grantees » Sam K. Kollie

Sam K. Kollie, Liberia

Tell us about yourself: My name is Sam K. Kollie from Liberia. I work as Project Assistant (Technology & Data Services) for a NGO called the Sustainable Development Institute-Friends of the Earth Liberia. SDI is one of the leading social justice and human rights campaign organizations in Liberia that works with communities, traditionally marginalized, and under-privileged segments of the Liberian population to engage with decision making processes related to natural resources towards securing their fair share of sustainable benefits derived from natural resource exploitation in their communities. My work with SDI is mostly around the use of technology like GIS, social media and webpages to promote the organization’s campaign messages about justice and human rights by engaging stakeholders who are making decisions about the management of natural resources and the environment.

I grew up in a local rural community with limited access to basic social services like safe drinking water, health center, School etc. People who were considered to be our local leaders then had the opportunity to provide these social services if they could properly manage the natural resources, but most of them lack the basic knowledge which made them to unknowingly in most cases mismanage the natural resources that were meant to benefit the peoples. Most often leaders who were considered as the elite and more knowledgeable sit within urban cities and make decisions that directly affect people that are living within rural communities without their concerns. I lived in some of these communities and was directly or indirectly a victim of some of those decisions. So after being fortunate to get out of these communities and acquired some little knowledge, I thought it would be the best thing to do by going back to these communities to help enlighten their minds and put them in a better position to explore their natural resources to benefit them and also protect the environment. It was this desire that pushed and motivated me to join the Sustainable Development Institute as an intern barely 6 months after completing my secondary education to learn and contribute.

What did you do with the JWH grant? I intend to use the JWH grant to acquire more knowledge and technical skills to enable me to be more innovative in my work as a young environmentalist. The grant will contribute the total cost of my tuition to take a short GIS course: PRINCIPLES OF GEO-INFORMATION SCIENCE AND EARTH OBSERVATION at the University of Twente in Netherland. Geo-information systems are gradually migrating away from the traditional mapping or inventory, toward the understanding of the processes that shape our environment, predict future effects and provide reliable information to support planning and policy making. Unfortunately, due to the limited availability of these new skills and resources in Liberia, local institutions like my organization (SDI) mostly rely on international partners for expertise. With the help of this JWH Initiative grant, it’s an opportunity for me to go out there (Netherlands) to acquire those needed knowledge and skills that will be useful to further enhance the execution of my work within the environmental sector through the use of technology mostly.

What is your dream? As the human population continues to grow, pollution, global warming, deforestation, etc. continues to pose a severe threat to the environment and human existence. But it’s also fair to say there are various environmental advocates and conservationists around the world who are making a huge impact by organizing mass movements to sanitize people and providing solutions to a safe environment for humankind, mainly with the use of technology. Until we can have a safe and eco-friendly environment, I will like to be one of the technical campaigner/advocate through the use of technology to continue inspiring individuals to join these mass movement in becoming actors of change and cooperatively engage the ordinary people and leaders (Decisions makers) of my country for environmental conservation and natural resource management to save our planet from destruction.



@Sam Kortu Kollie-Facebook


Skype: samkollie_1