Board of Directors
The Embrace Rwanda International Society was formed in 2013 and a talented and committed Board of Directors gave their support to the vision for the future.
Chair – Peter Turner
A Computer engineer and businessman. It is very exciting to see God blessing and expanding the work of Embrace Rwanda. It is my privilege to make whatever contribution I can and to be part of this ministry that is touching so many lives. My purpose is to support the Director as much as possible.
From the moment Hilary asked for a nurse with maternal-child experience to help her set up the “Healthy Mum’s” project in Rwanda, I knew instantly that I was being called to join her. As a health care leader, I hoped that I could contribute to Kigeme’s vision of creating a model of care that would improve the health of the most vulnerable children in rural Rwanda. While my leadership skills, experience as a neonatal and public health nurse and passion for early childhood development were useful to the project, it was instantly clear that what I was able to contribute was far less than what I’ve learned and continue to learn about faith, hope, compassion and grace from the people of Rwanda. It is an honor and a privilege to participate on this amazing journey with Embrace Rwanda.
As a child I grew up reading stories of missionaries in Rwanda, and now I am honoured to be part of ‘Embrace Rwanda’. With a background working in maternity wards while a student, to writing my teaching thesis on neo-natals and early maternal relationships, to working as an infant teacher, to running a pre-school for several years, to later work as a phlebotomist in health care, I can see that ‘Embrace Rwanda’ works. Embrace Rwanda grows better mums and healthier babies, and goes on to help pre-schoolers and young adults. Each facet of the work grows the others. It makes a real difference to real families – but Hilary has never let it veer away from the centrality of God’s love, compassion and power, because only God can bring real change in the hearts and lives of people in Rwanda and in Canada. Sharing God’s love is a two-way street that benefits in two directions. I hope that my skills as an administrator can.
Following a call from God to support the people of Rwanda in 2006 I have been amazed at how “God driven” the work of Embrace Rwanda has been as it multiplies every year. My past careers in education, health care management and community development have all shaped me for the role I play now as Executive Director. I am committed to being obedient to God and in faith trust Him for all that we need to grow Embrace Rwanda. To sum up, I feel that this work gives glory to God, blessings to others and satisfaction to my life.
Director of Business Strategies – Susan Romeo Gilbert
I was born in Trinidad, West Indies, tenth in a family of eleven children. I grew up serving and praising God, and I have from a very young age been surrounded by children being born and looked after by the “Village.” I have spent the past 19 years in the chaos of raising three boys and working full time. Now that the boys are older, I looked around for charitable work of the faith with which to immerse myself. For the past five years I had been listening to and buying from Hilary on every occasion that she came back from Rwanda. Over these years I kept hearing this little voice in my head saying “get involved, get involved”. Then one Sunday morning earlier this year, Hilary mentioned that she needed to work on establishing a formal Society under which to put “Embrace Rwanda”, with a fully functioning Board of Directors. I realised there and then that this was a place I could step into and be part of this amazing activity as a member of the Embrace Rwanda “Village”. I did and here I am, willing and able to serve. I am currently an Instructor in the Faculty of Business at Capilano University and an Independent Management Information Systems Consultant, with over 25 years of Business and Information Systems experience to bring to bear to the Society. I have lived and worked in Trinidad, Britain, USA and now Canada.
Director of Political Affairs – Dr Lillian Wong
A graduate of Edinburgh University, I enjoyed a wonderful career spanning 35 years as an Africa Specialist with the British Diplomatic Service. During that time I was fortunate to work in 35 African countries. But the most challenging and rewarding posting I was blessed with, was to Rwanda. I served there in 1994-95 as the first resident British Ambassador, opening the first British Embassy in Rwanda. After retirement I emigrated to Canada. I was thrilled to find in Vancouver a charity focused solely on Rwanda, “Embrace Rwanda”. I immediately joined up! In my role as Political Adviser to the Board, I hope to bring my experience and knowledge of Rwanda to the decision-making process.
Director of International Relations – Florence Drent
Foremost, I am linked to Embrace Rwanda because I am a Rwandan who sees the work of Embrace Rwanda fulfilling the vision that I had for my country. Embrace Rwanda is very critical in bridging the economic and spiritual needs which are helping to rebuild the country. Through Embrace Rwanda, I find myself contributing my skills of speaking both English and other African languages and also evangelistic knowledge which is a big tool of bringing unity and reconciliation among Rwandans. I also find myself being the bridge between Canadian community and Rwandan community.
Director of Communications – Lois Carter
Lois Carter is an award winning musician who enjoys writing. Currently residing in Vancouver BC with her husband Paul – an ex-military Chaplain in the British Army and ordained Anglican priest in the Anglican Church, they hope to visit Rwanda in January 2014. Lois has a keen interest in the physical and spiritual welfare of all Rwandan people and is particularly looking forward to developing stronger links with the Healthy Mums project. As a mother of three daughters herself, two of whom have spent time in Rwanda, Lois has a strong sense of connection with the women’s outreach and mission of Embrace Rwanda.
Chaplain – Rev. Paul Carter
Paul Carter is a retired Anglican Priest who served for sixteen years as a Chaplain to the Forces with the British Army in the Parachute Regiment. He first visited Rwanda in 2006 feeling very privileged to work alongside the local Rwandan community and build relationships. Although he suffered a severe heart attack in 2007 which prevented him from returning to his parish work, his appointment as the Chaplain for Embrace Rwanda means he can serve the Rwandan people again. Rwanda is a country which is very close to his heart. He hopes to visit Rwanda again in 2014.