Catherine Kollie Gbidi is married to Mr. Silvester W. Gbidi. Mother of two smart and handsome boys, Timothy L. Boima and Silvester Gbidi Jr. Catherine was born under the union of Mr. Prince B. Kollie sr and Miss Margaret K. Tarpeh in New Georgia Old field Gardnersville, Monrovia, Liberia. She’s an entrepreneur and advocate who believes in making people’s lives better.
Life became rough for Catherine after losing her grandparents, especially her grandmother. After her grandmother’s death, she began to understand that life is not easy as bread and butter, but to work hard by God’s grace to make it.
Having her first child early in her life made this very challenging and hard to make a living. However, selling things at the market made life a little more bearable for her and her child. A year later after her child’s birth, Catherine started attending a catering school. Financial difficulties caused her to drop. Not being able to afford the necessary supplies to progress in the course left her no choice other than to quit the course.
A friend offered assistance to carry her along the way. Catherine started selling clothes on the streets in the heat of the summer and the coolness’ of the rainy season with her baby on her side to make some sort of a living until her baby turn two years old. She manages to get her first job from a church sister, managing her wholesale drinks shop. While there, she asked a fellow member to help her with money to attend the University. He gave me Fifty dollars which couldn’t pay my school fees. She refused to give up. She states God gave me wisdom and the vision to start her own business. Selling food and retail drinks to earn money for transportation and to locate somewhere safe to rest. She stayed focused on entering the university but found it challenging to raise money to cover the school costs.
On a particular day of selling, networking with various customers, one customer recommended starting my own printing press business. Soon, I started advocating for disadvantaged communities during the time ‘Action Aid Liberia’ began raising their voices on our university campus. Working for 16 days on an activism campaign voluntarily got me nominated and accepted to become the women’s forum president for the university. All her advocacy and awareness learned from ‘Action Aid Liberia’ through many pieces of training and workshops empowered my passion to assist others in need of support.
Catherine mentored and motivated lots of young women on the campus, inspiring them to become awareness advocates. Taking many of them to the U.S Embassy for various kinds of communication training and computer skills. During the 2014 war ‘Action Aid Liberia’ trained them how to prevent and report Ebola cases. Receiving praise for her leadership skills, Catherine was assigned to take many women and girls into the community to teach Ebola awareness and prevention. During advocating, she met Hon. Munah Pelham Youngblood. She developed an interest in our group due to our hard work. Hon. Youngblood began supporting the group put them in touch with the Ebola big man in the country himself, Dr. Mosoka Fallah. In return introducing him to the late Honorable. It was because of my connection to Dr. Fallah, I was able to enter District 8 & 9 and eventually ‘WHO Ebola’ workers’ payroll. After the Ebola outbreak and healing, in ‘2016’, the group registered their organization as ‘WOMEN FOR POSITIVE ACTIONS’ and has been transforming lives positively ever since.
In 2016 the US Embassy recommended the women’s forum to NAYMOTE a Civil Society Organization for training and 2 persons benefited. Followed by certification by the Elections Commission during 2017 to carry out Civic Voter Education Awareness. God bless you. Today, Catherine lives with the hope that one day all people will live together and respected equally without being discriminated against for lack of resources or social status. Living life peacefully in the beauty and richness of the Motherland Herself. Giving God all the praise and glory.