She was interested in redesigning our website using WordPress. Our original website was a transformed blog on Blogger so this would require not only a new look but transferring data from one platform to another.
Together, we spent a lot of time going over layout and content. She worked tirelessly in designing the site and bringing over the content from the old one. The new website launched in June 2017, and it was a welcomed improvement.
Rachel continues to help with maintenance, troubleshooting, and new development. We are truly grateful for her creative talents in designing and maintaining our website! Our heartfelt Thanks, Rachel!
I live in Denver, Colorado and have a degree in Accounting from the University of Mumbai in India. I am a mother of two children. My eldest is a freshman in college, and my youngest is a freshman in high school. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and socializing with my friends and family. I applied for a volunteering Position as a bookkeeper at UDS through volunteermatch.org. Within a week, I spoke with Heather to talk about my background and she explained the UDS cause. This volunteer opportunity is a great experience for me to learn how to work in a nonprofit organization that operates in two countries.
In March 2017, I started Volunteering at UDS. I recorded and posted entries, generated Profit & Loss statements, prepared balance sheets, and created budgets and reconciled the accounts. I was also exposed to areas of Accounting that were new to me and gave me confidence in my abilities. Due to Heather’s patient guidance and mentorship, I landed a position in Accounting in a prestigious business services company in December 2017. It is an honor for me to contribute and support the cause between both countries.
As the clock ticks closer to the first vocational training classes at our training center, our Team Liberia is working fervently to finalize preparations! Our team is ecstatic to show you, our dedicated Star Supporter, their passion and resolve in helping to equip young Liberians with the skills they need to be self-sufficient. You are giving them the drive to ensure everything is set for the opening day on February 1st.
Training Center Preparations: Our extremely talented volunteers have fixed the remaining two toilets (there are four bathrooms) and built removable partitions in our great hall for the individual classes. Our training center is hooked up to the city water supply, and work is needed to connect to the pipes in the building. Sanitation and conducive learning environments are critical for our students.
One of two new commodes replaced to ensure all four bathrooms are working.
Daude, who is a young volunteer, with skills in carpentry and masonry.
Daude built the removable partitions in our great hall.
Tools for Success: Our team started purchasing the equipment and materials that students will use for their practical training. Our computer training program draws the most students. This is why seven used desktops were purchased this week to increase our total to 16! Our goal is 20, if we can find a vendor who has available computers. Also, another essential item was purchased: a printer! Some of our courses will require worksheets as part of the learning tools.
Your generosity purchased these desktops being installed in our computer lab.
UDS Co-Founder & Country Director, Kelvin Fomba, helping volunteers with the installation.
Thank you for this much needed printer!
Student Orientation: Friday, January 27th, About 50 young men and women attended an orientation session at our training center. They were introduced to their instructors, toured the facility, received information on program rules and code of conduct, were provided the schedule, and much more. Currently, about 40 students have registered for our 8 courses—Electricity, Auto Mechanics, Plumbing, Computers, Interior Design, Cosmetology, Hotel Management and Catering. While there is interest for our two other courses: sewing and masonry, students have not paid their registration fee yet.
Kelvn Fomba welcoming young Liberian to our student orientation.
Our instructors introduce themselves to the students, Kelvin will be training the auto mechanics.
Computer students meet their instructor and learn about the expectation for this course.
Talk Show: Also, on January 27, Kelvin Fomba (UDS Co-Founder & Country Director), Godfrey Solomon (Hossana Children’s Foundation Co-Founder & UDS Volunteer), and Patrick Junusa, Jr. (UDS Volunteer) participated on Radio Advent’s talk show. One of the broadcasters of this station, Thomas Jefferson, expressed an interest in partnering with UDS. He and others are interested in participating in our training classes to learn a skill while offering us free time on the airwaves to share our services. This radio station is walking distance from our center so this a perfect relationship!
Kelvin on the left and Godfrey on the right.
Patrick on the left and Kelvin on the right.
The Joy of Training Youth to Succeed was made possible byyour compassion and selflessness! There is not enough ways for us to express our heartfelt appreciation and thanks for your continued to support in making Young Stars in Liberia shine brighter.
In celebrating our successes, we are celebrating YOU, our highly valued Star Supporters! Uniting Distant Stars held our first-ever Christmas Celebration at our new training center for over 350 children and youth on December 26.
The event ran from noon to 7PM (GMT) and it was a fun-filled day. The children performed skits, cultural dances, sang favorite songs, and shared funny stories. They were served a nourishing meal of Jollof Rice (Liberian favorite), Potato Salad and Chicken. They participated in a raffle draw for three prizes: 1st – Bag of Rice, 2nd – Package of Breakfast Food such as Quaker Oats, and 3rd – Backpack (made by our youth) filled with school Supplies.
Our team of dedicated volunteers worked around the clock in preparing the food and activities for this highly appreciated event. A heartfelt Thanks to AB, Blessing, Deborah, Godfrey, Ishmail, Korlu, Korpu, Ma Siah, Mamie, Princess, Roseline, Saah, Umaru and all volunteers who made this celebration a joyous occasion!
Please take a moment and watch this short video showing the photos of our children and youth celebrating YOU!
Uniting Distant Stars Liberian Co-Founder and Country Director Kelvin Fomba has a message to share to You, our valued Star Supporter.
Hello, UDS Team in the U.S. and around the world. First of all, we say, “thanks and appreciation for your wonderful support!” The Liberia Team has worked nonstop with the renovations because our old learning center can no longer accommodate the 250-plus students from around the city seeking our study classes. All schools are open right now, so the kids and youth are eager to start their study classes at our new learning center. Therefore, our volunteers and youth have joined hands to work hard at the new learning by cleaning, painting, and other finishing work in some parts of the building.
Here are photos showing some of our scholarship students–Blessing, Deborah, Ishmael, Korlu, Korlu (yes there are two), and Rita–cleaning the floor along with one of their classmates.
Young Liberians showing their appreciation for your amazing support by cleaning the floor of our new learning center.
These young ladies are using brooms and rags to remove the white wash paint from the floor.
Your steadfast generosity give students like Rita a reason to smile while she works.
Your kindness and support provides hope to our youth that they will go the extra mile to prepare our learning center for opening.
Your compassion for Uniting Distant Stars youth empowers them to work together to clean their new learning center.
Please stay tuned for our next update showing the slow but steady transformation of our new learning center.
You are appreciated and praised by our youth and volunteers in Liberia for making their lives better!