October 24, 2014

ADRA Looks to Improve Response to Disasters in Mexico


ADRA, the Adventist relief agency, has unified the work of
all its branches in Mexico to improve its response to natural disasters such as
drought and flooding.

Local ADRA directors from all 36 of the Adventist Church’s conferences
in Mexico met for a first-time conference in the city of Riviera Maya to
coordinate their activities and undergo three days of training.

“This gathering allowed us to establish a unified national
program among our regional and local ADRA offices to respond to the needs of
the community more efficiently and effectively,” said César Hernández, ADRA
director for Mexico.

The ADRA leaders discussed ways to be more effective in providing
rapid first response in emergencies, a feature that the church-operated
organization is already known for in Mexico.

“Mexico is under constant threat of natural disasters small
and big, and we could have drought in the north and flooding in the south all
at the same time because of its size and diversity,” said Wally Amundson, ADRA
director for the church’s Inter-American Division, which includes Mexico and
other countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

<strong>ADRA PHOTO CALL:</strong> ADRA regional directors posing for a group photo in Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico, during a three-day conference. Photo courtesy of Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union.
<strong>SCHOOL SUPPLIES:</strong> An ADRA worker presenting a backpack filled with school supplies to a Mexican girl. Credit: Aarón Omaña / IAD

Amundson said ADRA has engaged in sporadic projects in
Mexico for years, but the recent training “focused on increasing partnerships
with qualified and educated members who are willing and anxious to be part of a
community initiative.”

ADRA International director Jonathan Duffy joined ADRA
directors from Honduras, El Salvador, the Caribbean, and Australia in
participating in the training.

“It was really good to see this national training in Mexico,
the first in more than 15 years there,” Amundson said.

He expressed hope that the meeting would become an example
for other countries within the Inter-American Division.

At the conference, the ADRA directors from Mexico agreed to
expand an initiative called Children Helping Children in which children from
Seventh-day Adventist churches and schools distribute school supplies in
backpacks to needy children or contribute funds to buy

ADRA's Inter-Oceanic Mexican office recently provided
about 6,000 backpacks to children in needy communities thanks to donations from
hundreds of church members.

Inter-American Division: "Mexico: ADRA Regional Directors Vow to Enable Members to Assist Their Communities"