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

Building Community One Star at a Time

Building Community One Star at a Time

As a valued Star Supporter, your continued generosity inspires our team in Liberia to move forward with our vision and fulfill the dreams of Uniting Distant Stars children and youth. You are Uniting with Distant Stars in Denmark, Liberia, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. You are part of this growing stellar community that is educating and equipping young Liberians with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in life. You have united with other stars to form a Constellation of Possibilities for young Liberians.

You probably have not realized this, but you are a Super Star for our children and youth in Liberia. Whether you support our learning center, school supply drive, youth exchanges or sponsor a scholarship student, you are changing the lives of young Liberians for the better. Our youth are extremely grateful for your efforts!

While our focus for the last few months was on school supplies, our team in Liberia have been busy with renovations of the new learning center. As mentioned earlier, your efforts inspires our all-volunteer team in Liberia. They wrote letters to individuals and organizations in Liberia to raise funds. They received $600 that helped complete replacing the roof. UDS co-founder and country director Kelvin Fomba has been making contributions to finish the ceiling repairs, start painting in the interior, and making furniture for students. Our volunteers have helped with the cleaning and carpentry work. The following photos show the progress from the last month:

You give UDS strength! Our volunteer completing final touches of the roof. 
You give UDS resourcefulness! Kelvin (at left) resting after making tables for young children attending our study classes.
You give UDS dedication! This room is being prepared for the library.
You give UDS focus! Young volunteers replacing the ceiling tile in the main area of  the learning center. 
You give UDS motivation! Kelvin is white washing the ceiling of the main area for the study & computer classes. 
You give UDS determination! Kelvin in the back white washing the ceiling while another volunteer rests.
You give UDS hope! Young volunteers fixing the doors. 
You give UDS encouragement! Kelvin painting the walls of the main area gold.
You give children & youth in Liberia brighter future! 
You have helped build our community one star at a time. As you will see in the coming weeks, the UDS new learning center will open on October 29th. We will start with our computer & study classes, and library as we continue to complete the rest of the renovations, purchase needed equipment and supplies, and seek funders to employ Liberians as teachers, trainers and support staff for this center. 
Thank you for your compassionate service to children and youth in Liberia!
Read additional posts on how we acquired this new center and how invested our youth are in this venture of learning. 

Reaching New Heights for Liberia’s Children and Youth

Reaching New Heights for Liberia’s Children and Youth

2016 has been a phenomenal year for Uniting Distant Stars. Our learning center has become the “hub” for children and youth seeking educational assistance and vocational training. Since introducing the computer lab in March, word got out, and youth are coming to our site from several different areas throughout Monrovia to receive this training. Without a doubt, we have outgrown our current site with serving over 100 students. 

Youth attending introduction computer class in UDS Library.

A few months ago, our co-founder and country director, Kelvin Fomba, found a building less than a five-minute walk from our current location. The property had not been occupied for two years, the building was deteriorating, and its grounds had become the community trash dump. After several weeks of negotiations, the landlord agreed to a 5-year lease for $7,500 and required half down to secure it. After sharing this opportunity with one of our long-time donors in Minnesota, they generously donated $3,750 on May 22. Two weeks later we received the lease agreement and keys to the building. The remaining half of the lease must be paid after the renovations are complete. 

This is our next challenge.
The building had stood empty for two years. Along with a leaking roof, parts of the interior were heavily damaged by water. The rainy season started about April/May and the roof became the number one priority. The question was how?

However, we have been blessed to receive a $1,000 donation from a sustaining supporter in Liberia. This generous gift covered the cost to replace half the roof. Our team worked overtime on Friday, July 8, and Saturday, July 9, installing new sheets of zinc metal on half the roof. Another $1,000 will complete this job to prevent any further damage from the heavy rains, and we are hoping to reach this fundraising goal soon.

