The Resilience of the Women of Grand Gedeh County



Yesterday, I had the distinct privilege of speaking at the collaborative event of both the Grand Gedeh Association in the Americas and the Grand Gedeh Women’s Initiative “Turn Over Ceremony” in honor of Madam Cecilia Towah.

Words by Dr. Stefania Forte

The unique characteristic of this event speaks to the resilience, unity, and progressiveness of the powerful people of Grand Gedeh and within the diaspora. As an official guest, I connected to my heritage as I listened to the stories of these powerful women of our county.  I find so many inimitable characteristics in madam Towah, an incredible woman of substance and grace. I send my sincere condolences to her family and loved ones. I believe that with unity we can achieve the most ambitious objectives within the GGAA institution. During my speech in Kansas City, I stated that our most prominent pillars of change lie in our Unity, Legacy, and the Tangibles as we propel our county into greatness. Madam        Towah’s remarkable life is an example and gift for us to emulate. I clearly reminisce about my connection with her, in Detroit, this past June. She asked me to sit with her and she said, “my daughter, the women of GWI, are ready to turn over the funds and provide the land for the construction of the first Women and Children Resource Center.” 

I recognize the duty and responsibility to accomplish this incredible feat. We are all inspired to design the most impactful resource and educational space in Madame Towah’s memory and that of other strong Grand Gedean women. Madame, may your soul Rest In Peace and thank you for blessing us with your presence, leadership, and service.

My utmost appreciation goes to Mr. Eric Wowoh and the leadership of Change Agent Network- the largest education infrastructure development nonprofit organization in Liberia. A greater appreciation goes to the media outlets, specifically the Liberian Public Radio and the Prince Dorbor Show along with other online platforms for allowing us the privilege to share information on the proposed Leadership Academy and the first Women and Children Resource Center in Grand Gedeh county. These initiatives cement us as the anchor of the largest programs by Liberians in the Diaspora – for us by us!

The accomplishment of the Grand Gedeh Women’s Initiative is the direct representation of the astuteness and novelty of our vibrant women. I prize all you do and have enormous respect for you! I am of the fullest conviction that this Resource Center and other targeted programs will simultaneously transform the state of women and children while designing an opportunity for unity and rural economic growth in our county, the diaspora, and Liberia. 

My sincere appreciation to the women of GWI for receiving this initial investment of $10,000 and 15 acres of land for the construction of the Women and Children Resource Center and the Leadership Academy.  This is for me a historical moment!

We have a huge task ahead and it entails fundraising, strategizing, and maintaining our unity to accomplish this astonishing feat.  More than ever, I am with you side by side not only in my capacity as CAN Board President but as a daughter of Grand Gedeh.

I want to urge everyone to keep praying for us. With prayers we can accomplish anything!

Who is Dr. Stefania Forte?

Dr. Stefania Forte is a Liberian educator, an advocate, a mother, a Nation Builder. She is the founder of Stefania Forte Education Foundation (SFEF). Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood-Elementary Education from Temple University, Master of Science in Counseling and Student Affairs from West Chester University and a Doctorate in Education Leadership with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction from Cabrini University. She also possesses a certification in Family Literacy. Dr. Forte has over 10 years of technical, academic and leadership training in the education discipline. She knows the power of education to change a woman’s life. She serves as the Board President of Change Agent Network – the largest Liberian education infrastructure development nonprofit organization. She is also an active Board member of Teach for Liberia which focuses on teacher training, development, and leadership. She is also the co-founder of E-Planet Kids, a leading online education platform for

children between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, focused on building foundation skills in the areas of math, literacy, writing, and foreign languages. Dr. Forte is also a leader in the movement for global literacy as a member of the Global Literacy Advocates and the Literacy Ambassadors Ghana.

Dr. Stefania Forte believes that to alleviate extreme poverty and promote the integral human development of school children who are poor and marginalized, they must be provided vocational training, education, and other social empowerment activities. Dr. Forte advocates for and ensures girls’ right to education and protection from marginalization as well as promotes community and social awareness regarding the abuse of children, specifically girls’ fundamental right to education and social protection.