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Autumn 2013

Simon is one of more than 120 children with albinism attending schools supported by ADRA’s Supporting Albinos with Financial Empowerment project.

But while grey school walls may be the most visible outcome of the project they are just a small component of a much larger program that is bringing about long-term change and real hope to some of the most marginalised people in the world (to see why just building a wall or house is never enough check out ‘But Why’ on page 3).

Simon* sticks both thumbs high in the air, joy and gratitude spread across his face in the form of a wide, toothy smile. Behind him a large, newly constructed concrete wall stands as a symbol of the dramatic change he’s been a part of thanks to ADRA’s Supporting Albinos through Financial Empowerment (SAFE) project. Simon, a young Tanzanian boy with albinism has, for the first time, experienced a sense of freedom, peace and security. “Playing was not safe because we always had to be watchful of those people with superstitious beliefs about our bodies, and what they would do to children like us.” “Now our fears are forgotten,” he smiles. “We have all we ever truly needed – to be free, just like any other child.” Teachers at the three schools identified as SAFE schools (those able and willing to better accommodate for children with albinism) have been trained and empowered with skills and resources to better cater for the unique needs of the students. Across the three schools more than 120 students like Simon are now receiving a better and safer education under revised safety and security policies. Thanks also to the protection offered by the school walls the basic needs of the school and its pupils are also being met through the cultivation of food crops including maize, potatoes and beans. Plus, the students now have access to new learning opportunities through in-school farm training.

The SAFE project, thanks to your generous support of our 2011 End-ofFinancial-Year Appeal, is restoring the rights, dignity and futures of large groups of albinos across the country. The project has seen the establishment of savings and loans groups that are empowering close to 900 community members with financial literacy, vocational skills and access to revolving funds that allow the start and growth of small businesses. For many of those with albinism this is the first time they have ever had access to these kinds of opportunities – the stigma surrounding their condition often precluding them from employment and other financial opportunities. In the last 12 months your support has also allowed ADRA, through the


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Safe at last

“Now our fears are forgotten. We have all we ever truly needed – to be free, just like any other child.”



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Message from the CEO

News The ADRA network has a presence in 125 countries. Recent projects implemented by other ADRA offices within the network include:

ADRA Brazil Flash flooding in the South East of Brazil left hundreds of people homeless. ADRA assisted more than 300 families by providing them with clean water and other essential supplies.

ADRA Paraguay ADRA is helping children in Paraguay to stay in school and benefit from education by providing training for mothers in nutrition and cooking, establishing deworming campaigns, holding dental and hygiene workshops, and providing children with school supplies and shoes.

INVOLVEMENT and INCLUSION are key themes for ADRA Australia in 2013. They are important concepts to us on multiple levels, so in my first ADRAnews as CEO I’d like to unpack them a little. Seth Godin recently wrote a blog titled Beyond Showing Up, it’s short, and makes a good point. You’ve probably got that part nailed. Butt in seat, smile on your face. We often run into people who understand their job to be showing up on time to do the work that’s assigned. We've moved way beyond that now. Showing up and taking notes isn’t your job. Your job is to surprise and delight and to change the agenda. Your job is to escalate, reset expectations and make us delighted that you are part of the team. Showing up is overrated. Necessary but not nearly sufficient. Seth’s focus is the corporate, workplace environment, but I’d argue his point extends well beyond the workplace and into most aspects of our lives. At ADRA we believe that a lack of involvement and inclusion lie at the heart of the poverty, injustice and suffering we see in this world. ADRA doesn’t want to be just the kind of organisation that just shows up. We too want to surprise and delight, and change the world. We believe in a God that values inclusion and wants people to get involved in His work. And we want not just our staff, but our supporters and church members to catch that vision too. So here are a few ways that we’d love to get you more involved and included in ADRA’s work this year. •

Pray for us as part of our Prayer Warrior team

Advocate for the poor. Check out our partner Micah Challenge

ADRA Philippines

Lead others on the journey of change by becoming a Passion Leader

In response to the devastation brought about by typhoon Bopha, ADRA assisted more than 49,000 people by providing food packs, water purification tablets and jerry cans as well as water purification units.

