REAP Founders

Christine and Lawrence Norman

christine and laurence normanChristine Tolbert-Norman is the Mayor of Bentol City, Liberia, where she makes her home. She is also an international educator, humanitarian, social entrepreneur, and advocate for peace and reconciliation, and agent of positive change. Since 2002, Christine has been working to provide hope, opportunities, and empowerment to youth, young adults, ex-combatants, widows, orphans and other marginalized groups in her home country of Liberia through her NGO Restoration of Education Advancement Programs (REAP).  Christine also serves on the board of directors of the William R. Tolbert Jr. Foundation, which honors the legacy of her father, the late President Tolbert (20th president of Liberia) by providing scholarships, leadership development initiatives centered on character-based leadership and ethics in management for emerging leaders.

Christine Co-Founded the Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School in Monrova, Liberia, and served as principal for several years. From 1972 to 1980 she served as Assistant Superintendent of the Monrovia Consolidated School System and then Deputy Minister of Education for Instruction, the position she held until the time of the April 12, 1980 military coup d’etat which toppled the Liberian government. After the coup, Christine and her family settled in the Ivory Coast where served as an educator at the International Community School of Abidjan. She started the International Friendship Center, a community and recreational center that hosted educational workshops, vocational training, athletic programs, and entertainment for youth and adults in the community.  In 1990, a civil war broke out in Liberia, forcing hundreds of thousands of Liberian refugees to flee across the border into neighboring Ivory Coast. At that time, Christine founded the Liberian Refugee Tutorial Program (LRTP), an educational establishment still in existence today.  She also convened and participated in several peace and reconciliation conferences aimed at fostering peace and unity in Liberia.

When the Liberian Civil War came to an end, Christine returned to Liberia to found REAP and to assist with the post-conflict reconstruction. REAP has collaborated with the government of Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) on numerous initiatives of mutual interests, particularly in the areas of education, youth and women’s empowerment, leadership development, and peace-building. REAP works in partnership with several organizations to provide educational resources to West African nations. These include Pointman Leadership Institute to provided principled-based leadership and ethics in management training to over 5,000 public and private sectors, Lifeline Children’s Services to bring help and hope to unadoptable orphans, and Freedom in Christ Ministries to bring hope and healing to thousands of youth and young adults. REAP partners with God’s Kids to impact its community with resources such as “Project Dignity” that constructs latrines to improve sanitation.

Christine is a former Board Member of International Bank (Liberia) and currently serves on the Board of the Monrovia Consolidated School System, Project Hannah Women of Hope, ELWA, and God’s Kids.

Lisa Travis (Co-founder)

lisa travisLisa Travis is a co-founder of REAP, along with Christine and Lawrence Norman. Lisa holds two bachelor’s degrees from Vanguard University and a Masters Degree from San Diego State University. Lisa has a heart for child advocacy, especially in the area of adoption and foster care and has been an invited speaker on the local and national level on the subject of foster care and adoption. She is the mother of 7 children, 4 whom are adopted and is the founder of an inner-city orphan ministry outreach.

Lisa spent 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry in a number of leadership roles and is presently working in the area of infectious diseases. Along with her husband, Andrew, she was the children’s pastor at Hope Center Tabernacle in Jersey City, NJ for 10 years and is the founder of a Christian high school. Lisa has held a number of leadership and board positions in non-profit organizations and is also a co-founder of Project Bookworm, which is a non-profit organization that establishes libraries in homeless shelters.

Lisa is the President and CEO of Cobalt United, a company that is dedicated to healthcare initiatives in Africa. Lisa joined the REAP International Advisory Board in 2003 and is presently the board chair.

Would you like to join us?

REAP needs partners — individuals and organizations with a heart for children, and dedicated to restoring educational advancement programs in West Africa.