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Winter 2014

Chipo’s circumstances pushed her down, trampled her dignity, her selfworth and her potential, yet through the support of generous people like you, Chipo has been able to achieve so much. Thank you!

father chased them away. Seeing what had happened, a neighbour took the children in, contacted Chipo and agreed to look after them until she sorted herself out.

It would be easy to describe Chipo as ‘disadvantaged’ as one of the faceless millions who ‘suffer’ from poverty. But doing so would discount a fact that cannot be over-emphasised – Chipo is amazing. This is her story. hipo grew up in Zimbabwe — a country once known as the ‘breadbasket’ of southern Africa. She married a loving man who provided for her and their three children. Life was good. But then, in 2001 tragedy struck; Chipo’s husband passed away.


arrival however she learnt that her father had remarried and that her stepmother didn’t want her there either.

Grieving, alone and vulnerable Chipo sought refuge with her uncle. But her trust was short-lived. Unable to have children with his wife, Chipo’s uncle tried to take advantage of her. Afraid, Chipo fled to her father’s house. Upon

Tired of the abuse and injustice, Chipo left to find work in a nearby town. She promised herself that once she earned enough money she would go back to get her children. She never got the chance – before she could return her

“I had nothing to eat or even proper clothes to wear and my children were treated as my step-mother’s slaves,” she said.

Chipo’s life then took a turn for the better. She fell in love, re-married and her new husband agreed to have her children come to live with them. For a few years life was good, but soon things turned sour. Chipo’s husband started to drink excessively, withhold money from her, beat her and sleep around. And then she discovered that she was HIV positive. “I felt hopeless. My whole family had abandoned me and the one person that I thought would be there for me, betrayed me. Many times I thought of ending my life but I fought on for my children.” Chipo found and joined ADRA’s Wealth in the Soil project and was provided with the support she needed to persevere. “Thanks to ADRA I was able to start a vegetable crop that I sold and also used to feed my family,” Chipo said. But Chipo


Continued page 4

Wealth in the Soil

I felt hopeless…the one person that I thought would be there for me, betrayed me.



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Message from the CEO

News The ADRA network extends to more than 120 countries. Recent projects implemented by other ADRA offices within the network include: Chile Following the deadly 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Chiliean city of Iquigue and triggered tsunami warnings along the coast, ADRA immediately began distributions of clean water and emergency food kits to more than 1,000 people.

Ukraine What started as peaceful protests has pushed the Ukraine to the edge of war with hundreds killed and thousands more injured. ADRA is providing long-term mental rehabilitation for individuals and families effected, along with medical transportation and non-food items including medicines, clothes and hygiene kits.


Growth is not an uncommon goal. In Australia, and in many other countries, growth is usually presented as the primary economic goal. When our economy grows – that is we buy and sell more – we feel a sense of security; but this may be a false sense of security. At ADRA Australia we believe that growth can be both good and bad. Bad growth is driven by selfishness, greed and an unending desire to consume without giving back. Good growth is driven by positive relationships and a broadening and strengthening of community and service. Jesus said, in John chapter 15: “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.” In this biblical metaphor for growth it is our connections to God and to each other that result in fruit - the positive outcomes of growth. One of the indicators of good growth that we see are the contributions of our many volunteers both here in Australia and overseas. Some of you may be ADRA volunteers and if so, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your service. Others may be considering becoming a volunteer and I’d like to encourage you to take that step. I can promise that it will be a rewarding experience. And you won’t be alone. In the coming twelve months over three thousand ADRA volunteers will provide close to 300,000 hours of service in their communities and overseas. Now that’s what I call good growth. Kind regards,

Mark Webster Chief Executive Officer ADRA Australia

A blue scarf is featuring as part of a national anti-domestic violence campaign in a country recording the worst domestic violence statistics in Europe. The campaign aims to encourage and recognise men who love, cherish and protect their wives – with the scarf gifted to such men by their wives.