Volunteer in an ADRA project at home or overseas

Support our work financially in a way that suits you

Kind regards,

ADRA Dominican Republic Hurricane Sandy brought devastating rains and winds throughout the Caribbean and the United States. In the Dominican Republic where more than 1,200 homes were completely submerged in mud, ADRA provided clean water, food parcels and blankets to the affected communities.

Mark Webster Chief Executive Officer ADRA Australia

Contact Us:

ADRA Afghanistan Ongoing civil tensions have seen ethnic minority areas outside Kabul continue to swell with refugees despite a lack of clean drinking water. ADRA is providing 26 handpump wells and sanitation training for multiple schools and communities.

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

T: 02 9489 5488 E: 1800 24 ADRA (3272) Editor Braden Blyde | Contributors Harwood Lockton / Alex 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 | 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 New projects respond to changing climates While Australia’s geography and wealth have protected many of us from the effects of climate change, the same cannot be said for those most vulnerable around the world. Three new projects starting this year in Indonesia, Nepal and Lao and Vietnam are helping to equip communities with the skills and resources they need to adapt to the change occurring around them. “In Nepal, we are working from the grassroots right up to the district government level to ensure leaders and community members have the

Harvesting a future Like many children in Papua New Guinea’s highlands, Daniel was raised by poor, subsistence farming parents. They all but lived hand-to-mouth, and as disease, disasters and a changing climate reduced their ability to grow crops, Daniel was forced to drop out of school – they simply couldn’t afford the fees. Each day Daniel would watch his friends disappear around the bend of the mountain path on their way to school; the hope of leaving his family’s poverty behind fading with them. Daniel remembers the day in 2009 when the ‘Rice Trainer’ from ADRA’s Church Partnership Project came to his village. Inspired by the hope of a brighter future, Daniel and other boys from the village cleared and cultivated a 45m x 100m plot of land. That year the boys harvested 245kg of rice. They had enough for their families and sold the rest for 670 kina ($325).

International Disaster Season Unless something happens between the time of writing and distribution, it’s been a relatively quiet global disaster season. Each year between November and March, agencies like ADRA prepare to respond to numerous, serious emergencies across the globe. Your generous contributions to our Disaster Preparedness and Response fund ensures we can act quickly and appropriately to needs as they arise. During the last several months you have helped us respond in the following ways: • In Haiti following Cyclone Sandy ADRA is ensuring families can eat and rebuild after having their farms and livelihoods destroyed.

knowledge they need to ensure they can live sustainably in a time of dramatic change,” said Chris Jensen International Programs Director. The project will result in communities better managing water through tanks and irrigation systems, establishing seed banks and greenhouses for improved harvests year-round and adapted farming techniques including river-bed, zero-tillage farming and hanging gardens. Your support is securing the future of thousands facing the deadly effects of climate change. For more information about these projects visit

In 2010 they replanted the land; a severe dry season cut their harvest in half, but they still made more than 300 kina ($145) for their efforts. This time, the boys used the profits to buy two piglets to start a small piggery. In 2011, Daniel’s harvest was plagued by pests and disease – but the 270 kina ($130) raised, along with savings from the previous harvests, allowed Daniel to realise his dreams. In late 2011 Daniel began carpentry training at the Mt Hagen Vocational School. Though he began by planting rice, he is now learning a trade that has truly broken the shackles of poverty.

Following the Solomon Islands tsunami, ADRA is helping to provide clean water sources to those who have lost everything.

In Fiji and Somoa, ADRA cared for evacuees affected by Cyclone Evan through managing multiple evacuation centres and providing emergency food and water.

ADRA provided 16,000 people with emergency food and water following Cyclone Bopha in the Philippines.

3,500 Syrian families living as refugees in Jordan were warmed by ADRA’s winter clothing distribution.

Across New South Wales and Queensland ADRA volunteers secured emergency accommodation for more than 500 evacuees in the wake of floods and fires.

Your support of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Fund ensures we can act quickly to support those in need. Thank you!



