Your Copy of the 2015/2016 Annual Report is Here

Your Copy of the 2015/2016 Annual Report is Here

As an all-volunteer organization, we are grateful for all those who contributed to our final 2015/2016 Annual Report. This report will give you an:
  • Overview of our project during this two-year period; 
  • Inspirational testimonials from four of our students;
  • Summary of the financial report showcasing how your support made a difference;
  • And much more.
Please enjoy reading what YOUour valued Star Supporter, accomplished for the youth of Liberia. Thank you for your generous support!

2015-2016 Annual Report

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!!!

Liberian children need access to primary level education

Liberian children need access to primary level education

Schools started opening this week in Liberia; however, not all children will be enrolled. In fact, “Liberia has the highest proportion of children missing out on primary school education, the United Nations said on Thursday, with nearly two-thirds of its children never stepping inside a classroom (source: Thomson Reuters Foundation News).” This equates to 62% of Liberian children not receiving primary education. As we all know, elementary school is the foundation for our educational careers and without it, we are less likely to secure a livable wage job.
UDS Star Supporters have been delivering school supplies to Russ Wood Students since 2012. They hold all classes in this one room building from kindergarten to seventh grade.

Since 2011, Uniting Distant Stars has provided scholarships to young students, who had no financial support to stay in school. Our sponsors are committed to supporting their students either through 6th grade or 12th grade. We had our first high school graduate in 2014 and two more in 2016. This is one of three programs that UDS supports the education of children and youth in Liberia.

During the 2015-2016 academic, four dedicated Star Supporters sponsored 15 students. Out of the 15, seven maintained an 80% or better for the year and six were between 70% to 80%. We have not received the grade sheets of the two graduates yet, but we know both passed. 

Unfortunately, we had our first drop out this year. This student was in the 5th grade and 18 years of age. Their education was disrupted by the civil war, poverty, and Ebola that forced them to be an older student in grade school. It is quite difficult and frustrating to be an older student sitting among younger children. All attempts were made to mentor this young person this past year to stay in school by their mother, teachers and vice principal, and UDS country director and  volunteers. However, this young adult decided to quit and we had to honor their wish. UDS doors are always open for this young person and we hope they will want to resume their education when they are ready. 

This student’s story stresses the importance of helping children attend school at an early age. In addressing this concern, UDS has added to new young students attending kindergarten through one of our sponsors. We hope to add two more young children as we wait for confirmation from two other sponsors. We currently have 15 scholarship students enrolled and their total tuition is $4,025 for this school year. 
As mentioned earlier, our scholarship program is one way we support education in Liberia. The other two are our learning center and annual school supply drives. The UDS Learning Center allows students to access a library and after school study classes to complete homework and prepare for tests. Our annual school supply drive provides 700 students with the basic necessities they need to take notes, complete they daily lessons and so forth. Sadly, several students are returning to school empty handed because their parents are unable to buy these essential supplies. 
Your generosity is extremely appreciated by the children and youth you serve in Liberia. Also, your continued support ensures young Liberians have an opportunity to achieve their academic requirements. Finally, your investment in the education of Liberian students provides a return of their employability in the job market or ability to start a business. 
Our 6th Annual School Supply Drive is about to end but there is still time to donate, share and encourage others to support Liberia’s young children. Click here for the different ways to donate or share this post on your social media sites. Remember #EducationMatters. Thank you!!!

School Supplies Drive, Final Stages!

…Less than 2 weeks left!


Right now, we are coming to the final stages of our “2016 School Supplies” campaign!

We are so very grateful! You’ve made it possible for 167 students to start the year off prepared with the materials they need, having raised a total of $1,675!

But, there are still 533 kids without funding for their supplies. Right now, we would like to review how you can still help us raise the final $5,330 of our $7,000 goal:
5
✩ Dimes for Dreams Cans: If you aren’t already, please keep filling up those cans! We will be collecting the cans closer to the end of this campaign. (Don’t know what “Dimes for Dreams” is? See the bottom of this email!)

✩ Facebook, Email, Text, Sing it from the Mountain-tops!: Please “share” about this campaign on your social media (here’s our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/unitingdistantstars), post our flyers (attached below) wherever you have access to, and use your gift of word of mouth!

✩ Make a Donation!: All donations are 100% tax-deductible! Please donate via PayPal (go to our website and click “donate” button) or send a Check payable to “Uniting Distant Stars” at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

And prayers/good thoughts sent our way are of course always welcome and make all the difference, as well.

Thank you so much for all that you do. You truly are rock-stars!

Uniting Distant Stars

______________________________



Dimes for Dreams: https://unitingdistantstars.com/2016/03/uniting-distant-stars-dime-for-dreams.html

Do you have a jar or little bowl at home where you dump your pocket change at the end of the day? Replace that container with a “Dimes for Dreams” can, and just like that, you’re effortlessly raising money for our youth in Liberia. Read more about it by clicking the link above, and to order a can of your own, reply to this email, or call UDS Co-founder, Heather Cannon-Winkleman at: 612-232-7541.

For free, a UDS team member can deliver one to your home as well, or we can mail you one!

Printable Flyer:

A New School Year!

…School is just around the corner!

For UDS students, a new school year means so many exciting things.

It means being back with friends and dedicated leaders. It means getting the chance to learn about this incredible world we live in. And it means discovering how to go about in it as individuals with hearts, minds, talents, and dreams, totally unique to them.

As we start this new chapter, we are so filled with gratitude for the ways you’ve lifted these stellar youth.  We would like to thank you, (and thank you again), for the ripple of positivity you have created in their lives!

Right now, the end of our “2016 School Supplies Campaign” is fast-approaching. For this year’s campaign, we hoped to provide 700 students attending 3 different schools with basic school supplies.

According to a recent poll, the average American student spends upwards of $600 on school supplies, back to school clothes, and electronics. The same amount could support 60 liberian children and youth, with each student costing a total of $10!

So far, you’ve made it possible for 167 students to obtain the materials they’ll need, having raised a total of $1,675.

We are at nearly 25% of our $7,000 goal! If you can think of anyone who would like to join in supporting this effort, please forward our information along. Alternatively, below is a printable flyer which can be posted at church, work, or at coffee shop pin board near you!

Donations can be made by PayPal (go to website and click donate button) or send Check payable to “Uniting Distant Stars” at:

Uniting Distant Stars
4010 Lawndale LN N
Plymouth, MN 55446

✩ To keep in mind:✩
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 are delivered to the students in September, in the form of a PSA Video! UDS students will get to express directly to you, through digital media, their appreciation for your continuous and selfless support.

Again, we want to thank you most sincerely for your support; be it through monetary contributions, sharing our message within your own circles, or directing prayers our way.

Your influence is felt with gratitude all the way across the world!

Thank you, (and thank you again),

Uniting Distant Stars