Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) was established in November 1956 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to provide humanitarian relief and welfare. Originally called Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service or SAWS, the name was changed to Seventh-day Adventist World Service in 1973.

By 1958, SAWS reported relief shipments to 22 countries with a total value of about $485,000. Four years later, the number of countries had increased to 29, with a total value of $2.3 million in shipments. During this period, countries benefited included those in South America and the Middle East, sites of major disasters.

By the mid-1970s, the organization began to broaden its mission from disaster relief into programs leading to long-term development. In 1983 SAWS underwent yet another name change to better reflect its overall mission and activities, becoming the “Adventist Development and Relief Agency” (ADRA).

ADRA’s work grew rapidly with major programs in several countries emphasizing community development, food distribution, institutional development, and ongoing disaster relief. From an initial worldwide staff of approximately 600, ADRA’s activities soon included: building health clinics in Africa, assisting hurricane victims in Central America, teaching hygiene and health to children in Asia, and promoting awareness of worldwide humanitarian needs through ADRA’s Global Village in the United States.

ADRA is currently one of the leading non-governmental relief organizations in the world. In 1997 the agency was granted General Consultative Status by the United Nations, a unique opportunity giving ADRA added voice in the international community. In 2004 it assisted nearly 24 million people with more than US$159 million in aid. More than 4,000 ADRA staff members currently work in 125 countries. As new challenges and needs arise, ADRA continues to strive to realize its mission of reflecting God’s love through compassionate acts of humanitarian service.

Why ADRA Exists

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) was initiated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The basis for its existence, its reason for being, is to follow Christ’s example by being a voice for, serving, and partnering with those in need.

ADRA seeks to identify and address social injustice and deprivation in developing countries. The agency’s work seeks to improve the quality of life of those in need. ADRA invests in the potential of these individuals through community development initiatives targeting Food Security, Economic Development, Primary Health and Basic Education. ADRA’s emergency management initiatives provide aid to disaster survivors.

Our Mission is to

REFLECT

the character of God through humanitarian and developmental activities.

ACTIVELY SUPPORT

communities in need through a portfolio of development activities which are planned and implemented cooperatively.

PROVIDE

assistance in situations of crisis or chronic distress, and work toward the development of long-term solutions with those affected.

WORK

through equitable partnerships with those in need to achieve positive and sustainable change in communities.

BUILD

networks that develop indigenous capacity, appropriate technology, and skills at all levels.

DEVELOP

and maintain relationships with our partners, which provide effective channels for mutual growth and action.

PROMOTE

and expand the equitable and participatory involvement of women in the development process.

ADVOCATE

for and assist in the increased use of communities capacities to care for and responsibly manage the natural resources of their environment.

FACILITATE

the right and ability of all children to attain their full potential, and to assist in assuring the child’s survival to achieve that potential.

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