Air force one end - ADRA the other

ADRA Australia - Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Canadian Air force sit at one end, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) at the other. Between the two hues of green* sit UN agencies including UNICEF and UNOCHA, and a smattering of other NGOs.

I have just arrived at the command centre for the response to Typhoon Haiyan on Panay Island. Sitting in the centre of Roxas City the Capitol Building, normally filled with government workers and other civic service staff, was the natural choice for the co-ordinated response to this disaster. It’s safe, recognised as the hub of regional leadership and big enough to hold the increasing number of responders in the area.

Humanitarian workers from across the globe sit on white chairs marked with ‘Capiz Gym’ around tables obviously dragged from offices across this big, old building. The table tops are scattered with maps, laptops, bundles of papers and large bottles of water.

The air is thick with talk – plans are being made, logistics organised and aid being delivered.

The idle chatter of many workplaces is non-existent. There is no ‘gossip around the water cooler’ –there is no water cooler, and no time for much more than a quick laugh to punctuate the haste.

On arrival I’m told ADRA was the only NGO to have delivered aid on Payan Island a week after the storm hit. And now the ADRA team are busy compiling their latest report – a needs assessment from an area only a few other NGOs have made contact with since Haiyan cut its deadly path across the Philippines.

This report will form the basis for ADRA’s ongoing relief efforts – ensuring those in greatest need receive what they need most in the most efficient way possible. The report will also be shared with the network of agencies here. Although the logos on shirts are different everyone is here for one purpose, and there’s no reason for secrets when lives are at stake.

ADRA’s impact is often undersold - a sense of humility is built firmly into the agency’s corporate personality. Though the team may be tucked into a corner of the large hall on the building’s third story it’s presence is well known.
The team may not be the largest, nor its geographic area of impact the greatest. But without ADRA here the team would not be complete, and lives would be lost.

The destruction wrought by Haiyan is massive to say the least, and the need it has left behind great. But a glance around the Command Centre reminds me that when people come together selflessly even greater things always occur, and I can’t help but feel proud of what ADRA is doing here.

*ADRA Philippines presence is highly visible thanks to the bright yellow shirts you see here. But the ADRA logo remains green.

- Braden Blyde has been deployed to the Philippines to manage all communications for the ADRA Network response to Typhoon Haiyan for two weeks.

An important appeal

Braden Blyde - Friday, May 25, 2012

The end of each financial-year is a nervous time here at the ADRA Australia office in Sydney.

There are budgets to be finalised, new project designs to complete, financial acquittals to process. In fact, the only thing keeping us warm in our cold office are all the calories being burnt as June 30 draws closer and closer.

But the one thing at the fore-front of all our minds this year is our Food and Futures Appeal.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this appeal is important. Here's why:

Every day 21,000 children die as a result of their poverty and around the world nearly one-billion (that's 1,000,000,000) people have their lives, hopes and dreams shackled by hunger.

We want to change that. Click here to donate online today.

This video provides a quick summary of why it is so important for us to raise the $840,000 we need before June 30. If we don't reach that figure, we may not be able to assist the additional 21,000 people we want to in the coming year.

If you only do one thing after watching the video above, please share it on Facebook or email the link to everyone you know. The more people who come to realise the great need their is in the world, and the significant impact they can have on it the better.

We don't take asking for money lightly. In fact, we spend a lot of time asking ourselves questions like - What is the greatest need? How much money do we need to respond to it? Can our already generous donors be expected to give any more?

In the lead up to making this appeal we looked at our current projects, and the new projects we want to start come July 1; we looked at the costs and the number of people we have the opportunity in impact; and, we did the sums. And this is what we came to:

We need $840,000 to assist the additional 21,000 people we want to in the coming year.

And we're not just talking about giving them food - because we know that by empowering communities with the knowledge and resources they need to provide for themselves, we are also investing in the security of their futures. Instead of putting plans and dreams on hold, children like Dalila and mothers like Ruth can pursue a more hopeful future.

Which leads me to saying thanks to you. Without your support in the past, we would not have achieved anything like we have - we would not be in 17 of the poorest countries around the world empowering communities and changing lives; we would not be able to respond to disasters at home and overseas; and, we would not be assisting those in need within our own communities.

