For decades, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), which serves as the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has championed the rights and wellbeing of people displaced by conflict and persecution—men, women and children of all different faiths, ethnicities and nationalities who have survived unspeakable hardship, terror and loss.
In 2016 alone, more than 1.5 million refugees, internally displaced and stateless persons in around 40 countries received shelter, food, clean water, hygiene goods, access to education, psycho-social support, and other services through ADRA as part of our mission to love and help the most vulnerable during their time of greatest need.
As we mark World Refugee Day (June 20) in 2017, more than 65 million people continue to be displaced globally, according to the refugee agency for the United Nations, UNHCR. Approximately 22.5 million of these are refugees. To ADRA, these numbers mean one thing: we cannot afford to waver in our response to help those displaced by conflict, persecution or disaster.
"We will not be guided by political expediency or public opinion, but instead will follow our faith and conscience . . ."
In this time of overwhelming need, we commend those nations who have risen to meet the need by expanding refugee resettlement programs and contributing financially to global refugee efforts. We encourage all nations to continue to work together to uphold the rights and dignity of refugees around the world. We make this plea at a time when refugees and other immigrants around the world are being increasingly targeted by hate speech and despicable acts of cruelty because of their religion, ethnicity, or nationality.
Today, ADRA reaffirms its commitment to embrace and assist those in need. We will not be guided by political expediency or public opinion, but instead will follow our faith and conscience, which we hold above all things.
When we see a refugee, we see a human being brimming with hopes, dreams, and untapped potential. Each person has value, because each one of them is a child of God.
In a time of such unprecedented need, it is imperative that we stand united, not in hate and fear, but in love and compassion, to work together to end human suffering around the world.
ADRA would like to thank the many supporters—individual donors, churches, volunteers, non-profit organisation and government partners—who have worked side by side with us every day to ensure that those forced from their homes can once again live a life of safety, peace, and belonging.
To learn more about how you can join us in helping refugees around the world, visit ADRA.org/refugees.
In Lebanon, ADRA Australia supports a school enabling Syrian refugee children to continue their education, despite the horrors of the war they have escaped.
Fatima, a mother of one of the students, fled with her family northern Syria when the fighting intensified. She smiles as she explains how the school has changed her children’s lives. “My children used to sleep all day, but now they bounce out of bed before dawn,” Fatima says. “They are so excited to go to school and learn!”
In East Africa, ADRA is providing emergency food for vulnerable communities in South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya.
Meanwhile in Australia, the Settle Assist project helps new migrants in Australia by providing skills training and social support.
Find out more about ADRA Australia’s commitment to refugees at ADRA.org.au/refugees
Find out more about ADRA New Zealand’s commitment to refugees at ADRA.org.nz/refugees
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. For more information, visit ADRA.org.