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Winter 2012

Emeline would walk an hour, twice a day to collect water she knew would make her family sick. Now, clean water flows from 12 water points in her community.

In the rainy season they were forced further to the nearest river. By the river bank they would dig a hole, watching it fill with the water they needed to survive, but knew would likely make them sick. After an hour by the river, they would begin the arduous return journey.

Measuring the complex issue of poverty is difficult. One simple indicator is the distance you walk to collect water.


he further you have to walk for water, the more likely it is you face a broad range of issues associated with poverty – difficulty accessing education, reduced food sources, lower house-hold income and fewer opportunities to develop as a community. As you read step it out – how far do you have to walk? One meter, maybe six or seven but rarely more – unless your house is a mansion. The average distance for women and children, who in most cases collect the water, in Asia and Africa is 6km. For close to a billion people around the world this is a daily reality. But it’s not just in the far-flung corners of the globe. It is here, right in our own backyard. A one hour flight from Australian shores takes you to a country of extreme disadvantage – East Timor. Torn apart by civil war, East Timor has struggled to rebuild. Emeline* and her children would walk for an hour, twice a day to collect water from a shallow well, which testing found had e-coli levels ‘too numerous to count’. Together they would push a rusty wheel-barrow filled with jerry cans to gather the muddy, parasite laden water.

Skipping meals was a regular occurrence for Emeline and her family – collecting water simply took up too much time amongst all the other necessities. And to conserve what they did have, they would eat less, drink less and bathe less frequently. The combination of dirty water and compromised nutrition and sanitation led to constant illnesses. “We would all get sick at least once or twice a month,” Emeline recalls. “Diarrhoea, fevers, stomach upsets. When my husband was sick he couldn’t work. When the children were ill they couldn’t go to school.” These bouts of illness would last up to a week – meaning that each of Emeline’s


Continued page 4

Walking for water

Together they would push a rusty wheelbarrow filled with jerry cans to gather the muddy, parasite laden water.



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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 Teenage mothers in Brazil face a lifetime of restricted education and employment opportunities, and are likely to contribute to the continuation of generational poverty. ADRA’s project is supporting hundreds of young mothers with health and nutrition education, along with educational support that sees them remain in school and receive additional vocational skills.

ADRA China Health care is limited on the Tibetan Plateau, leading to amongst other things, a high infant mortality rate. In response, ADRA is training community health workers to support mothers through pregnancy and birth, and provide infant nutrition education in 31 remote communities.

ADRA Niger A food-for-work program in the Sahel region is seeing families at risk of going hungry receiving emergency food rations, while also helping restore vegetation in this environmentally degraded African nation. Digging two ‘crescent moon’ rain catching ditches a day for 10 days a month sees families receive 3.5kgs of life-saving food.

Thanks for picking up the latest edition of ADRAnews. But before you get too much further take a moment to read Luke 10:29-37. Maybe you’ve read it before, maybe you haven’t — either way the lesson is important. It’s a well-known parable, but the moment Jesus turns his answer into a challenge is a divinely inspired piece of intellect. The lawyer in question undoubtedly underestimated Jesus. True to his profession, his line of questioning was headed towards a conclusion he assumed was foresworn. But Jesus’ answer continues to echo in my ears. “And Jesus said to him, ‘You, go and do likewise.’” (Luke 10:37) The lesson here is not just about who we consider neighbours — often defined by geography or proximity, interests or ethnicity. Jesus’ point was that we are all neighbours. The lesson is about how we treat them. Reading Emeline’s story (see page 1) reminds us that in communities very close to home the deadly presence of poverty remains. East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other South Pacific nations are very much our neighbours – but our lives are worlds apart. And within our own borders, perhaps in houses on the same street as yours, lives continue to be destroyed by poverty and disadvantage. This end of financial year is your chance to take up Jesus’ challenge and be a good neighbour. A gift of $40, $145 or a very generous $540 to our Neighbours in Need Appeal before June 30 will help us raise the $800,000 we need to help 22,000 of our closest neighbours. Simply complete and return the form on the back of ADRAnews, visit or call 1800 242 372 to donate today. Thank you for your support. Kind regards,

Mark Webster Chief Executive Officer ADRA Australia

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 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 PRIMEd for success In the suburbs surrounding the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, thousands of people live in poverty. But ADRA’s Poverty Reduction through Innovative Microfinance Empowerment is changing the lives of 2,400 families who live on less than $2 a day. Since the program began providing business training and mentoring in 2010 the families have accessed business loans from external providers totalling more than $700,000. “The approach used by ADRA in Mongolia is innovative in that ADRA does not directly provide loans,” said Chris Jensen, International Programs

