The beautiful hillside farms of the Western Province of Rwanda.

One of the primary means of income for many of the participants of EMBRACE is to work as day laborers in the tea fields that cover many of the hillsides of this part of Rwanda.

Florence holds one of the many malnourished babies in the region at the beginning of the EMBRACE project.

A baby in Rwanda gets measured as part of the growth monitoring program that ADRA encouraged all parents to do to determine if their children were getting enough nutrition.

Measuring the arm helps health workers determine if the child may be suffering from stunting.  In the initial assessment the EMBRACE team found over 2,000 children who were malnourished.

Florence leads training in health and nutrition.

Villagers gather together each week into a small Mother Child Health Group (MCHG).

EMBRACE built community kitchens in each village. They are meeting places for EMBRACE participants to learn how to cook nutritious meals for their children. After every weekly cooking demonstration everyone enjoys a good meal!

Three participants from each EMBRACE group were selected to attend ADRA workshops to learn the key messages of the project. They then return to the village and share what they have learned with the rest of the group. This Peer Education strategy is very effective and provides an efficient way to disseminate new information to a large population. New ideas presented by someone they know and trust are quickly accepted and adopted.

Role models in the community provide invaluable assistance in introducing people to new concepts and ideas.

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Meet the People of Today’s Podcast

Reuben Muvunyi is the Project Manager for EMBRACE in Rwanda. Has worked with ADRA since 2008. Reuben managed three ADRA projects two of which were HIV/AIDS related. One of these projects was multinational, being implemented in 7 African countries; Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho and Malawi. Previously, Reuben worked with DFID in Rwanda from 2001 to 2008 where he gained extensive knowledge on the social sector in Rwanda. He also worked with Ministry of Education as a head teacher (1999-2001).

Florence Niyonambaza has been the Field Coordinator for  Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights for EMBRACE Rwanda since 2016.  Florence is responsible for improving the skills of health providers, such as nurses and midwives, of six health centers in the EMBRACE project area.  The training that Florence provides to the community health workers in maternal health related areas has greatly contributed to the reduction of maternal and child mortality in Rwanda.

Vincent Munyerari is the Field Coordinator in charge of Community Engagement and Economic Empowerment for the EMBRACE Project in Rwanda. He also holds the position of Communication Focal Person for EMBRACE in Rwanda. He joined ADRA Rwanda in April 2016, when the EMBRACE Project was launched. Vincent joined ADRA with 24 years of experience in Community Development, having worked for six different organizations. Vincent has been working on the front lines of EMBRACE, establishing the MCHGs (Mother and Child Health Groups) and organizing all of the various training and project activities.

Frank Spangler is the Multimedia Specialist in the Supporter Relations Department of ADRA Canada. When he is not out traveling the world filming and photographing ADRA stories, you will find him at his desk editing videos and photographs to help tell the story of ADRA’s work. He is also now producing this monthly podcast. Frank has been filming and producing videos for ADRA Canada since 1989 as a freelance producer. In 2014 he began working directly for ADRA Canada.