Our History

We'RE HERE WHEN THEY NEED US MOST

ADRA has been serving countries all over the world for more than 60 years to reach the most vulnerable communities and go where other NGOs don’t. To date, the ADRA network has been providing support, relief and empowerment to more than 118 countries. Here is a brief timeline of ADRA’s history since its establishment and the ADRA office in Myanmar. 

1956

ADRA’s humanitarian work was first established in November 1956 by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church to provide relief and welfare, being formally known as the Seventh Day Adventist Welfare Service (SAWS).

1956
1958

SAWS organised relief shipments to 22 countries with a total value of  USD $485,000. Four years later, the total number of countries increased to 29 with a total value of USD $2.3 million in shipments. During this period, the country beneficiaries included those located within South America and the Middle East – sites of major disasters.

1958
1970

By the mid 1970’s, SAWS began to broaden its mission focus from disaster relief to long term programs that would lead to long term development practices.

1970
1973

As SAWS’ work expanded, the name was changed to Seventh Day Adventist World Service in order to best reflect the move into community development and not just welfare.

1973
1983

The name changed once more to what we know today as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). The work of ADRA grew quickly with major programs established in several countries emphasizing community development, food distributions, institutional development and ongoing disaster relief. Examples of activities included; building health clinics in Africa, assisting hurricane victims in Central America, teaching hygiene and health practices to children in Asia, and promoting awareness of worldwide humanitarian needs through ADRA’s global network in the United States.

 

1983
1984

ADRA commences work in Myanmar with the local Seventh Day Adventist church taking an active part within the Myanmar Health Department establishing what we know today as ADRA Myanmar.

1984
1992

ADRA Myanmar becomes registered with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

1992
1997

ADRA becomes one of the leading non-governmental relief organisations in the world. ADRA International established as the head office within the United States is granted General Consultative Status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations leading to the opportunity of ADRA having a voice within the international community.

1997
2008

Cyclone Nargis wreaks havoc across Myanmar causing USD$10 billion worth in damage with a high casualty count. ADRA Myanmar works with international emergency funds and donors to deliver support and relief to affected communities. 

2008
2016

ADRA Myanmar establishes 4 core sectors to define and simplify the scope of our projects including; Sustainable Livelihoods, Education, Health & Nutrition and Emergency Response.

2016
2018

ADRA Myanmar continues to hold an MoU with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement as well as building a strong working relationship with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, and the Ministry of Education Department for Technical Vocational Education (MoE-DTVE).

2018
2019

ADRA International launches the rebrand of the ADRA network. ADRA Myanmar celebrates their 35th Anniversary on May 31. ADRA Myanmar is selected as one of 10 focus countries to participate in a 3 year global advocacy campaign targeted at Out of School Children by ADRA International. ADRA Myanmar launches the European Union funded CASE2Learn project – the largest EU funded project in ADRA’s history at over EU$20 million. 

2019
2020

ADRA Myanmar receives new funding for the BRIGHT project with Global Affairs Canada and continues work implementing 10 projects across 4 sectors. Over 12,000 signatures are collected in Myanmar for ADRA’s global advocacy campaign ‘Every Child Everywhere in School’. ADRA Myanmar re-launches its official Newsletter ‘Mingalaba’ since 2011.

2020