Food for Life Despite what it may seem, hunger is an increasing issue in the pacific nation of Vanuatu. A recent report discovered that ‘hidden hunger’ is a large and rising issue. ‘Hidden hunger’ describes a deficiency in micronutrients as a result of unbalanced diets and a lack of access to proper nutrients, primarily due to changing eating habits. With a population that is booming and a proportion decrease in local food production, Vanuatu is increasingly reliant on imported and less nutritious food sources. ADRA’s Food for Life project is countering the problem by training local community members in

Director. “Instead, ADRA establishes partnerships with established providers (including online provider KIVA), while helping the beneficiary families with skillscoaching and business mentoring before recommending them for a loan.” The project has recently established a new social enterprise that is seeing the production of higher profit products including men’s ties and tissue box covers made from off-cuts from the local silk clothing production. Further, partnerships with local and international fair-trade retailers is increasing the ability for the families to earn a life-changing income. Your support of this project has helped thousands of families escape the struggle of living on $2 a day. Thank you!

sustainable agricultural techniques that will improve their capacity to grow nutritious food for the family and the ‘national food bowl’. Local communities have identified leaders that have been trained by ADRA in permaculture techniques such as improving soil quality by introducing chickens and other livestock, saving seeds and protected cultivation methods. These leaders then return to train members of their communities. Poverty isn’t always easy to see. But your support is allowing ADRA to get in deep and tackle the root causes of poverty and injustice. Thank you!

Coastal villages destroyed in Solomon Islands Following an earthquake of 8.2 magnitude in the eastern Solomon Islands province of Santa Cruz, close to 4,000 people had houses destroyed and water sources contaminated by a tsunami that reached more than 100m inland. In response, ADRA Solomon Islands provided emergency food, shelter, clean water and clothing to families that had lost everything. “The Santa Cruz islands are a remote region of the Solomon Islands,” says Beryl Hartmann, ADRA Australia’s Humanitarian Program Officer. “But working with other NGO’s under the national disaster management authority has allowed us to act quickly and appropriately for those in greatest need.”


about it

In East Timor, only 50% of the population has access to clean water. In Australia, 100% do.

Thanks to your support of our Disaster Preparedness and Response fund, ADRA can act immediately to support those affected by disasters across the globe!



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Feature Continued from page 1

But why…?

family was sick for at least one quarter of every year - all because they had to walk for dirty water.

WASHing away poverty

But thanks to ADRA’s support things are now different for Emeline and her community. Thanks to ADRA’s Clean Water for Uma Tolu project thousands like Emeline have been empowered through education and resources to improve their health.

It’s one of those strange acronyms, and part of the jargon of the aid sector. But WAter, Sanitation and Health (WASH) is a vital part of empowering people to overcome poverty.

“Before we felt bad because we had to carry water from the river and we didn’t have a toilet. We would always get sick,” she says. “Now we are happy because ADRA has taught us about clean water and how to use a toilet.” “We now have a better life. Now we have been empowered to do something better.” Since the project began 12 months ago no one in Emeline’s family has been sick.

Since ADRA began the project in May 2012 no one in Emeline’s family has been sick.

Emeline and her husband have more time, energy and health to devote to improving their income and nutrition, and her children can attend school year-round without the fear of falling ill. And the thousands of others in her community can tell a similar story. Together they can continue their development journey.

“We now have a better life. Now we have been empowered to do something better.” In total, ADRA’s project has led the community in establishing 12 water points, all strategically placed to bring clean water close to Umu Tolu’s 180 households. Latrines have been built, and health and sanitation training has been provided to women’s groups and in the local schools, helping to ensure that the project doesn’t just bring water but real improvements to life and health. “Before ADRA came into our community we worried every day that we would get sick,” Emeline says. “Now we don’t have to fear any more. ADRA’s work has impacted our whole family.” Your support of ADRA’s Neighbours in Need Appeal this end-of-financial year can help improve the health and well-being of 22,000 others like Emeline. Your gift of $13, $40 or $145 before June 30 will help ADRA raise the $800,000 we need bring hope and a brighter future to people in Australia, the South Pacific and south-east Asia. Simply complete the form on the back page of ADRAnews and return it to us, donate online at or free-call 1800 242 372.. *Name changed to protect privacy.