Rwanda Congolese refugee children are being successfully integrated into Rwandan schools thanks to the construction of 49 additional classrooms, the supply of uniforms, equipment and recruitment of additional teachers. ADRA Rwanda is responsible for education and logistics management of UNHCR activities in refugee camps across the country.

Contact Us:

PO Box 129 (146 Fox Valley Road) Wahroonga NSW 2076 Australia

T: 02 9489 5488 E: 1800 24 ADRA (2372) Editor Braden Blyde | Contributors Mark Webster / Aleksandra Marek | Senior Management Chief Executive Officer Mark Webster / Chief Financial Officer Melville Simonsz / Director of International Program Chris Jensen / Director of National Programs Rita Karraz / Director of Program Effectiveness and Planning Brayden Howie / Director of Public and Supporter Relations Janelle Muller | Board of Directors Chester Stanley (chair) / Mark Webster (secretary) / Eveline Cornell-Tapp / Julie Praestiin / Ken Vogel / Kingsley Wood / Liliana Munoz / Michael Peach / Peter Truscott / Wilf Rath / John Bagnall



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Progress Overseas - International Program Kicking GOALs in Nepal Sarita had always dreamed of owning a small business, but never had the opportunity or confidence to make it a reality. Now things are different. Like the other women around her Sarita left the training inspired. Weeks passed and the change was slow. She took what little savings she had and sold paddy from her farm. Sarita bought cloth and a treadle sewing machine, and began to make but beautiful clothes. She joined a Women’s Group, and took a small loan from the communal savings to grow her business.

Six months from Haiyan

“Even women can become entrepreneurs,” she smiles. “I can contribute and be proud. Having enough money is good – being able to think positively and make change is more important.” “ADRA’s support has encouraged me and shown me that a world of opportunity exists.” Sarita’s tenacity and vision means her children now attend school and her reliance on high-interest loans have been broken. She has more to eat and a more comfortable place to call home. More importantly, she is empowered to create and tell her own story. Six months ago Typhoon Haiyan ripped across the central Philippines. Within 24 hours ADRA staff and volunteers were on the ground assisting those in need – a total which climbed to more than 15 million people. Six months on and the need continues. Mothers like Betita continue to struggle providing for their families without a stable source of income. She wakes at three every morning to bake rice cakes for the local market. “Most people here rely on fishing,” she said. “But the typhoon destroyed most of the boats and now people don’ have the money to buy the food that I sell.” Betita’s house was also completely destroyed in the storm. Although she now has iron sheets and tarpaulins for

Emergency Relief in Honiara The tropical low that brought Cyclone Ita to Queensland coast in April first caused wide spread destruction in the Solomon Islands. ADRA staff and volunteers distributed emergency packs to more than 1,500 people in the wake of destructive floods that killed 19 and left 49,000 homeless in the capital of Honiara. “Honiara was essentially split in two,” said Beryl Hartmann, Humanitarian Program Officer at ADRA Australia. “People had lost everything and were

stuck in emergency shelters. Without clothing and bedding, and a safe way to prepare food there was a significant health risk.” ADRA provided cooking and eating utensils, blankets and other essential items. ADRA is also working to protect against deadly disease by installing latrines and providing hygiene education. For the latest on ADRA’s work visit

Thanks to you the Entrepreneurship Education Program has changed hundreds of lives in Nepal – and with our new GOAL project more will be achieved. Thank you!

shelter they offer little protection from driving rain or intense heat. But thanks to your ongoing support, she and thousands of others like her have hope. In the past six months your support has meant more than 160,000 people have received emergency food, water and hygiene kits, supplies to rebuild shelter and support to re-establish their livelihoods. ADRA is also working with communities to increase their awareness and preparedness for future disasters – an extra step that will help save lives and speed up recovery in the years to come. A big ‘thank you’ for your support! Together with others around the world you have helped provide more than $2.2 million in assistance in the Philippines!