That's why we say 'thank you' so much.  Don't ever feel like your donations are insignificant - we really mean it when we say your support changes lives.

Just $40 can help us assist an additional 21,000 people this coming year.

Our Food and Futures Appeal is important, not because of the amount of money we hope to raise; but because of the lives we want to, and need to impact.

To give to our Food and Futures Appeal donate online or free-call 1800 24 ADRA.

Riding the Road to Change

Braden Blyde - Monday, May 21, 2012

Take 300kms of Australia's most scenic coast road and add 21 cyclists committed to change. What do you get?

The 2013 Great ocean Road Cycle Adventure.

Hurry, there's only three spots left on this ride of a life-time. 
Sign up today!

Last year more than $80,000 dollars was raised for ADRA's work around the world by cyclists taking part in the Great Ocean Road ride. This year, more riders have committed to ADRA's cause - so the impact will be even greater.

I've started my personal training journey for the event. I'm too unfit in my current state, but I've committed to changing that. And by asking for sponsors in the lead up to the event, I've committed to helping change the lives of those ADRA works with around the world.

If you want to make this commitment too, why not sign up and fill the last three spots available or support one of the 21 riders already taking part.

I'm freaking out a little - the thought of riding on skinny tires is a little disconcerting (I'm more comfortable on 2.3" knobblies ripping down the side of a hill); and the fear of passing out half-way to the 12 Apostles is always at the back of my mind.

But when I think about those who have live hand-to-mouth every day; those who walk kilometers to collect dirty water just to survive; and, those who's futures are put on hold because of poverty, my own fears and doubts seem just a little too trivial to worry about.

Organised by 25,000spins, the brain-child of keen cyclist and man committed to making the world a better place, Craig Shipton, the Great Ocean Road Ride is a picturesque way of making your mark of the world.

To sign-up, or for more information about this or 25,000 Spins other rides visit

For more information about supporting ADRA's work around the world click here.


Profile: Fran Appleton

Carrie Unser - Thursday, May 17, 2012


Fran Appleton, is quite literally, the apple of our eye.

Volunteering in ADRA’s office in Wahroonga, Sydney, for the past four years, Fran admits she doesn’t like the limelight and is more of a ‘background’ person, but we can’t help but tell everyone how much we appreciate and love her work.

After retiring, Fran still had the desire to help out where she could, so she contacted Volunteer NSW who in turn placed her with ADRA Australia. Was she nervous, excited or scared about starting at ADRA?

“No, I was delighted to be able to work here,” Fran says with a smile.

Why on earth would anyone want to continue work, and for free, when they are most entitled to sit back and relax?

“I’d retired from my job and wanted to stay in the community service sector,” says Fran. “Volunteering is stimulating, and keeps you involved.”

“I find it completely and utterly rewarding.”

Now, once a week (or twice if needed!) Fran arrives at ADRA, with her signature cup of coffee to kick-start her day, and helps update our database, keep track of our receipting and ledger filing while also being called upon to answer the phones when things get a bit hairy.

“This really is the best place in the world to work,” says Fran with a genuine smile – and without any prompting.

“From day one, I felt so very welcome and included in things going on around the office.”

“I consider it an absolute privilege to work here.” She’s gushing now.

But we think the real star is Fran, who not only volunteers at ADRA but also one day a week at another organisation.

An incredibly hard worker who is brilliant at what she does, Fran is now an integral part of our office; we really don’t know what we’d do without her.

It seems, in an effort to not talk about herself, Fran just wants to talk about ADRA.

“This organisation is just brilliant. I am in awe of the staff and the work that you do here.”

Thankfully, we got to write this article, which is lucky, because we get the last say.

Fran we think you’re great.

We want to say thanks to Fran, and the hundreds of other volunteers around the country, who dedicate hours to serving others.

You are the real ADRA. You are the ones changing the lives of those around you. We are proud of you. We are thankful for you. And we praise God for you!

Happy National Volunteers Week!

Learn more about ADRA’s work in Australia and discover how you too can volunteer for ADRA today!