About ADRA

Everyday ADRA New Zealand works to empower families and change lives across New Zealand and around the world. We do this because we believe everybody, no matter who they are, what they do or where they’re from deserves the opportunity to live a fulfilling and meaningful life. And, as Christians, it’s what we’ve been called to do.

Who is ADRA?

For over 50 years, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (or ADRA as we’re better known as!) has been implementing life-changing projects around the world. ADRA is an international humanitarian organisation and the official humanitarian heart of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and we’re committed to being a literal representation of Jesus’ hands and feet all around the word. We have a presence in 134 countries around the world, supporting more than 30 million people each year with life changing programmes and emergency relief. What’s good to know is – no one is left out of ADRA’s reach. ADRA is committed to assisting all people – regardless of their ethnicity, their race or their religious, political or gender affiliation. We believe Christ’s ministry of compassion should extend to everyone and anyone who is in need – including families in our own backyard of New Zealand.

Our Mission Statement

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency New Zealand works with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering partnerships and responsible action.

What does that mean?

ADRA New Zealand’s mission is to work with those most in need – whether they are those who are suffering through poverty and hardship or those who have been affected by disaster, or both. We want to be an agency that provides life-altering change for those who come in contact with us – long-lasting and positive change. How do we go about achieving this? We partner and work with up-to-date, accredited and professional partners, whether it is through government agencies or other ADRA offices. We will always strive to do what is right, and create balanced, fair and equal opportunities and work in responsible ways.

Our History

Soon after the end of the Second World War, the Seventh-Day Adventist Welfare Service (SAWS), was created to aid those affected by serious disasters, which were becoming more and more frequent. SAWS was incorporated in Maryland, USA on November 13, 1956. To reflect the Church’s worldwide involvement, the name Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service was changed to Seventh-day Adventist World Service in 1973. As crisis situations became more and more serious, relief and development efforts increased and SAWS itself developed into a new organization called ADRA, Adventist Development and Relief Agency. This is now the official and separately registered international development and relief agency of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The name change from SAWS to ADRA occurred in 1983 to more fully reflect the nature of work being carried out. ADRA New Zealand was established in 1994 and has since worked in over 30 countries around the globe, supporting millions of people living in poverty and crisis. Emergency Management continues to be an integral part of ADRA’s programme. ADRA New Zealand responds to disasters by providing food, water and temporary shelter among other things to families and communities suffering from a disaster or conflict situation. ADRA New Zealand also provide disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction training to communities in Asia, the South Pacific and New Zealand. In the development field, ADRA’s work continues as we try to break the poverty cycle. Income generation, water and sanitation initiatives, agricultural improvement, micro-finance enterprises, cooperatives, basic shelters, literacy and health programmes are all an integral part of ADRA New Zealand’s development programme. Most of the projects accentuate the role of women and the protection of children.

Our Work

ADRA’s work is about empowering communities. We believe empowering entire communities to be involved and a part of their own development is more cost effective, sustainable and the most powerful way to break the poverty cycle and see entire generations lifted out of poverty. When we implement a project we work in two distinct areas: Development Development is a process of social and economic change whereby people are empowered to take care of themselves, sustenance and future within a civil society. The basis of development is simply expressed in the well known statement: “Give a person a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Responsible development practice is designed to have a long-term, positive impact on a community. ADRA believes it is essential to engage the community in the process of planning for an intended community change. Thus, consultations take place with the local community to determine and prioritise their needs. This enables the community to have a voice in the decision-making and take ownership of the project. In delivering its work programme overseas ADRA NZ targets 6 Key Sectors: • Food security – ensuring families have adequate and sustainable food sources • Civil society strengthening – empowering communities with strong leaders and groups • Health – preventing the spread of disease and also promoting healthy living within communities • Education – breaking the poverty cycle by giving famlies access to essential education • Economic Development – creating self-sufficient families by providing income opportunities To learn more about ADRA’s work overseas click here. In New Zealand ADRA have over 40 projects across the country. These projects have a key focus on family wellbeing. Click here to learn more about ADRA’s work in New Zealand. Emergency Management Emergency Management includes short-term assistance given to relieve immediate emergency needs. This includes projects such as shelter, clothing, food and medical treatment. Disaster relief activities often transition from this ‘handout’ mode to development to avoid the creation of dependency and to enable long-term sustainability. ADRA also works to mitigate the effects of a crisis by developing regional strategies for effective disaster response. We respond to disasters in New Zealand and overseas. Keen to find out what disasters we’ve responded to? Head to our Newsroom for the latest updates on our response efforts.

Our Staff

We’re serious about our shared passion for investing in the dreams of the poor and caring for those affected by disasters. We also love ADRA’s ministry of compassion and are committed to spreading hope in New Zealand and around the globe. With our unique skills, diverse backgrounds, and life experiences, we have created a dedicated team of hard-working, fun-loving professionals.