Adventist Development and Relief Agency
|Founder(s)||Seventh-day Adventist Church|
|Key people||Jonathan Duffy, President; Mario Ochoa, Vice President for HR; Robyn Mordeno, Vice President for Finance|
|Area served||125 Countries Worldwide|
|Product(s)||Provides individual and community development and disaster relief, including Food Security, Economic Development, Primary Health, Emergency Management, and Basic Education|
|Owner||Seventh-day Adventist Church|
|Motto||Changing the World, One Life at a Time|
|Part of a series on|
Seventh-day Adventist portal
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International (also, ADRA, and ADRA International) is a humanitarian agency operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church for the purpose of providing individual and community development and disaster relief. It was founded in 1956, and it is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States of America.
In 2004, ADRA reported assisting nearly 24 million people with more than US$159 million in aid. Its staff numbered over 4,000 members. As of the end of 2007, it had operations in 125 countries  According to Forbes, in 2005, ADRA ranked among America's 200 largest charities.
ADRA's mission statement is: ADRA works with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering partnerships and responsible actions. ADRA says the reason for its existence is "to follow Christ's example by being a voice for, serving, and partnering with those in need".
A Biblical Perspective for Humanitarian Work
The 1983 organizational documents for ADRA include a biblical rationale for conducting humanitarian work:
"H 25 40 Biblical Perspectives—The following Biblical perspectives are the basis for the Church*s activities in the areas of development and relief aid:
"1. God sent Jesus Christ into a sinful and evil world in order to answer human need and show a new way of life that would demonstrate the principle of love in all human relationships: John 3tl6, Luke 19:10, Luke 10:27.
"2. Jesus Christ showed special concern for the very poor, the despised and the deprived. He condemned those who failed to respond to their situation: Luke 4:18, Luke 20:47, Luke 12:21.
"3. The New Testament condemns the use of categories or groups of people as a basis for Christian involvement in meeting need: Mark 16:15, Col. 3:11, Rom. 3:23.
"4. Jesus Christ, in His initiatives and in the commission to the Church, regarded man as a whole, offering healing, teaching and salvation so that the image of the Creator might be restored in man: Luke 4:40,43, Col. 3:10, Luke 10:9.
"5. The Church is called to give itself to the world in a redeeming, healing ministry: John 12:5, James 2:15,16, I John 3:16.
"6. The end time brings cruel and evil distortions in the social fabric, a condition deplored in the world and by its Lord, and to which the Church responds by identifying the causes and seeking to relieve those harmed by injustice: James 5:1-6, Isa. 58:6,7, Rev. 3-17.
"7. Christianity acts as a catalyst in social and political change, yet the Church does not seek political involvement or economic advantage through its ministry and mission: John 18:36, Acts 4:34, Amos 8:4. Active Adventists While there are, indeed, many governmental institutions that aid in international politics and development, there are also a strong source of non-governmental institutions. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, also known as ADRA, for example, focuses on, "individual and community development and disaster relief, economic development, primary health, emergency management, and basic education". Prior to being identified as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA was known as the Seventh-Day Adventist Welfare Service. In 1956, SAWS was organized to serve the purpose of "strengthening the Adventist relief efforts". They were mainly an organization that aided in disaster response and relief. However, over time SAWS began to expand its mission from solely disaster relief and advance with the hopes of providing permanent developmental progress. In November of 1956, SAWS was then to be referred to as ADRA, and the organization set out on an entirely new, and broader mission. ADRA provides relief in many different regions and countries. They also provide aid in numerous aspects of life. One of their priorities is in providing refuge for those who are sexually or physically harmed and exploited. They link up with other governments and build programs where women and children can have the opportunity to gain a higher education. Another key point for developmental improvement that ADRA focuses on is that of family, or the lack thereof. Poverty, around the world, takes parents from children, making them orphans or leaving them to wander in poverty with no one to care for them. This is where ADRA puts a focus on providing food, shelter, and support for those who lack a familial support system. Along with familial support, ADRA also strives to provide a health and nutrition message to those living in countries suffering from a lack of knowledge on disease prevention. By teaching sanitation methods, digging wells and building sanitation systems, ADRA helps contain and prevent many diseases associated with unclean and unsanitary water. Educating people on how to improve their state of nutrition by teaching families how to raise their own crops also helps improve the life quality and economic quality of families. Not only does ADRA teach methods on crop preparation, but it also teaches families how they can profit from their crop's surpluses. There are, however, some cases in which crops do not prosper or perhaps families do not possess the means needed in order for families to get on their feet. Therefore, ADRA is also known for allowing individuals to borrow funds or livestock, providing job training, and ultimately providing an opportunity for individuals to make livings for themselves and support their families. Lastly, ADRA aims to achieve response relief in the midst of disasters such as wars, hurricanes, famines, floods, earthquakes and any other natural disasters that may occur internationally. They respond as quickly as possible in order to ensure that they will be able to analyze and evaluate the needs of the people. After they have evaluated a crisis, they work to develop plans of assistance and aid. They work with the local governments to ensure that medical care, water, food, and shelter reaches the victims of major and minor catastrophes. ADRA is made up of 5,000 employees who are spread out throughout the