Recent statistics indicate that 780 million people around the world lack access to clean water, with more than 2.5 billion continuing dangerous sanitation practices due to a lack of education and resources. Maria’s story (see page 1) highlights the deadly effects of poor water and sanitation. But the disastrous effects of the problem go beyond just ‘health’. The World Health Organisation estimates than 40 billion working hours are lost in Africa alone as a result of the average 6km walk to collect water– that’s comparable to two years labour for the entire workforce of Australia! As a result, it is estimated that every $1 spent on water and sanitation in developing countries generates returns of $4 in increased economic activity. By improving access to water and providing sanitation and hygiene education we are doing more than just making families healthier, we are building a social and economic foundation for bright futures. The investment in providing access to clean water and empowering people to improve their sanitation practices is more than just about the water. The statistics and stories make it clear – providing access to clean water and better sanitation is a simple way of WASHing away poverty. Check out the WASH info-graphic and the challenge we gave as part of a coalition of Australian aid organisations to our government on World Water Day (March 22) this year at 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 Welfare changes lead to increasing demand In January this year the federal government changed the way it supports single parents and other unemployed and low-income households. But not necessarily for the better. A recent survey of ADRA’s crisis relief projects across the country have indicated an increase in demand for their services and support since the changes took effect. Eighty percent of our crisis relief projects indicated a measurable increase in the financial and food support they provide, with almost 30% serving more than 10 additional cases each month.

“The majority of these additional cases are from single parents,” said Rita Karraz, ADRA Australia’s National Program Director. “The economic climate is increasingly tough on disadvantaged groups, and the recent changes in welfare payments have hurt, rather than helped.” ADRA currently operates crisis relief projects across the country, serving thousands individuals and families in need each year. Thanks to your support, and the work of our volunteers, those in need around Australia have a safety net to fall on!

Most isolated Op Shop opens Coober Pedy is famous for its opals. But gems of an entirely different kind can now be found in one of Australia’s most isolated towns. The ADRA Op Shop in Coober Pedy opened its doors last month and is providing residents and tourists with a large assortment of quality used clothing and goods. “Unlike the famous underground residences of Coober Pedy, the Op Shop sits above ground,” says David Hamilton, Director of ADRA Services for South Australia. “But as with all our Op Shops it doesn’t take long

for customers to unearth real treasures inside.” ADRA operates a series of 31 op-shops across the country, which, thanks the countless hours of the volunteer staff, provide a vital service to the community and help fund our lifechanging work throughout Australia and around the world. You don’t have to travel to Coober Pedy to find an ADRA Op Shop. Visit to find your nearest shop today!

ADRA responds to tornado Volunteers part of our Emergency Management program are accustomed to accommodating evacuees after floods and fires. But earlier this year a small team on the NSW/Victorian border faced an extra-ordinary situation. A tornado. Tornados are rare occurrences in Australia – particularly in populated areas. But on March 22 this year a small team of volunteers headed through the debris laden roads of Bundalong and Mulwala. “The trees looked like a plague of locusts had been through,” said Janice Frey, one of the responding ADRA volunteers. “All the leaves were gone, limbs were strewn

on the roadside. Trees had been uprooted and snapped in half – not just little trees, but big river gums.” Through its arrangement with the NSW state government the volunteers established a post at the Shire office complexes and arranged emergency accommodation for 24 people whose homes had been destroyed or made inhabitable by the tornado.

To all our Emergency Management volunteers, thank you for being always at the ready! Interested in joining the team? Visit


about it

In Indonesia there is only 1 doctor per 10,000 people. In Australia there are 250.



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You Did It!

Thanks for Getting Involved Poverty Challenge opens eyes As part of their ‘Sharing Resources’ unit of study, Year 8 students from Brisbane Adventist School recently took part in ADRA’s Poverty Challenge. Students spent a night in makeshift shelters, survived on meagre rations and endured a mid-night raid – all situations that almost a billion people around the world face each day.

The students also used the opportunity to raise funds to help ADRA’s work around the globe. A combination of face-to-face and online fundraising (using ADRA’s partnership with saw more than $2,000 collected. Thank you BAC students for enduring the hardship and choosing to make a difference! Want your school, pathfinders or other group to take up the Poverty Challenge? Download the resources at today!

“It was any eye-opening experience for all the students,” said teacher Carmen Mathes. “They didn’t like the raid, or the rations. But really that’s the point!”

Op Shop fashion takes the stage

quality of the goods and clothing ADRA Op Shops carry.”

The red carpet is more used to high fashion than second hand clothing, but at the recent Victorian Conference Big Camp, we decided to change that.

A big thanks to all the volunteer models, to the ADRA Op Shop in Mitcham for donating the wares and to the generous bidders who have helped continue our life-changing work around the world.

With cardigans, dressing gowns, jackets, pants, shirts and even a spider man outfit on display the ADRA Fashion parade brought hoots of laughter, sighs of admiration and a fierce bidding war for each piece that was auctioned – all of which was donated from the collection at the ADRA Op Shop in Mitcham, VIC. “We raised more than $350 from the parade,” said Rebecca Auriant, Director of ADRA Services for Victoria. “It was a fun way for people to support ADRA, but what it really highlights is the

Looking for a creative way to raise funds for ADRA? Call 1800 242 372 to discuss how your church, school, family or organisation can make a difference!

