Our Story

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The idea for ABAN began when the former three founders first met at the University of Ghana in 2008. Callie Brauel and Emmanuel Quarmyne met while working on a project for an NGO management class. Both were disturbed by the millions of plastic water bags littering the streets of Accra. So, they used this class to create a mock non-profit that turned this waste into upcycled products. Meanwhile, Callie and Rebecca Brandt developed their friendship while volunteering with two non-profits that addressed the needs of youth living on the streets of Accra—Catholic Action for Street Children (CAS) and Street Girls Aid (SAID).

Day in and day out, they became more disheartened at hearing the children’s stories of begging, stealing and prostituting on the streets to survive. They became particularly concerned with the plights and injustices of young women on the streets and the perpetuation of poverty through second-generation street children. Emmanuel, Callie and Rebecca quickly joined their passions and ideas to create a solution to two salient problems in the streets of West Africa: they would empower neglected and vulnerable homeless young women by creating products made from recycled plastic littering the streets of Accra. From that day forward, they decided to commit their lives to placing A Ban Against Neglect—the neglect of both these young women and their environment. Together they built ABAN into an international nonprofit with 25 staff, 20 apprentices and 5 interns across two continents. Read more about ABAN’s history in the 2015 annual report.

In 2015, the founders transferred leadership completely to Doris Darkwah and Gabriel Tettey, longtime friends of the founders and partners of the program since inception. Together along with the Ghana Board, they are expanding ABAN’s original mission to include new programs grounded in their community’s needs. Read more about them and the board on the Leadership Team page.