world and it contains a countless number of volunteers. Because ADRA operates as a network of offices, and because they have offices located in countries globally, its employees are almost always citizens of the country in which they work. To become employees of ADRA, one must submit an application and resume to the network office of which they wish to be employed by. "While the ADRA Headquarters office in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, may assist network offices with international recruitment, and the establishment of position criteria ~ the selection of the most overall qualified candidate and completion of specific employment contracts are responsibilities of each network office." Network offices are also responsible for filling the positions of senior management and technical positions. Also, international employees of ADRA, may be recruited by the network offices. However, since international employees are not citizens of the countries in which they work, they are referred to as "international expatriates". This means that these employees are temporarily residing in a country outside of that which is their native country. When this happens, there are two positions in which they can work: contract or intern. Generally, expatriates are required to have a Masters degree in buisiness administration, international development, public health, or any other field that is similar to those previously stated. They are required to have at least three to five years of experience in international development, and they should not only be fluent in English, but also fairly fluent or familiar with other languages such as Spanish or French, since these languages are some that are most universally used and understood. Another job position available in ADRA is that of a country director. The country director is the person who is in charge of planning the development and relief strategies and missions. In order to become a country director, one must submit a resume that will later be sent to the ADRA Board of Management located in the country of which the individual wishes to be employed. For this position, Seventh-Day Adventist Church membership is a requirement. However, that does not apply for all available positions. In other circumstances, while an individual does not need to be a member of the SDA church, they do have to "accept the Seventh-day Adventist philosophy of humanitarian service and practice a lifestyle compatible with ADRA policies and Seventh-day Adventist beliefs." ADRA has made it quite clear what its goals are and they have done fairly well for themselves as far as executing many of their missions for improvement. From responding to disasters to aiding in the literacy and health improvement of less fortunate environments, ADRA has successfully made countless differences in countless lives. One example of one of ADRA's many successes is known as the Northern Ghana Food Security Resilience Project. The purpose of NGFSRP was to improve the level of food security for an estimated 10,000 households and an estimated 70,000 individuals. Aside from providing simple training to farmers, farmers were also taught to prepare their land, improve fertility of their soil, effectively apply fertilizer and manure to their crops, maintain and keep up with their land, and disease and pest management practices. Because of these improvements implemented by ADRA Ghana, farmers have had a higher rate of profit and a lower rate of harvest losses. Also, the level of household food shortages has decreased significantly. "ADRA Ghana Country Director, William Brown, expressed ADRA has always been involved in collaborating with other organizations to guarantee food security, as food insecurity is a big challenge in most developing countries, including Ghana". ADRA Ghana continues the journey of reducing the level hunger and starvation by means of hastily responding to the demand of food in specific populations. While ADRA has for the most part, been a successful non-profit, non-governmental organization, they do lack in one aspect. Recently, since 2010, ADRA has been experiencing some major difficulties in reference to their leadership and in their number of employees. When their leadership took an unexpected turn, ADRA lost twenty percent of its employees. Many of the key positions are still not filled and due to the lack of staff, organization, and communication, ADRA is having difficulty in getting back on their feet. Also, because of this mayhem, some of ADRA's funding is being decreased or cut all together. With less funding, they do not have all the funds they need to support their different projects. Another problem ADRA is facing is that along with the lack of employees, ADRA cannot even offer old jobs back to former employees due to the fact that most of them have found better paying jobs in other non-governmental organizations. ADRA is also suffering because many of its members are displaying differences of opinions. While some members are of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, others are not, as previously stated. Because of the denominational differences, members of ADRA have different ideas and opinions on which directions ADRA should take. Also, some members feel that ADRA should focus less on disaster response, and more on the Adventist church. In short, no one can agree on what the present-day goal of ADRA should be and since religion clearly plays a part in the decisions that need to be made, it has not proven to be an issue that they can so easily resolve. As a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church myself, I feel like ADRA has been very successful. However, I also feel that ADRA is going to have to face some difficult realities. We, as Seventh-Day Adventists, have certain beliefs as far as what God has called us to do. While we do believe it is one of our missions to help those in need, there are specific duties we believe we have that non-Adventists might not understand. It is like how the Bible warns not to be unequally yoked. The reason God tells us this is because it can cause problems in a marriage when two individuals are aiming to unite and be "one", yet have different beliefs and ways of life in mind. In the same way, ADRA has allowed themselves to work with people they are unequally yoked with. Therefore, ADRA cannot function with complete oneness. It is in this, that ADRA has failed themselves and by crippling themselves, people in need are put on the back burner. Hopefully God will be in the midst of ADRA and help them regain stability.