Changed in Cambodia Some would call them crazy, but Athol Dobson and his wife Neroli, took the lead in organising a group of young people for an ADRA Connections trip to Cambodia. “We wanted to bring some values back to the young people,” said Athol, who in his late 50s admits he could have found less stressful things to do. “Things like care and love, and an understanding of sharing and belonging.” The team worked with the community to build a library, while the funds they raised also bought books and sports equipment to improve the education of hundreds of kids.

“Even the fundraising brought the group together – they feel like they’re an important part of the community,” said Athol. “It was fascinating to see the change in the kids at the end of the fortnight – they cared more, had a sense of responsibility and the realisation of the needs of others.” “Most importantly though, they realised this wasn’t about them – it was about those we’d come to help.” Thank you Athol and Neroli, and all the other ADRA Connections leaders, for being part of these life-changing trips. Visit for more.


about it

In Papua New Guinea, half the population lives on less than $1 a day. In Australia, no one does.



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Micah Challenge “Who is my neighbour?” Jesus’ response in the near universallyknown parable was a simple, ‘Whoever needs our help.’ That was a relatively easy thing to work out in the days before global communication but today our neighbours are not only next door, but also across town and across the world. The challenge for us is how can we, as globally caring Christians, help our poor neighbours enjoy a more abundant life? The causes of poverty are complex and include personal and local factors, but also the global web of relationships between countries. Part of that web includes foreign aid. This is a crucial topic in an election year because despite both major parties having a bipartisan and rhetorical commitment to reach the 0.5% of gross national income target for Australia’s aid, there are disturbing signs that both may renege on that commitment. Though a close second to Norway in the Human Development Index – a measure of the quality of life in nations – Australia is still below the average level of the rich nations and a long way off the international target of 0.7% of GNI for its aid program. ADRA Australia urges all who are concerned for the plight of the world’s poor, to sign the Movement to End Poverty petition, to make loud and clear to all our politicians that we are serious about our nation playing its responsible part in reducing poverty, especially in our near neighbours.

Please sign at: ADRA Australia is a member of the Micah Challenge – a coalition of Christian aid agencies which advocates for the world’s poor.

The Great Wall isn’t in China Your geography teacher wasn’t wrong, but an upcoming ADRA Connections trip will be helping build a new ‘great wall’ in an entirely different part of the world. As part of the Great Wall trip you will have the opportunity to impact some of the world’s most marginalised people – Tanzanian albinos. In Tanzania, people with albinism face a range of stigmas and discrimination as a result of the colour of their skin, but ADRA is working with the Tanzanian Albino Society to change this. We are currently looking for volunteers to take part in the trip, which runs from Dec 8 – 18 this year. As part of the team you will assist in the construction of a protective wall around a school, ensuring albino children a safe education. You’ll also be witness to ADRA’s other life-changing work in the region and meet the beneficiaries of your work and fundraising face-to-face. This trip is one not to miss. For more information or to register visit today!

Events to Join

Ready to get your running shoes on? Events across the country provide a great challenge and an awesome opportunity to raise funds to help change lives around the world.

I City to South (Brisbane)

QLD - Jun 16 (

I Run Melbourne

VIC – July 21 (

I City to Surf

NSW – Aug 11 (

I City to Bay

SA – Sep 15 (

I Point to Pinnacle

TAS – Nov 13 (

I NT City to Surf

NT – June 2 (

I Canberra Times Fun Run

ACT – Sep 8 (

I Greatest Athlete

WA – Aug 11 (

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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I want to be a good neighbour to people like Maria. Enclosed is my gift of: Y Y Y Y Y

$13 to help provide Three Warm Meals for a fellow Australian living on the streets. $40 to give access to Clean Drinking Water for a child in East Timor plagued by water-bourne illnesses. $96 to help build a Water-sealed Toilet for a family in South-East Asia helping to improve their health. $145 to equip a trained professional with an Emergency Response Kit[VYLZWVUK[VKPZHZ[LYZPU[OL7HJPÄJ $ to Where It’s Needed Most to meet immediate needs of people in poverty.

Mail to: $'5$$XVWUDOLD PO Box 129, Wahroonga 16:$XVWUDOLD

Name: Address:




Name on card: Expiry date:



Card number: Signature:

Y Visa

Y MasterCard

Y Amex

Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. If donations received for a particular fund/project exceed those needed, ADRA reserves the right to reallocate surplus funds to other ADRA projects without further notice to the donor. ADRA will reallocate funds to similar projects or to where ADRA determines it is needed most. Adventist Development and Relief Agency Australia Ltd ABN 85 109 435 618

ADRAnews Winter 2013  

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