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Feature Continued from page 1

More inspiring than the produce from her garden is Chipo’s strength, resilience and perseverance. She is truly amazing.

also gained something of much greater value. “The garden provided me with a source of social support. I have met people there who have become my real family,” she said. “They supported me when I felt down, when I struggled with my situation and when I had nothing to eat.” Being connected to a caring community has inspired Chipo not only to work hard and provide for her family, but also to be a source of strength and encouragement for others. Today, if you were to visit the Wealth in the Soil project you would find Chipo in the garden encouraging other people with HIV and providing support and a helping hand to the elderly.

Two are better than one. Because they have a good return for their work, if one falls down, his friend can help him up. Eccl 4:9-10 Chipo’s story is truly amazing and goes to show that remarkable things can happen when people work together. Even King Solomon spoke about it in Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work, if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Chipo’s circumstances pushed her down, trampled her dignity, her selfworth and her potential, yet through the support of generous people like you, Chipo has been able to achieve so much. Thank you for making all this happen! But let’s not forget about the thousands of people — 19,000 to be precise — in Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa that are still waiting for someone like you to believe in them and invest in their future so that they too thrive. Your gift of just $43 to ADRA’s Companions for Growth appeal before June 30 can help us raise the $840,000 needed to provide 19,000 people like Chipo with the knowledge and skills they need to grow their incomes, support their families and to thrive. Thank you! Visit or call 1800 242 372 to donate.

But why…? Whose story is it anyway? The pervading culture of consumerism has tricked many of us into believing that the world revolves around ‘yours truly’ – that our needs and wants are paramount, and our ideas and opinions just have to be shared (and everyone is interested and listening). Carrying this attitude into international aid and development can have dangerous results. Quite quickly we can come to believe that the role we (as an organisation and as individuals) play in making a difference is more important than the actual difference that is made – that our story is more amazing than those whom we actually set out to help. Sadly, many people degrade, dehumanise and victimise people in poverty, while at the same time holding themselves or their organisation high simply to raise a few bucks. Here at ADRA we truly believe that standing with those in poverty and disadvantage should be about ensuring the applause reaches those who deserve it – and that is not us. To put it simply, Chipo’s story is not about ADRA or the work we do. It’s about her commitment to making the most of every opportunity. It is about her unrelenting drive to see her children thrive. Your support ensures our staff can continue to work with communities to identify and create opportunities for everyone to thrive. The reality, however, is that our toil is nothing in comparison to those who take those opportunities and journey out of poverty. The work we do is not about penning our own story, it’s about making sure opportunities exist for others to create their own. They are the real heroes, and they have amazing stories to tell.



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Progress At Home – National Program A new beginning Liz was first supported by the ADRA Op Shop in Toowoomba when she was forced to evacuate her home during the 2011 floods. An Adventist church member from Tasmania had sent a new designer dress to the shop to be given to one of the many flood victims. It was perfect for Liz and she accepted it gratefully. This gesture of kindness sparked the beginning of a strong and trusting relationship. When Liz’s son went missing it was Janet she turned to for help. Tragically, her son was killed. Formally a nurse, Liz felt she could not return to work in a role that

Community Gardens Growing

reminded her every day of what had happened to her son. Janet, and the staff at the Op Shop provided help right through the trauma and beyond. “ADRA helped me by just being there and giving me support,” she said. They encouraged Liz to set up a small cleaning business and found her a few hours work each week cleaning a shop to get her started. Since then, Liz has secured another cleaning contract with a major retail store and is feeling more positive each and every day. Your support ensures ADRA can make this kind of difference every day. Thank you!

