As the COVID-19 pandemic rages around the world, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Romania is working hard to provide services to thousands of people in need. In doing so, leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s humanitarian arm say they are being faithful to a mission they have promised not to abandon.
By mid-July 2020, ADRA Romania reached the 18th week of the Humanitarian Support COVID-19 project’s ongoing implementation. During the week ending on July 18, the ADRA team had reached almost 3,000 people, including 724 single elderly people with acute subsistence needs, 95 children from disadvantaged backgrounds but who have exceptional academic results, and 1,945 adults fighting to ensure decent living conditions. They also assisted 20 immigrants and four victims of domestic violence.
Adapting to Multiple Needs
ADRA Romania has been working to adapt the agency’s services to the multiple needs caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These needs include providing hot meals, hygiene products, and medicine. Staff and volunteers have also assisted 150 newborns, provided shelter to 17 people, and benefited nine people with psychological crisis counseling.
According to the country’s agency leaders, the humanitarian help that ADRA Romania offers consists of information, awareness, counselling, and distribution of food and hygiene products. “Services and products are provided by qualified ADRA staff acting in accordance with the safety policies and rules currently in force,” they emphasized.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, at the Emergency Reception Centre for Victims of Domestic Violence – Casa ADRA, we have tried to prevent infection through training and hygienic-sanitary measures,” explained ADRA Romania social worker George Mitroi. “We managed to limit the travel of the beneficiaries and, where there were emergencies or [need] for food, we accompanied them with the agency’s car to avoid traveling by [overcrowded] public transport. We ask God to have mercy on us.”
Mihai Brașov, who coordinates the Hope for Immigrants initiative for ADRA Romania, said that it’s all about thinking and connecting to other people.
“There is so much spirit of sacrifice, solidarity, and desire to get involved as a volunteer,” he said. “People are willing to care, make new friends, and spread much love!”
Since 1990, ADRA Romania has been involved in special projects that have benefited the whole country. Under the motto “Justice. Compassion. Love.” ADRA Romania seeks to bring joy and hope by promoting human dignity, leaders said, regardless of a person’s status or political or religious orientation.