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Feature Continued from page 1

Tanzanian Albino Society, to provide free health checks in 23 different locations across the country. Not only are these clinics helping to prevent serious skin conditions through health training and the distribution of protective clothing, but have also identified six people with serious skin cancers. The project was able to refer these people to the health authorities for proper treatment.

But why…? Can a building really change lives? Change. It’s what we’re all about and what we love to see.

This wall at one of the three SAFE Schools supported by ADRA’s project is a symbol of the new freedom experienced by people with albinism across Tanzania.

“Before ADRA came to my village I didn’t know how to protect myself from the sun,” said Josef, a 41-year old albino and father of six.

Empowerment is the foundation stone of all good development – and all life-changing work. Thanks to ADRA, Josef has come to understand the dangers of the sun and devised plans to grow his banana business without compromising his health. He’s also been able to purchase a milk cow in order to diversify his income. “I thought albinos always had to rely on government or other NGOs,” he reflected. “But ADRA has opened my mind. I learned about empowerment and ownership. I’m now proud to be sending our children to school and paying their school fees without assistance from outside as we use to. I now know that even if ADRA is not there I am capable of taking care of my six children.” And that, the invisible sense of security and confidence in the self and in the future, is the greatest change of all. This sense of empowerment, of self-worth, belief and motivation is difficult to quantify – but it is the foundation stone of all good development and all life-changing work. For the first time in many of their lives, people with albinism feel a part of something other than a marginalised group. They are banding together with albino and non-albino peers in creating a more just, free and hopeful future. Together they are creating change that will impact the country for generations to come. Thanks to your generous, ongoing support, ADRA Australia is supporting life-changing projects like this in 18 countries around the world and in communities across Australia. Without it, children like Simon would not have the freedom and future they now enjoy. Thank you! For more information about how you can get involved with ADRA’s projects through prayer, volunteering your time or providing ongoing financial support visit or call 1800 242 372. *Name changed to protect privacy.

But what if the most important change can’t be seen? What if the most significant impact we can have on individuals and communities in need can’t be captured in words or an image? This isn’t really a question – it’s a fact. It’s easy to impress a donor with images of new wells, walls or gardens. It’s even easier to get new ones with images of children in need and the idea that a new well, bag of food or wall will magically change their lives. But that’s just not true. While these things are part of the solution, they are not the solution in and of themselves. What we’re really getting at is what Simon’s story highlights and what our catch-phrase encapsulates – by empowering communities we change lives. It is this empowerment that is difficult to quantify. Empowerment is based on the premise that people know best about their own needs and resources: if all community members are involved at all stages then projects have a far greater chance of success than those imposed from ‘outside’ or ‘above’. Empowerment occurs when people realise that they can make a contribution or solve problems, and they have a right and responsibility to do so. Empowerment leads to people, organisations, and communities gaining control over their lives, enabling them to move from powerless nonparticipants to active and effective citizens. Empowerment is a much more powerful force than any well, wall or garden could be. The fruits of empowerment manifest themselves in a myriad of ways: new businesses, increased interest in education, improved community connectedness and social support – and yes, even wells, walls and gardens. While physical infrastructure ages and decays, empowerment grows and instigates generational, life-changing momentum that truly frees people from poverty. Want more answers to your ‘But Why?’ questions? Check out our blog or contact us online!



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Progress At Home – National Program Something to chew on It’s not just the mighty river flowing through the Yarra Valley, Victoria, thanks to ADRA’s Redwood Centre in the township of Warburton. Two new initiatives, Chewsday Bite and Ripple of Kindness are bringing positive change and relationships to hundreds of families in need. Through the centre’s partnership with food re-distribution organisation Second Bite, ADRA is providing up to 600kg of free food to those most in need in the region. The distribution, which occurs every Tuesday (hence the punny name) is not only a means of ensuring families can make ends meet and provide nutritious meals, but also a way of connecting the isolated with a caring community and other services.