Community starts in the garden – at least, that is what the first 12 months of ADRA’s Community Garden program has demonstrated, with 10 churches connecting with their community around a garden bed. In Springwood, Queensland, the community garden has brought together 12 volunteers (including 3 refugees) from five different cultural groups. Their first harvest provided nutritious hampers to families just in time for Christmas. With a Community Meals program also starting from the church the garden will provide produce for their weekly soup kitchen. The community garden in Blacktown,

NSW, has provided food to clients of the ADRA Community Centre – supplementing the emergency relief food parcels the project already provides to those in need. “The Community Gardens program has the potential to make a significant impact,” says Mark Webster, ADRA CEO. “We’d love to hear from any church or school group interested in taking part in the next round of training.” Thank you for supporting ADRA as we continue to grow this life-changing program. To learn more about the Community Gardens and how you can get involved: visit or call 1800 242 372.

Fires on east and west coasts The year began in a blaze for residents in both Victoria and Western Australia – and in each case, ADRA volunteers we ready to assist. In Victoria, ADRA volunteers prepared to distributed food hampers to families separated from outside assistance and emergency centres by road blocks. “Community members responded quickly to our request for non-perishable food and our volunteers came together to pack them within 7 hours,” said Rebecca Auriant, Director of ADRA Services for Victoria. In Western Australia, hundreds of families

were evacuated from the Perth Hills region. In addition to their official role in organising emergency accommodation in hotels and other commercial outlets, ADRA volunteers were also called upon to manage a database of private homes offered up for those with medium and longer term needs. “Our volunteers were also requested to assist the Salvation Army sort the large amounts of donated good that flooded the region,” said Kevin Munro, National Manager for Emergency Services. “Our volunteers are held in great esteem and are always one of the first ports of call when other agency’s need a hand.”

A big thanks to all the volunteers who provided support during these disasters! Your commitment is inspiring.



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You Did It!

Thanks for Getting Involved Standing with Syria

assisted with the largest public vigil in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

Thousands of candles burned bright across the country on March 14 as Australians publically stood in support of peace and solidarity with those affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria.

“Being part of such an important global movement was an inspiring privilege.” she said.

ADRA supporters across the country joined in as church and youth groups, or by joining community held candle-light vigils. Director of ADRA Services for Victoria Rebecca Auriant, and other volunteers

Your support of our Syria Crisis Appeal has changed lives – thank you! Join the call for our government to do more by signing the petition at

The #withSyria coalition (of which ADRA Australia is a member) have also launched an online petition, with the aim of presenting 2,5000 signatures to the Government in support of inclusive peace talks, increase diplomatic efforts to save lives and increase its financial support of the United Nations humanitarian appeal.

ADRA Connections Although returning from Nepal several months ago seventeen young people from across Western Australia still have the mountain air in their blood.

“We have returned from Nepal, but have certainly not forgotten our experiences or the people we now call our friends,” said Lydia Timms, who helped lead the ADRA Connections team. “Some of the team are already planning to return, and we’re all very keen to continue supporting ADRA’s work in Nepal.” Together with local builders and community members the team helped transform Ganesh Secondary – a school supported by ADRA, but which had grown quickly. Having raised $27,000 before the trip, the group installed new roofing, insulation and ceilings; created a

mural for the youngest children’s classroom; installed a hygienic drinking fountain; and, conducted health presentations for the entire community. “We loved the guest house and the food – and even the cold ‘showers’ in the stream,” said Lydia. “Paragliding above the stunning scenery of Nepal was amazing too!” To all ADRA Connections teams – your commitment to making a difference is amazing! Thank you. For more about ADRA Connections visit

National Volunteer Week The phones at our head office in Wahroonga were a little busier than usual during the week of May 12-18. Being National Volunteer Week we wanted to call as many of our 3,000 volunteers as possible just to say ‘thanks’. Each year more than 1/3 Australian’s volunteer their time – totalling more than 713 million hours of unpaid work in support of their community and the causes closest to their hearts. If you’re an ADRA volunteer and didn’t receive a call we sincerely apologise – with more than 3,000 of you we were hard pressed getting through the list. Your generosity of time, spirit and energy is greatly appreciated! Interested in volunteering with ADRA? We have opportunities across the country in a wide range of roles. Visit or call 1800 242 372 to find out how you can help!


