“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

ADRA could not agree more. By serving humanity so all may live as God intended, we seek to ensure the health, development, and dignity of people both overseas and here in Canada.

An outdoor view of MANS
Meals for MANS, ADRA Canada

Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS) has been serving the First Nations communities in and around Ponoka, Alberta, for over 30 years. Approximately 225 students attend the elementary and high school programs. All of the students come from the Samson, Montana, Louis Bull and Ermineskin Cree First Nation communities. The school is “dedicated to the development of the whole person, the harmonious development of the mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual faculties.”

Students were coming to school and asking for food. Hungry students have a harder time focusing on their lessons and applying themselves to their work, so the staff at MANS began a school feeding program to help the students succeed in their studies.

Students learn to grow their own food in a small school garden. Cooking clubs teach them how to prepare food for themselves and others.

Jersey is a high school student. Her favourite subjects are baking, English, and photography.

“I don’t want to go into culinary arts in the future, but I like the class because it’s good to know how to do it and it’s a nice hobby, Jersey shares.

Jersey’s dream for her future lies in a very different, but inspiring, direction. “I really want to be a child advocate. I saw a documentary on child abuse and I know that if children have a voice earlier in life, they wouldn’t have to suffer the traumas that they face. With child advocates, there would be more help for children in the community.”

MANS Fruit for breakfast
MANS Pictures created by the students

Though Jersey and her four siblings bring their own lunches to school, she knows that the feeding program at MANS is very beneficial to the students.

“For some students, the day seems really long and taxing. They have a hard time focusing. The breakfast program has a great impact on the students because all the students I have known at MANS have at some point needed to have a meal from the school.”

The feeding program encompasses breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is often sandwiches, cereal, fruit, toast, and bagels. Lunch is usually a variety of sandwiches, baked potatoes, and salads.

“To be honest, it is a great program. Without it, there would be more starving children.”

With the generous support of our donors, ADRA has been helping to fund the nutrition program at MANS. We are so grateful for your care and kindness to students right here in Canada.

As Principal Gail Wilton says “The Lord has a great work here with our children… we have a mission field right here in our own backyard.”