Reliable and uninterrupted electricity improves the quality of education for students at our training center. On June 12, Taleance T Tokpah (the owner of T & T Solar Tech) spent the day teaching 18 electrician students about solar power and giving them real experience with installing it. Please read the caption of each photo to know what they experienced and gained from this opportunity.
As you can see, solar also powers our students in learning renewable energy with this practical experience with Taleance T Tokpah (the owner of T & T Solar Tech). Your generous support made this learning opportunity possible for your electrician students. Although the current economic situation caused us to miss our mark in achieving 100% renewable energy, we did connect half our computer lab. Thank you for being a Classroom Hero for Liberian Youth!
With graduation just around the corner, it is important to pause and highlight what you helped Uniting Distant Stars accomplish in the first quarter of 2019:
Over 40 participates received Permaculture Design Certification training in January. Two of the graduates implemented the tools of this training to be self-sufficient. A young woman returned to her family farm in Bomi County about 2 hours from Monrovia, because she saw the value of Permaculture training in providing income for her family. Another man (see photo below), who already had gardens in the Monrovia area, realized how he could produce a better yield and provide more for his family.
UDS Electrician Students received real experience with the solar installation with the guidance of the vendor/technician. The students securely placed the solar panels on the roof and installed the wire connection from the panels to electrify our center. Most of our center is powered with solar except the computer lab.
UDS Kickball and Football Teams brought home 1st and 2nd place victories respectively on March 30.
Thank you for your continued and generous support in equipping youth with the knowledge and skills they need to realize their potential!
This past January, the students enrolled in Uniting Distant Stars electrician program assisted in installing the first stage of the long-awaited solar panels of the learning center in Monrovia. With the assistance of Taleance T Tokpah (who was the vendor from T & T Solar Tech and a technician himself) guiding them along the way, our students were able to bring the learning center to a new level of independence where it will not rely as heavily on the city’s unreliable grid nor a diesel generator.
The number of times after hours, work was done in the dark became numerous due to power outages. The cost of diesel also meant the generator was left for class hours and emergency use. Having a kitchen, coursework in electrical work and a newly updated computer lab are nothing without the power to make them run. But now they have that power.
Future students will not only be able to easily learn how solar panels work but also how to install and maintain them. Besides the usual skills that have been taught in our electrician course, the hands-on solar panel experience will give our students an additional skill that will set them apart when they are seeking full-time employment upon graduation in a field that currently does not have as many people with expertise in the growing field of renewable energy.
The solar panels also now show how easy it is to provide clean, environmentally-friendly power that lights up and powers many of the essentials needed to run a place of learning that provides for over 150 students and staff. It does not cover all of our energy needs but is a perfect example of what can be done on a modest budget to help the environment in the long run if done on a larger scale.
As discussed previously, these solar panels were mostly the result of generous donors who attended the Shine a Light on Education fundraiser in Manhattan last October. Uniting Distant Stars was able to surpass the initial goal of $5,000 and unite more “Stars” in showing the importance of supporting trade skills to improve local communities on the other side of the world. Without them, and supporters like you, our many students, their families, and the communities they live in would not be able to shine to their brightest abilities.
With the beginning of this new year, Uniting Distant Stars is counting its blessings and does not plan to slow down on its progress of expanding programs and opportunities for students in Liberia. With your help, we can continue to expand the number of solar panels at the learning center and become 100% renewable and self-reliant.
You can help us reach our Phase 2 goal of $3,040 by joining two supporters who have already donated $1,025! Please donate today to complete our solar project. Thank you for Lighting Up the lives of Liberian Youth!
The first phase of our solar initiative provides 24/7 lights, runs ceiling fans for cooling in our classrooms, and supports our business office during the day. A total cost of $6,000 (includes general funds) purchased all the materials for phase 1. As a learning opportunity, the vendor Taleance T Tokpah (the owner of T & T Solar Tech) worked with our electrician students to install the solar.
Taleance T Tokpah standing in the center by the table instructs our students on how to test the panels.
Before we can implement phase 2, our diesel generator will be used for our computer training course three times a week. In the near future, we will discuss the next steps to cover all our center’s power needs on solar. In the meantime, please enjoy the photos of our students learning something new.
You empowered our electrician students (blue and red shirts) to help install our solar panels with our vendor and technician, Taleance T Tokpah.
Your electrician students working together to install solar panels under the guidance of Taleance T Tokpah.
Your students and Kelvin Fomba (UDS Co-Founder & Director) testing the connections between the roof and ceiling.
Your student preparing the wire to connect the panels to the control box.
UDS Lights Powered By Solar
UDS Training Center now powered by solar.
Thank you so much to our generous supporters in New York City! You gave our students reliable and stable electricity at our center. What remarkable gift! Also, our sincere thanks to Taleance T Tokpah for sharing his knowledge and expertise with our students!
Uniting Distant Stars made its debut in the Big Apple with the well-organized efforts of Adam Pederson, Board Secretary. He worked with a friend to host a fundraiser on October 19 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM in Manhattan’s East Village. He found donated items such as African Art and modern abstract paintings for the silent auction. There was also a raffle draw for prizes of wine and champagne. The event offered free wine and hors d’oeuvres.
The goal of this fundraiser was $5,000 for our solar power initiative. Adam secured an anonymous $2,500 matching the gift to encourage people to donate and double their impact. This event was a huge success by raising $5,292…an exceeded goal! There were about 30 people who participated in this event and who brought more awareness to our vocational training program in Liberia.
We will continue working with solar professionals in both Liberia and Minnesota to coordinate the next steps. The goal is not only to install solar panels but to have our electrician students help with the installation. All of UDS is overjoyed with making this strategic goal a reality.
Many Thanks to our new and continued supporters that contributed to helping Liberian Youth obtain marketable and valuable skills in trade careers!!!