Sonja makes her way across a typical bridge in one of the many communities that EMBRACE is serving in Rwanda.

Sonja had lots of opportunities to conduct interviews of beneficiaries and ADRA staff during her visit.  Her field experience has given her a whole new perspective on the story writing that she does as part of her responsibilities back at the home office!

People participating in ADRA’s EMBRACE project have started applying the new gardening techniques they have learned to develop new income streams.  Taking a small loan from their group’s savings and loans program, they rent a small field and grow vegetables for market.  They now have extra funds to support their families.

A youth group performs skits that teach the key messages of EMBRACE to the young people in their region.

Sonja and Michael at one of the many Community Kitchens that were built by the EMBRACE project.  The Community Kitchens provided a sheltered place where EMBRACE participants could come together to learn important principles of nutrition and healthful living, and get demonstrations on how to prepare nutritious, balanced meals for their children.

Tree tomatoes have become a popular new fruit in Rwanda, thanks in a large part to the EMBRACE project.  EMBRACE participants are earning a good income from this fast-growing tree and its nutritious fruit!

Many of the most vulnerable families in the EMBRACE project received a cow.  The cow is a good source of nutrition for the children and provides excellent organic fertilizer for the family’s kitchen garden. Once the first calf matures, the cow is passed on to another EMBRACE participant on the waiting list. Any additional calves born to the family’s own cow belong to the family. They can then use the fertilizer and milk for themselves or for an income.

An EMBRACE participant poses with six of her eight children – all girls! Struggling as a single parent, she was selected to receive the “full package” from EMBRACE.  She got a water storage tank to collect rain water from her roof, a latrine, and a cow.  She says, “If it had not been for EMBRACE, I know for sure that one of my children would have died from malnutrition.” 

Watch the enthusiastic celebration of the people of Rwanda for the ambulance they received from the people of Canada.

This short video tells the story of Alfred, the village drunk who used to beat his wife, but has turned his life around with the help of ADRA’s PROMISE project in Rwanda.

Send Us Your Questions about ADRA

Send us your questions about ADRA.  If we read your question on our podcast, we will send you as our gift, Faith to Change the World, the story of John Howard and how he started ADRA Canada.  Send your questions to

Meet the People of Today’s Podcast

Born and raised in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sonja knows the joys and struggles of growing up in a developing country. Because of this she has a passion for sustainable development and equal access to development opportunities for all. She came to Canada and graduated with a B.A. in International Development Studies from Saint Mary’s University Halifax, Nova Scotia.

During her time at Saint Mary’s she worked at its Annual Giving Centre. She knows how important it is for any organization to create and maintain healthy relationships with its supporters and enjoys talking to them when they call.

When asked how she feels about working at ADRA Canada she says, “I love the fact that I am part of an organization whose goal is to be the hands and feet of Jesus and assist those in need.”

Outside of work, she is a fan of everything South Korean which includes watching South Korean dramas and listening to K-pop. Her favourite quote is: ‘Give a man a fish and he will thank you for today; Teach a man to fish and he will thank you forever.’


Frank Spangler is the Communications 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 what ADRA does. He also works on the website of ADRA Canada and is 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.

Alicia is the Engagement Coordinator in the Supporter Relations Department of ADRA Canada.  Alicia is a recent graduate of Andrews University with a BA in French Studies and minor in Community and International Development.  During her course of study Alicia spent a year in France attending Collonges and travelling around Europe.  As part of her course work in International development she spent a month in Madagascar visiting ADRA projects.

Alicia has always been interested in a career that directly helps others and has a growing interest in political and environmental issues.  Her other interests include gymnastics, travel, and listening to audiobooks and podcasts.  

Michael Kirkby is the Design and Communications Coordinator for ADRA Canada. He is responsible for creating many of the visuals that ADRA Canada uses at events and in publications across Canada. As a graduate of the International Studies program at Canadian University College (now Burman University) in Alberta, Michael is now happy to use his degree at ADRA. Before taking this position with ADRA in 2014, Michael honed his organizational skills at an asset management firm in Toronto. Michael enjoys visiting our projects in the field and always returns with many photographs, video footage and stories of his adventures.