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]

Recognizing Kelvin Fomba For His Dedicated Service

Recognizing Kelvin Fomba For His Dedicated Service

During the presentation of the Permaculture Design Certificates on January 16, Rev. Samuel Enders of the African Dream Academy paused to recognize Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director. Rev. Enders acknowledged Kelvin’s dedicated service to educating and training of Liberian Youth. He started by highlighting Kelvin’s commitment and sacrifice to ensure the doors are open each day. 

Please listen to the video below as Rev. Enders expresses the gratitude of everyone present. About 10 seconds in he says, “There are people in this country that have more money than you. But you see the good in you and you choose to give it out.” He then gives Kelvin a blessing for his great work.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVZ1WsUqZpY[/embedyt]

Power of Sharing Knowledge

Power of Sharing Knowledge

In our October 11 article, “Making UDS Known to the Surrounding Community,” we highlighted the different marketing strategies employed to encourage people to stop and visit our center. One strategy involves our students doing their practicals outside our center and this gets us noticed. An example of this occurred on November 21. A 68-year-old Ghana man named Joseph walked by and observed our electrician students struggling to do an assignment. The students needed to bend pipes into 90-degree angles to route electrical wires in a building. As he watched them fail at their attempts, Joseph wanted to offer his help. 

He immediately approached Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director, and shared that he is an electrical engineer. Joseph then asked if we provided vocational training because he often sees our students at work. He further explained that he had a better way to bend pipes and wanted to demonstrate this to our students.  Kelvin followed by welcoming him and stressing UDS is a school of learning. Also, he explained that we are always open to people willing to share their knowledge with our students.

Joseph proceeded to join our students and demonstrated his method for bending pipe. He first showed them how to fill the straight pipe with sand so it would maintain its round shape. Then, he put the pipe over the coal to heat it so he could bend it. The students watched in awe as he bent the pipe into a perfect 90-degree angle. Next, our students applied this low-tech process in bending pipes for their practicals.

Joseph showing your electrician students a simple way to bend pipe properly

Joseph expressed his gratitude to be able to teach our students an easier way to bend pipe. Kelvin in return thanked him for his help. He then explained our plans to install solar panels and some of the challenges with determining our needs. So, Joseph sat down with everyone and went over some of the basics for solar power. He plans to return soon to help our students and team to determine the number of solar panels and batteries needed to power our center.

Joseph sharing his knowledge about solar to your students

Finally, our Liberian team’s efforts to advertise our students work outside the center paid off with the visit from Joseph. It is our hope that more people will stop in and learn more about our activities. We welcome anyone who loves to share their knowledge and improve the quality of our student’s training. Remember, the welcome mat is always out for you.

You Are Making a Big Difference for Liberian Youth

You Are Making a Big Difference for Liberian Youth

Your continued support of Liberian Youth is changing their lives for the better. You may not fully appreciate your impact, but what you have accomplished in helping these ambitious young men and women gain marketable skills at our training center is paramount to their success.

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, the Honorable Jackson George, Consul General, Liberian Consulate of Minnesota, attended our board meeting to share his experiences and observations while visiting our center in July. He conveyed to our board members and volunteers participating in person or on Google Hangout how much we are doing on very little. He shared:

1) How impressed he was with our students and their hunger to learn.

2) An explanation of how the current economic situation makes life challenging:

  • With an unemployment rate of about 85%, it is challenging for young people to find work, so the work of UDS is instrumental in the students finding employment or entrepreneurship.
  • UDS graduates are more prepared to be ready to work than young people graduating from Liberian universities due to the practical application training they receive.

3) A pledge to assist in promoting the work of UDS with Liberian government authorities and other agencies where collaboration can help strengthen our programs.

And you have made this possible through your investment in their training, ultimately leading to their success!

Left to right: Adam Pederson, Board Secretary; Diane Anastos, Board Treasurer; Miriam Monono Issac, Board Member; Jackson George, Consul General; Beyan Gonowolo, Board Member; & Mary Rosendahl, Board Member. Two volunteers: Sonal Suri and Melissa Meach joined by Google Hangout.

A Dinner & Movie Fundraiser – November 3 – 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM

A Dinner & Movie Fundraiser – November 3 – 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM

You are cordially invited to a Dinner & Movie Fundraising organized by Tashie George, owner of IfriMart. This is your time to stay up late, eat delicious Liberian Cuisine, and watch a compelling movie as daylight savings occurs overnight.

The featured movie is Out of My Hand (PG-13): a film about “a struggling Liberian rubber plantation worker risks everything to discover a new life as a Yellow Cab driver in New York City.” The film is directed by Takeshi Fukunaga, and the leading role is played by Bishop Blay.

The dinner will be prepared by Taste of Africa with Jollof Rice (popular one-pot dish), potato salad, fufu (like a dumpling), soup, chicken, ginger beer, donuts, and cornbread.

The program will highlight the work Uniting Distant Stars is doing to support young men and women in Liberia as they receive valuable vocational training in our center.

Buy Your Tickets Today