Works Cited "ADRA." About Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. http://www.adra.org/site/PageNavigator/careers/
"ADRA." Successfully Enhances Access to Reliable Food Sources in Ghana -. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.
"Adventist Community Services : History." Adventist Community Services : History. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 February. 2014. "Mission Statement of the British Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists." Mission Statement of the British Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2014. "Adventist Development and Relief Agency International." InterAction. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.
ADRA partners with communities, organizations, and governments in order to develop:
- Food Security
- Economic Development
- Primary Health
- Emergency Management
- Basic Education
ADRA says that it serves people without discriminating their ethnic, political, or religious association. Priority is given to those with disabilities, children, and senior citizens.
ADRA's areas of expertise include: Education, Emergencies, Food/nutrition, HIV/AIDS, Health, Refugees and IDPs, Shelter, Training and development, Water and sanitation, Women, Children, Monitoring and Evaluation, Programme management, and Security.
A Los Angeles Times story from 1998 reports on ADRA's 1996 10-year strategic plan, which calls the agency "a bona fide ministry of Jesus Christ and the Seventh-day Adventist Church" and "provides a strategy to reach people previously untouched by other church institutions. The church's mission is incomplete without ADRA's distinctive ministry." Much has been said about faith-based agencies taking US government funding and using those funds to further religious doctrinal missions, however ADRA does not proselytise. It claims to operate "by love with no strings attached". As a global organisation, ADRA is a signatory of the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief, which states that "aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint", that "aid is given regardless of the race, creed, or nationality", and that organizations "shall respect culture and custom." 
ADRA was established as the Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service (SAWS) in November 1956. The name was changed to Seventh-day Adventist World Service in 1973.
In 1983, the organisation was renamed the 'Adventist Development and Relief Agency' to better reflect its missions and activities.
International Development Degree Program
In 1996 ADRA and Andrews University established the ADRA Professional Leadership Institute (APLI). The institute provided field-based training and continuing professional education to ADRA staff around the world. By the year 2000, the APLI program was used as a model by the Food Aid Management members as an example of "best practices for local capacity building." The model was well received by Africare, World Vision, and others. By 2003, the ADRA and Andrews University partnership offered a Master's Degree in International Development. More than 160 students had graduated. Sixty of those graduates had moved into management positions across the network. Seventh-day Adventist institutions of higher education on four continents offered degrees in International Development.
In 2005, ADRA responded to over 50 emergencies worldwide and benefited at least 28 million people.
The following appear to have no functioning website at present, and so are listed below:
Regional Offices: South America, Inter-America, and Euro-Asia. The United States country (donor) office and the North American Regional office are at the same location as ADRA-International head office.
Implementing Offices: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Chad, Cook Islands, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Iraq, Jordan, Jamaica, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Venezuela, Zambia
- Seventh-day Adventist Church
- List of Seventh-day Adventist hospitals
- List of Seventh-day Adventist medical schools
- List of Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools
- List of Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities
- Seventh-day Adventist interfaith relations – for relations with other Protestants and Catholics
- Our History
- GuideStar Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- Forbes Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- "Charity Navigator". Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Why ADRA Exists, ADRA
- General Conference Committee Annual Council Minutes, October 10, 1983, p. 83-325
- Who we are
- Thomson Reuters Foundation Retrieved January 26, 2010.
- A History of Complaints Dogs Adventist Aid Agency, Los Angeles Times, August 14, 1998
- Frequently Asked Questions. Adventist Development and Relief Agency. 2010/09/08
- Somalia's ruling militant group orders ADRA to leave the country. Adventist News Network. 2010/09/08
- Watts, Ralph S., "Report Prepared for the GC Session: Adventist Development and Relief Agency", General Conference Bulletin 2000 No. 4, Adventist Review, July 4, 2000, p. 15 (1031)
- Sandefur, Jr., Charles C., "Adventist Development and Relief Agency International Constituency Meeting and Report", General Conference Committee Annual Council Minutes, October 13, 2003-10AC, pp. 03-212 (110)
- Charitable Choices Retrieved January 26, 2010.