Roof before the replacement. 
Kelvin Fomba on the roof during its replacement. 
The brand new, shiny roof. 
Our youth played another important role in the development of our new site. About 50 kids came out on Saturday, July 9 and worked 8 hours removing the trash from all sides of the building. These boys and girls completed 75% of the trash removal during this one day. Our youth want this center to open as soon as possible that they pray each day for this to happen. They wanted to show you, as our supporter, what this means to them by investing some sweat equity with cleaning the place.
Our youth outside the fence cleaning up the garbage.
Our girls worked just as hard as the boys shoveling up trash.
Youth cleaning trash between the fence and building.
Empty rice bags were used to place the garbage as it was scoped up by shovel.
Girls and boy working together to clean their future learning center.
Two young ladies hauling a bag of garbage. 
As you can see from this last photo, this building was a school and perfect place for our new learning center. Our goal is open this year and we need $25,000 to cover the remaining costs as follows:

  1. Complete all renovations for the roof, three bathrooms, ceiling tile and doors, and painting the interior and exterior that includes materials and labor.
  2. Buy equipment such as desks, chairs, benches, storage cabinet, and additional computers, sewing machines and library books. Also basic office supplies.
  3. Install the electricity and interest, and pay for the first-year of service.
  4. Pay stipends for computer and sewing trainers, study class teachers, security guards, receptionist/secretary, and janitor. These stipends for 11 people are below market value, but a starting point to employ Liberians. 
We are reaching out to individuals and organizations interested in partnering or sponsoring this initiative. If you know anyone that could help, please send an email to [email protected]. We are available to meet in person, or through Skype or Google Hangout. 
Your generous support allowed Uniting Distant Stars to reach new heights in providing educational resources and vocational training to Liberia’s children and youth. Thank you for being our Rock Star!!!
Uniting Distant Stars Dime for Dreams Campaign

Uniting Distant Stars Dime for Dreams Campaign

Hello, Uniting Distant Stars supporters and followers! Our organization has made a lot of progress this past year and it’s all thanks to you! The UDS programs such as our school supply drives and learning center continue to grow, and so do the students who benefit from your generous gifts.

Today, Uniting Distant Stars is excited to introduce our new fundraising campaign: Dimes for Dreams. Through the continued help from our supporters, Dimes for Dreams will enable many of you to help contribute in your churches, offices, schools, and communities!

But, how will Dimes for Dreams work? Uniting Distant Stars is currently looking into ordering custom-made charity coin canisters. With these canisters, UDS will send them to all of our supporters who are willing to help further the education of our students in Liberia by reaching out to local businesses and schools who would be willing to place the coin canisters in an open space on their counters or front desks.

How will Dimes for Dreams help raise money? Each coin canister will cost UDS on average between $0.80 and $1.25 each. But, do you know how much money could be raised in each canister if it was full of dimes? Almost one HUNDRED dollars! That could mean expanding the UDS Learning Center’s library, purchasing more computer equipment for the students or school supplies for our three schools we support, and that’s only with one full can!


School Supply Drive                                                  UDS Learning Center Library

Uniting Distant Stars does not expect every canister to be filled with only dimes and quarters, or even be filled up at all. But, we can still raise a lot for our students with very little effort from our volunteer supporters! In order for UDS to make this work, we need any supporters who are willing to find places in their community who are willing to keep a Dimes for Dreams canister on their counters for a few months and then have the money raised be sent back with the canisters. If you are willing to help us out with this new project, please contact us today at [email protected]!

Thank you to Adam Pederson, UDS Volunteer, for developing this campaign!

Enjoy a Tour of the UDS Learning Center in Liberia

Enjoy a Tour of the UDS Learning Center in Liberia

What an exciting week! Thursday, October 15, our little learning center was visited and utilized by 35 students of all ages representing different schools in the community. Students either participated in one of the study classes covering subjects like math and
phonics or completed their daily homework assignments. This post will give you a tour of our learning center that started with a few donated library books and microscope. Please enjoy a cup of coffee or tea as we warm your heart with these captivating photos of Liberia’s studious young boys, girls, men and women taking full advantage of our facility. These beautiful photos were taken by our fabulous volunteer Rodney

Welcome to the Uniting Distant Stars Learning Center Pictorial Tour!