While the food is provided free of charge the Redwood staff ask just one thing – that those receiving the aid pay it forward, by completing one act of kindness to someone in the community. The ‘Ripple of Kindness’ concept, which encourages community connectedness and resilience is built into every aspect of the Centres work. “We’re not just here to help,” said Rita Karraz, Director of National Programs. “We are here to help the community help themselves; to empower its members to help each other.” Thank you to all our volunteers who give up so much to help make their communities a better place.

A big endorsement One of Australia’s largest corporate organisations has thrown its support behind our work with indigenous young people in the heart of Sydney. Johnson and Johnson, a well-known multinational, recently gave $10,000 to support ADRA’s education support program ‘The Way’ in Redfern. “The funds, along with volunteer hours from Johnson staff, will bring hope into the lives of children and families who’s reality is anything from glamourous,” said Rita Karraz, Director of National Programs.

ADRA reunites mums with new-born evacuees ADRA volunteers assisted more than 500 people secure emergency accommodation in response to the flood and fire disasters which struck across the country this summer. Our volunteers came to the assistance of two mothers of premature babies born at Bundaberg hospital, which was evacuated because of the rising floodwaters. The Queensland government asked ADRA to secure accommodation for them in Brisbane, meaning they could remain close to their new-borns.


about it

“This kind of support is great confirmation that the work we are doing is not only significant to our predominantly church-based supporters, but also recognised by the wider community. We can be proud of this.” ‘The Way’ provides after school educational support to children from ‘The Block’ in Sydney’s Redfern. ADRA’s teaching staff provide personalised tutoring, group mentoring and skillsbased education throughout the school year. This life-changing work could not happen without your ongoing support. Thank you!

Across major centres and regional towns in both states, ADRA volunteers were called into action. In Grafton (NSW), 86 people were accommodated. “Our volunteers across the country had a busy start to the year,” said Kevin Munro, national manager, Emergency Services. “The team in the Coffs Harbour area were asked to check the potential for moving significant numbers of people from Grafton into the city. That alone was a mammoth task.” January’s bushfire outside Coonabarabran, NSW destroyed 50 homes and spread across a front more than 100km wide, forced more than 100 people from their rural properties. ADRA’s volunteers assisted 32 in finding safe, temporary lodging.

“Where you live should not determine whether you live, or whether you die.” - Bono

ADRA was also contacted by Warrumbungle Shire Council to receive funding to provide

crisis assistance through its op shop. “Having a presence on the ground and being a trusted entity in the community allows us to respond in this way,” Mr Munro said. “The council recognises that our volunteers serve an important role in the community and understands the vital service ADRA provides.” To all our Emergency Management volunteers across the country, thank you for being always at the ready! Interested in joining the team? Visit



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You Did It!

Thanks for Getting Involved Riding the Road to Change Generous riders fundraising for ADRA have made up more than half of a 66 rider group that recently took on the Great Ocean Road Challenge. The annual, 3-day cycling event run by 25,000Spins for charities including ADRA Australia, covers 300km of the Great Ocean Road. This year 34 ADRA riders filled the pack. “The scenery is amazing, the company fantastic and the experience unforgettable,” said Braden Blyde, rider and ADRA staff member. “But really what we all came for is to help ADRA change lives around the world. It’s amazing to thing that together we raised over $70,000.” Big thanks to all the riders for your sweat, tears and fundraising this year. The Great Ocean Road Challenge is just one of numerous events you can join to raise funds for ADRA. See more below or visit

World Changers A public street march through the streets of Brisbane, culminating in the delivery of a photo petition and a donation of $10,000 for more to be done about the issue of world hunger, featured as part of the South Pacific Division’s World Changers Youth Congress in January. The event, which brought together young people from across Australia, New Zealand and other South Pacific nations for training and empowerment, helped support ADRA’s work by collecting food for local Brisbane projects, and the awareness raising street march. The 1,800 participants also gave up a normal meal for a ‘poverty lunch’ of beans and rice – donating the savings for ADRA’s work securing food for those in need around the world. You can see some of the photo petition above – and it’s not too late to join in. To add your face and join the call that ‘Enough is Enough,’ share your photo on our Facebook wall ( or tag us on Instagram (

