The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has reached its goal of collecting one million signatures for its global advocacy campaign, “Every Child. Everywhere. In School”.
The news was shared by Seventh-day Adventist world Church president Pastor Ted Wilson, ADRA board vice-chair Dr Ella Simmons and ADRA International president Michael Kruger in a special video announcement released through church communication channels yesterday afternoon (5am July 31 AEDT).
Pastor Wilson thanked everyone who has supported the campaign, which aims to ensure that every child around the world has access to free, quality education.
“It’s indeed a blessing to see our global church family and ADRA standing up together in support of millions of children who don’t have access to education around the world,” Pastor Wilson said.
Grassroots efforts for the campaign began in October 2019 with the Adventist Church and ADRA urging support for the nearly 300 million children, adolescents and youth who are out of school, according to a UNESCO report.
ADRA and Adventist church members in nearly 200 countries, including South Pacific nations, pledged their support for the issue, and the momentum to get online signatures spread.
ADRA South Pacific regional director Greg Young said it is exciting that the one-million signatures goal has been reached, with children’s education being of critical importance.
“It is well known that the best way to develop people and reduce poverty is through a good education,” Mr Young said.
“In my many years with ADRA both here and overseas I have seen first-hand what a difference it makes in the lives of young people. All they need is a hand up and a vision of what they can achieve through a good education in order to create a positive and bright future for themselves.”
According to ADRA New Zealand CEO Denison Grellmann, “This global campaign demonstrates how together the Adventist Church and ADRA can be a strong voice on behalf of children with no access to education and bring about positive change.”
ADRA International president Michael Kruger said the one million signatures is a “phenomenal milestone worth celebrating”, but it’s just the beginning.
“We are developing new global alliances with key organisations to amplify our voices,” Mr Kruger said. “We need your ongoing support and commitment to ensure that we continue to make progress on this important issue.
“This is why we will be providing resources so that individuals, groups and churches can speak up on this issue of access to education.”
A resource kit for church ministry departments, local churches, youth groups and schools will be available in October so that people can continue their involvement in the campaign beyond the petition.
For more information go to https://inschool.adra.org/petition