The roots of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency reach back to the year 1890 where a relief organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist church worked in the slums of Chicago. Based on the experiences of two World Wars and the immeasurable misery they caused, the relief organizations of the Seventh-day Adventist church were established and grew in many countries of the northern hemisphere.

While the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Swaziland has for many decades been actively involved in various community services and relief activities like the following, which are now embraced with ADRA’s more comprehensive program:

• Food and clothing distribution
• Building and renovating homes for the aged
• Helping needy people with school tuition
• Christmas food hampers for vulnerable adults and children
• School holiday camps for underprivileged children
• Free clinics for rural communities

In 2002 ADRA Swaziland was formally registered with the Swaziland Government as a non-profit making organization. ADRA as an NGO is exempted from all import taxes for materials and equipments imported for projects


REFLECT the Christian values through humanitarian and developmental activities.
ACTIVELY SUPPORT communities in need through a portfolio of development activities which are planned and implemented cooperatively.
PROVIDE assistance in situations of crisis or chronic distress, and work toward the development of long-term solutions with those affected.
WORK through equitable partnerships with those in need to achieve positive and sustainable change in communities.
BUILD networks that develop indigenous capacity, appropriate technology, and skills at all levels.
DEVELOP and maintain relationships with our partners, which provide effective channels for mutual growth and action.
PROMOTE and expand the equitable and participatory involvement of women in the development process.
ADVOCATE for and assist in the increased use of communities capacities to care for and responsibly manage the natural resources of their environment.
FACILITATE the right and ability of all children to attain their full potential, and to assist in assuring the child's survival to achieve that potential.


ADRA is organised as a world-wide operating network of approximately 120 independently working country offices and 11 regional offices. All these are combined in an organisation, ADRA International, (with headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, USA).

ADRA International provides support and coordination but has no direct authority for the independent country offices. ADRA International is not financed by country offices, but through its own fund-raising.

ADRA International was granted a 'General Consultative Status' at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

The ADRA network cooperates closely with other relief organisations (NGOs) and UN organisations, especially with the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations High Commissary for Refugees and the UNICEF.

In order to document the cooperation within the world-wide network of Seventh-day Adventist relief organisations and also to avoid the use of several names, the international abbreviation ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) is used.

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