1 November, 2021
The ADRA community program in the Central Tablelands, NSW, is a shining example of collaboration between ADRA and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Run by the Bathurst, Mandurama and Cowra churches, the program supports families and local schools.
“We have supplied food parcels to 23 public schools in the area every month since April 2020,” says Pastor Raymon Paletua, the ADRA Program Manager. “On average, we are distributing 150 food parcels each month between the schools and local community contacts referred to us by church members.”
The program currently provides three public schools with chaplains, who have been able to provide opportunities for the students to express themselves in safe and positive ways. One of these is through playing basketball.
“The basketball teams have become a way for us to connect and mentor the boys who come from challenging home and life situations,” says Pr Raymon. “Basketball has provided a safe place for the boys to talk about their struggles such as drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression, self-harming and attempted suicide.”
And through this connection, the ADRA program has seen these young men grow.
“One highlight has been the number of volunteers who have assisted with packing and distributing the food parcels to our communities,” says Pr Raymon. “We have approximately 50 volunteers in total including boys from our basketball teams. None of the boys are church members but they are more than willing to volunteer their time to give back to their community.”
“One of the boys, James*, is now studying Outdoor Leadership at TAFE and plans to set up an outdoors and abseiling business that aims to mentor youth that have a similar background to himself. James is a fine young man and has a big heart for the community, and we look forward to seeing what awaits him in the future.”
When you give to the ADRA Appeal, you are supporting programs like this ADRA community program. Let Love Shine this ADRA Appeal and help support our local communities. Please donate at adra.org.au/shine
*Name changed for privacy