18 March, 2020
A message from Paul Rubessa, CEO ADRA Australia:
With concern growing around the spread of COVID-19, ADRA Australia is committed to do its part in both slowing its spread while continuing to meet the needs of the communities with which we work. We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Australia closely, and will make changes to our operations dependent on the advice and mandates from the medical professionals and authorities in each area.
During this time, it is important to look after yourself. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, and practice social distancing (a gap of at least 1.5m) between people. If you are feeling unwell, please see a doctor and avoid contact with others. Ultimately, the less you come into contact with people outside your immediate family the better.
These times can be distressing, so seeking emotional and psychological support is encouraged if you are experiencing increased levels of stress and anxiety. Stay connected with your friends however possible and reach out to professional services.
For further information about COVID-19, please refer to official voices on this matter, such as the World Health Organisation.
As a Christian, I encourage you to hold strong to your faith and committed to continue following in Christ’s footsteps of compassion and service for others.
Below are a number of important updates on our work:
From an operational standpoint, ADRA Australia is doing all it can to ensure the safety of our staff and volunteers while continuing to provide crucial programs to those in need. As a precaution, and in consideration of our social responsibility to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all ADRA Australia staff are now working remotely.
At this stage, most ADRA programs in Australia are operating as normal, with increased social distancing and hygiene measures implemented. We know thousands of people depend on ADRA when they are doing it tough, so any decisions to temporarily alter operations will be carefully considered. The situation in Australia is being monitored regularly, and the decision to temporarily halt operations will be dependent on the advice and mandates from the medical professionals and authorities in each area.
Currently, our Australian ADRA Op Shops and Community Centres are permitted to operate as usual. But, the decision for these centres to stay open is at the discretion of the management teams for each program.
ADRA’s Programmatic Response to COVID-19
In many communities around the globe, ADRA staff are helping people prepare and protect themselves against COVID-19. Many ADRA projects work with individual people and communities to improve hygiene practices and encourage good health – their work is more important now than ever.
ADRA Australia’s direct response to COVID-19 is currently centred in Western Australia where ADRA is anticipated to manage accommodation inquiries, food parcel deliveries and welfare checks if the situation there warrants this response.
Please continue to pray for those who are affected by this crisis. Pray too for the leaders and healthcare workers who must make important, life-changing decisions.
Remember that despite the challenges, ADRA is still changing lives through the health and hygiene promotion that is a core part of many of our projects overseas, and by continuing to support vulnerable people here in Australia.
Stay safe and well,
P.S. While ADRA Australia is not directly fundraising for COVID-19 we know the thousands of people we work with each day need ongoing support. Donations can still be made to support ADRA projects via our website adra.org.au or by calling 1800 242 372.