. It was run by six university students with limited resources. In other words, there were no textbooks, school supplies or desks. Instead, all you saw was bamboo slats on cement blocks and makeshift chalkboard in a one-room building.
We returned the next day with food for a cookout and brought relief supplies that we carried from Minnesota. In return, the children gave a program of songs and skits. Then a nine-year-old boy stood up and recited the Emancipation Proclamation. He blew our minds and brought us to tears because none of us could accomplish what he did.
Passion to Service Children & Youth
During the next 21 years, I have dedicated my life, money, resources, and time to helping children and youth in Liberia by:
donating funds and materials to support Liberian children’s education and wellbeing since 1998.
volunteering my time while living in Liberia for two separate years (between 2007 and 2010) to support youth-focused local NGOs (non-government organizations).
sponsoring children and young adults with annual scholarships for primary/secondary schools or receive vocational training in 2011.
starting annual school supply drives in 2011 to support a primary school in Congo Town.
Starting a New Chapter
My giving story took on a new chapter when I and Kelvin Fomba (Liberian National) co-founded Uniting Distant Stars as an official non-profit in 2013. UDS focuses on educational programs for children and youth. I continue to donate needed funds, sponsor 13 children with academic scholarships. And, I volunteer countless hours with communication, fundraising, and other support to further our mission in supporting young Liberians.
I hope you join me this Giving Tuesday on December 3 by making a donation to our Classroom Hero Giving Day. Your gift not only helps a child or young adult learn but also builds their confidence.
How are you today? Tuesday, December 3, is Giving Tuesday! Please don’t’ forget to support Classroom Hero Giving Day, our 24-hour fundraiser will empower and equip Liberian Youth with the necessary learning materials for their vocational training courses. Our $2,000 goal can’t happen without your generosity and support of Liberia’s Rising Stars!
Three are three options to donate to our Classroom Hero Giving Day:
Every generous dollar you donate buys learning equipment, materials, and supplies for all vocational training courses. Your students fully utilize your gift in applying and practicing their skills to master their given trade(s).
Thank you for including Uniting Distant Stars in your annual charitable giving!
In honor of this Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S., we wanted to give the many reasons why we are grateful for YOU.
You made it possible for over 40 students to complete the Permaculture Design Certification Training in January.
Your generosity gave light to all students. Also, it allowed two UDS Electrician Classes to install Solar Power at the UDS Center in January and June 2019.
You supported 75 young men and women through their year-long journey of learning a trade. They started in March 2018 and graduated on April 13, 2019.
Your kindness empowered the UDS Liberian Team to answer the request of parents. They wanted an affordable and quality primary school in their community. Our team created UDS Academy in September 2018 and completed its first year of programming in June 2019.
Finally, you welcomed the third cohort of students in May 2019. They started their year-long journey in learning and practicing skills in their respective course(s). Your continued support will help them complete their course(s) and graduate in 2020.
Without a doubt, we have many reasons to be grateful for all that YOU do!