Interns Head Abroad Four young Australians have jetted off for a year of learning as part of ADRA Australia’s internship program. Karl Lindsay, Rosemary Andrykanus, Adam Webber and Carrie Unser are headed to ADRA offices in Zambia, Laos, Cambodia and Kenya (respectively) to learn from and assist the offices in a range of different capacities. “Our internship program isn’t just about a year of adventure,” says Chris Jensen, Director of International Programs. “It’s about helping to ensure the ADRA network continues to be filled with talented and passionate staff, while also helping to boost the capacity of country offices that operate on limited budgets.” For more information about the interns and what they are up to, or if you are interested in joining the internship program in 2014, visit



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Micah Challenge

Some things just shouldn’t be left unfinished. In 2000 the nations of the world committed to achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals in order to halve poverty by 2015, which is now less than three years away. These goals included reducing the number of kids dying before their fifth birthday, reducing the number of mothers dying in childbirth, and halving the number of people without access to a toilet. In 2000, we as a nation, committed to ‘spare no effort’ to free people from extreme poverty. While significant progress has occurred in achieving some of the Goals in some countries, there is still considerable work yet to be done. As Christians we believe poverty is contrary to God’s desire and intention for the world and its people. Micah Challenge’s Finish the Race campaign is an invitation to all Christians in Australia to make sure that we don’t leave the job of halving global poverty by 2015 unfinished. As a nation, finishing well means urgent action to accelerate progress toward the international target of 0.7% GNI going to aid. Our current contribution, sadly, is just half of that target at 0.35%GNI. It also means working to remove the brake on this progress that results from tax evasion by multinational corporations.

We invite you to add your voice. Make your pledge to Finish the Race at ADRA Australia is a member of the Micah Challenge – a coalition of Christian aid agencies which advocates for the world’s poor.


about it

Thanks to more than 120 churches, schools and organisations around the country (not to mention individuals and families who got involved) our Strengthening Families Christmas appeal was a huge success. In total we raised more than $250,000 (at the time of writing) for families in Australia and around the globe struggling with poverty and disadvantage. This figure includes 83 family care packs for women and families in ADRA shelters, more than 500 meals for homeless and disadvantaged Australians and 24 bio-gas stoves for families in Nepal. Thank you for being part of a very meaningful Christmas!

Events to Join

Have you got a passion for making the world a better place? Why not join one of the upcoming events listed below?

I Canberra Marathon

ACT - April 13 (

I World No Tobacco Day

May 31 (

I International Day of Families May 15 ( I City to South (Brisbane)

QLD - Jun 16 (

I Disaster and Famine Relief Offering


From March – July 2013, in the lead up to the September Federal Election, everyday prophets in their communities across the country will take action to raise our collective voice to our leaders with the clear message, ‘Let’s finish what we started’.

Families strengthened at Christmas

May 11 (

Passion Leaders Are you passionate about the cause of poverty and injustice? Do you want to lead your church, school or organisation in being part of global change? If you ready to be resourced, inspired and empowered to speak up and act, join ADRA’s Passion Leaders Network and make 2013 a year of significance. Visit or call 1800 242 372 to register today.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt



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s d i k A R D A Can you imagine not being able to play in the school yard because you might be taken and hurt? For children with albinism like Simon a new concrete wall around their school means they can now play in the school yard without fear.

Hi Young Aussies…

But more than just a wall, ADRA’s project has empowered people with albinism to better provide for their families and care for their fragile skin and health. Simon not only has a safe place to play but the confidence of a brighter future. Can you help ADRAroo finish building this school wall? There’s just a little bit to go. Using a pencil, draw a line across every dotted line without crossing the same line twice – and you can’t lift your pencil of the paper!

For the Armchair Traveller… A mooving mill During a monitoring trip to our new food security project in Chin State, Myanmar (Burma), ADRA staff member Denison couldn’t help but have a go on this cattle drawn mill. Walking in tight circles the bull grinds grain for families to use in range of different food products. ADRA’s training in agriculture and livestock husbandry is helping subsistence farmers support their families through extreme poverty – and a recent rat infestation!

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

ADRAnews - Autumn 2013  

Keep up to date with ADRA Australia's work across the globe.

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