International Development 2017-05-25T10:57:27+00:00

International Development

Ask what ADRA stands for and many people will say that it means “Adventist Disaster and Relief Agency”. That’s because when people think of ADRA, they almost always think about the work that we do in times of disaster in the way of distributing food and emergency supplies.

Many people are surprised to discover that disaster relief and emergency response is only a part of what we do! Have you ever wondered what ADRA does when we are not handing out food to earthquake and flood victims? There is a clue in our name.

In reality, ADRA stands for, “Adventist Development and Relief Agency”.

What does it mean to do “development”? Development is word that has a wide range of meanings.  Here in Canada we may think of development as the new subdivision going up in our community, improved roads, or better parks and school systems.  Over the years we have witnessed big improvements to the communities where we live. We can be thankful that we live in a country where people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

With the prosperity that we enjoy comes the responsibility to help countries that are still struggling to provide their citizens with even the basic services and necessities of life.  The Canadian Government is very active in what is called “International Development”.  Working with Canadian companies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations like ADRA Canada, Global Affairs Canada is helping the developing nations of our world build better societies for their people.

Villagers around an ADRA wellWhile there are many ways that international development can be implemented, the philosophy of ADRA leads us to concentrate on what we call, “Community-based Development”.  What this means is that we design programs that help people live better, healthier, happier lives, at the community level.  Working together with people of remote villages, ADRA develops new systems that deliver safe water close to the homes.  Latrines provide new levels of sanitation and improved health. Agricultural instruction helps people grow more nutritious food, even on marginal lands.  Skills training and workshops that teach people how to start their own small business, help people break free from cycles of poverty.  Health instruction, especially for new mothers and children under five, not only saves lives, but helps children thrive!

Cambodian Woman SmilesIn many ways, you could say that the “Development” in “Adventist Development and Relief Agency” is all about personal development.  We seek to help people live better lives through personal growth.  While it is very important to save lives with food and services in times of emergency, we believe that it is even more important to change lives through development.

As we consider the life we enjoy here in Canada because of the well-developed communities in which we live and the amazing opportunities that we have had, let’s remember those that are still just starting out on the pathway of development.

To discover more about the development work that ADRA does, check out these articles and videos.