We will start our tour on the porch where we hold our Backpacks for Peace training. Here you will find one young boy focused intently on his
homework while a few students behind him attend a study class run by one of our youth leaders.

Now as you enter through the front door, you will find students sitting on a sofa along the left side of the room doing their homework.

This view is along the same wall, but looking towards the front door. Each student finds their particular space to work on homework. There is a constant flow of young people coming to the center after school. If you look toward the front door, you will find another study group run by a second youth leader.

Here is one happy little boy enjoying the books he selected from the library. Behind him is another view of the study class by the front door with students of varying ages.

Let’s stop and say Hi to Rodney, who was busy posting these photos on his Facebook page. He is our IT guy, who has fixed one of three desktop
computers donated early this year by Agnes Fallah Kamara, founder of the Straight From the Heart Center. We hope he can get the other two working, so he can start teaching the highly demanded basic computing
skills class in our center.

Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder and Country Director, is helping these four young boys with their homework. Kelvin wears many hats with UDS from training auto mechanics to conducting study classes with our younger students.

This larger room might look familiar to you. This is
where we hosted the Google Hangout with 50 Liberian youth for the Nobel Peace Prize Youth Forum at Augsburg College in Minnesota this past March. The
white sheet on the wall is the projection screen for showing inspirational videos like the one created and published (click here)by our amazing youth leader volunteer Anna in Minnesota. Now let’s enter though the door at the left of the screen to complete our tour.

As you step into this room, you will see it contains the library filled with books and the microscope, and also serves as a small classroom.
Kelvin and a third youth leader are teaching a study class to another eager group of students.

As you turn to the other side of the room, you will find two youth scanning the bookshelves of the library while other students are busy with their homework at the table. This photo is priceless, because it shows how invaluable a library is to our students regardless of its size. We are extremely grateful to provide such a service for Liberia’s aspiring youth.

We hope you enjoyed the tour of our learning center and thank you for taking the time to view each photo and caption. Uniting Distant Stars is dedicated to the education of Liberia’s young people and this learning center is important part of our mission.

If you are interested in doing more to help improve this center for our youth in Liberia, there are many ways you can support this initiative.
  • Donate by credit card by clicking the button below

  • or by check at:

Uniting Distant Stars

4010 Lawndale LN N

Plymouth, MN 55446

  • Select Uniting Distant Stars as part of company’s annual United Way Campaign. One of our sustaining supporters, an employee of the University of Minnesota, added UDS to their annual giving last year and is doing it again this year.
  • Utilize your company’s Employee Match program. Another sustaining supporter has been utilizing their company’s program since 2014.
  • Shop at AmazonSmile and 0.5% of your purchase price will be donated to Uniting Distant Stars.
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  • Help us ship the remaining boxes of reading textbooks and library books that have been waiting to reach the hands of students in Liberia. The photos
    below were taken in 2012 after we had received the donated textbooks from St. Vincent de Paul School in Brooklyn Park by my cousin, a teacher at the school. We have shipped nine boxes of textbooks with our annual school supply drives in 2012, 2013 and 2014. We acquired three more boxes of library books late last year. We currently have 22 boxes to ship and the price per box was $75 (this includes clearing charges)
    based on IBXpress shipping costs from 2014. The total cost to ship the 22 boxes is roughly $1,650. Although IBXpress did finally deliver our 2014 shipment of school supplies on August 6, 2015, we have not received
    any communication that they are back in operation. So, we are looking for other alternatives for shipping companies and means to reduce or eliminate the cost with our 501(c)3 status.


We welcome your support, encouragement, and ideas to help us improve the quality of education for students in Liberia. Please share this post with others, who can help us achieve our goals.

Thank you again for your continued dedication, generosity and kindness in uplifting Liberia’s bright young stars!!!