Evan Robbins (Founder and CEO)
This project began at Metuchen High School in New Jersey, where he has been teaching social studies since 1997. In 2006, in conjunction with his students, Evan created the Breaking the Chain Through Education (BTCTE) club. The club strived to rescue trafficked children in the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa. We achieved this through learning about the issue and then raising funds for organizations in Ghana (i.e. The International Organization for Migration) to rescue and rehabilitate victims of child trafficking. To help promote education and to free 20 trafficked children, BTCTE built a school in 2013 in the Village of Awate Tornu (the school was completed in exchange for the children’s release).
Recently, the mission of BTCTE shifted to providing long-term care to survivors of trafficking rather than focusing on rescuing more children. This change was based on the children’s demonstrated need for ongoing support to attain financial and emotional independence. While several organizations in Ghana concentrate their efforts on rescuing children, BTCTE is unique in its focus on long-term support. Currently, we are caring for 99 children/young adults by funding their education or entrepreneurial pursuits. In addition to Evan spending time with each child every summer to assess their needs, our social workers visit the children regularly. They monitor their continued progress toward academic or career goals, help them problem-solve and check on their mental and physical well-being. Evan has especially enjoyed the experience of watching these children grow from small children to young adults. They jump into his arms, call him dad and some are overcome with emotion when they see him.
Bernice Akromah (pronounced “Beniss” in Ghana) is the Country Director of BTCTE. Bernice works with our children “on the ground” in Ghana, traveling to their homes and schools throughout the country to offer support and to check on their overall well-being. Having been raised and schooled in the Volta region of Ghana, Bernice has intimate knowledge of the language and culture of the area where most of our children reside. She is also charged with managing operations in Ghana.
Since completing her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Work at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Bernice has served in various professional capacities. She was employed as a teacher at the Afienya School from 2013-2014 as part of her national service. In 2015, Bernice joined the staff of Challenging Heights (CH), a major organization that fights child trafficking in Ghana and partners with BTCTE. She worked as a Livelihood Officer on CH’s “Learn for Work Project”. Following this, Bernice has served in multiple roles within Challenging Heights, including: Reintegration and Monitoring Office, Social Worker/Case Manager, and Social History Officer on the “UNICEF project”.
Bernice grew up in rural Ghana where her mother was a peasant rice farmer and her step-father was a surveyor of land. As the only female child in her family, most household chores became her responsibility. Bernice managed to skillfully intersperse this with her academic duties. Since her secondary (high) school days, Bernice has faithfully volunteered as a peer counselor, Sunday school teacher and tutor for young children. Singing and cooking are her main sources of leisure, and she has remained her family’s chef since she was twelve.
Anita Sobreh is a Banker by profession who has worked with the treasury department for seven years and still counting. Whiles in the treasury department, she has worked with the various sections of the department such us the treasury sales desk where they deal with foreign currencies both on shore and offshore funds and also scout for rates for the Bank and the investment desk which deals with the treasury bills of the bank. For her love for humanity and charity work, she is a member of the Rotary club of Accra Airport-City. She has been a member since the club's inception and was the charter vice president from 2014 - 2015. She was also the treasurer and club administrator for 2 consecutive years from July 2017 to June 2019 and currently the President Elect for the 2020/2021 Rotary year. She has supervised and helped in various projects by the club which includes providing a bore hole for Gbegbeize basic school in Dansoman, providing stationery for Unity JHS at kotobabi, providing sanitary towels and menstrual health talk for Salem JHS in Akropong and many more. She holds a degree Bsc Banking and finance (Central University College Ghana). She is currently pursuing a Chartered certificate in banking at the Chartered institute of Bankers and in her 3rd level.