13th January 2017

Experiencing the highs of the mountain and the lows of the valley is not a new concept in the Christian walk, especially in the world of work. This has been a very real reality for ADRA-UK (the humanitarian organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the British Isles) for the last few years, as this ministry strives to win new projects.

While over the last 10 years ADRA-UK has channelled more than £14m of aid to help people in need, increased competitiveness for funding, preference for giving larger funds to larger organisations or consortiums (charities and private sector organisations working together) and of course a changing political world – have all combined to making the work more challenging!

In this context, ADRA-UK's Programmes Team, guided by Chief Programmes Officer Howa Avan-Nomayo, have been working tirelessly to mitigate the impact of some of these challenges, e.g. creating new operating models and establishing strategic partnerships within the worldwide ADRA Network and externally. As such, the department are confident this will put ADRA-UK in good stead for 2017 and beyond.

ADRA-UK had made significant progress in 2016, with the start of two new projects. The first is an EU funded project in Thailand, which started last January. This is a 3-year endeavour, which focuses on improving work and living conditions for 5,000 vulnerable migrant workers.

The second project is in South Sudan, Terekeka County, and began in November. This programme is managed by Crown Agents and funded by various governmental donors, including DFID. For a period of 17-months ADRA is helping to strengthen the management of vital health services in the county, with a total project budget of £1,500,000.

Lastly, a new £350,000 project in Swaziland will start on 1 February, with support from the European Union. This livelihood and resilience project will improve the lives of poor smallholder farmers and people living with HIV/AIDS through increased agriculture production and income generation in the Lubombo and Shiselweni regions. "We are proud to work with our friends at ADRA Swaziland to implement this project", says Bert Smit ADRA UK director. "These three projects are in addition to our work in Somalia and the UN projects in Chad (UNICEF, water & sanitation) and Rwanda (UNHCR, education). However our work does not stop there! Other project proposals have been submitted for Chad, Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Myanmadra_uk_thar, Rwanda and the Ukraine, while we are in discussions with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, DRC and the Philippines."

In 2017, as ADRA-UK will take their steady ascent from the valley back to the mountaintop, "we can only remind you that we take this climb hand in hand with you," appeals Smit, "our donors. Please remember to support our work as we strive to help the people most in need in some of the toughest places on earth!"

[Bert Smit]

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