Ghana - What does it take to rescue children forced to labour day and night, without hope of freedom or a warm embrace? Such a task might seem out of reach to some but each and everyone one of us has the capacity to end such acts and make a difference in the lives of others.
Breaking The Chain Through Education (BTCTE) started out seven years ago as a classroom lesson about the plight of children trafficked to the fishing industry in Ghana and has transcended into an award winning charity that not only raises awareness about child trafficking issues but supports life-saving rescue and reintegration programmes.
#IOMGhana is proud to be partnering once again with BTCTE as part of our #GhanaChildRecue 2015, with the aim to rescue 20 children trafficked to the fishing industry on Volta Lake.
Meet Evan Robbins, a social studies teacher at Metuchen High School in New Jersey, USA, and founder of BTCTE. Many educators hope that the lessons they teach will impact the lives of their students, but very few have the opportunity to watch their students make an impact on the lives of children in other countries. Over 150 students in Metuchen High School alone are involved in educating the local community about child trafficking, through events such as dinners, walkathons, sporting competitions, dances, among others.
This year BTCTE is hosting its first annual fundraising dinner 7 October 2014, in support of #GhanaChildRescue 2015, with speakers including Mr. Daniel Sam, Field Manager for IOM Ghana, Mrs. Dyane Epstein former IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, and the featured guest, a trafficking survivor who will share his story of survival, rescue and his educational quest.
Reflecting on how far the organization has come, Evan says he is most proud of the impact it has on his students, having the opportunity to make things better and seeing problems and being able to fix them. “When I travel to Ghana and see the former trafficked children smiling, this is the real affirmation that we help to change and save lives,” explains Evan.
BTCTE currently sponsors 30 children who were previously rescued by IOM and hired a social worker assigned to the IOM counter-trafficking team to monitor the children’s reintegration progress. BTCTE also plans to sponsor an additional 10 children previously rescued from November 2014. They previously funded the construction of a six-room school building and teachers quarters at Awate Tornu school in the Volta Region of Ghana as part of efforts to ensure the sustainable reintegration of rescued children.
In recognition of his efforts, Evan was the recipient of the 2014 National Education Association Human and Civil Rights Award and 2014 Frost & Sullivan Growth Innovation and Leadership Award. These prestigious awards were previously held by President Carter and Desmond Tutu respectively.
We invite you to learn more about the work of #BTCTE and #IOMGhana. Join us in our effort to rescue more children and promote prevention programmes to end the cycle of forced labour. www.iom.int/ghanachildrescue
For additional information about the BTCTE fundraising dinner please visit http://btcte.org/.