about it

Volunteers are worth more to Australia than the mining industry – contributing more than $200billion a year. – University of Adelaide, 2013



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A Sad Farewell

Join us at Voices for Justice, June 21-24

For the last decade the coastal suburb of Sandgate, just north of Brisbane, has been blessed by the presence of 10 committed ADRA volunteers and the ADRA Op Shop they ran.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” - Proverbs 31:8 Voices for Justice is your opportunity to gather with like-minded Christians across Australia and raise your voice to influence government policy for the benefit of the world’s poorest people. If you desire to be inspired, informed and equipped to put faith into practice and see justice for the world’s poor, join ADRA staff, supporters and other Christians for four days of inspiration, training and action in Canberra. We will spend the first two days in a relaxed conference environment involving advocacy training, theological teaching, worship, prayer and workshops. We then spend two days putting into practice what we have learnt by meeting with politicians in Parliament House, engaging in political forums and hosting other special events to put global poverty alleviation on the national agenda. Voices for Justice is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect faith and action through engaging with issues of global inequality and learning how you can make a difference. You will discover the power of using your voice to advocate for the voiceless and influence key policymakers in our country to keep global justice high on our nation’s priority list. Voices for Justice is an annual event co-ordinated by our advocacy partner Micah Challenge. For more information or to register visit

Open throughout the week the op shop became a hub of community spirit and support – for both those in need in the community, and the volunteers themselves. “It’s always sad when a shop or project is forced to close,” said Sarina Taituave, National Program Co-ordinator. “It was great to be able to celebrate with the team. The work they have put in is truly inspiring.” ADRA operates 30 op shops around the country thanks to the tireless efforts of our volunteers. Thank you! To the team at Sandgate – thank you for supporting your community and the work of ADRA for the last 10 years!

RAOKing out in Wallsend The kids at Wallsend Pathfinders were a busy lot during their recent Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) weekend – they performed concerts at two retirement villages, cleaned cages at a wildlife refuge, made cards and cooking to give away in the community, visited the sick in hospital, picked up rubbish along the Fernleigh track and helped clean up and plant seedlings in a local community garden. And after all of that they decided to use their camp fees to make a difference too – sending just over $2000 to support ADRA’s Crankt youth mentoring program. A huge thanks to all the Pathfinders at Wallsend – keep on being kind and making a difference!

Share your ADRA story We would love to hear from people involved with ADRA in any way. Why not share a few lines telling us what you are doing? Send 200 words, a picture* of your activities and your contact details to We’d love to share your ideas with others!

*Digital photos should be a minimum of 3 megapixels. By sending photos to ADRA Australia, you give permission for photos to be published at the discretion of ADRA Australia.



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ADRA kids Hi Young Aussies!

We live in a pretty lucky country – most of us have more than enough food, and enough money to survive and enjoy life. And, I’m sure we all have plenty of friends around. Chipo wasn’t so lucky (ask mum and dad to read you her story on Page 1). Not only did she struggle to feed her family, but she didn’t really have any friends or family she could lean on for support. Thankfully, she was determined to make things better for her kids, and with ADRA is growing a garden for food and money – and is connecting with others and supporting them in difficult times. Things are always better when we can work and play side-by-side with others. Around the world ADRA is helping others like Chipo build strong relationships and make the most of the opportunities they have. Can you think of anything that is ‘better together’? Peanut butter and honey, or gumboots and puddles perhaps? Draw a picture of two things you think are better together here, then ask an adult to take a photo of it and upload it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #bettertogether. Follow us online to see others ideas too!

For the Armchair Traveller… During ADRA’s response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, an ADRA staff member observed that from the air most houses seemed fully intact. But once on the ground it became obvious the houses were simply flattened.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia Ltd 146 Fox Valley Road (PO Box 129) Wahroonga NSW 2076 1800 24 ADRA | |

ADRAnews - Winter 2014  

The latest from ADRA's work around the globe.

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