Domestic Welfare Assistance
ADRA Finland’s predecessor, National Welfare (ADA), began providing aid to those with limited means in Finland in 1968. The first relief mission at the time went to Eastern and Northern Finland.
For a long time after that, domestic efforts focused on the distribution of welfare supplies to Eastern and Northern Finland as well as on assisting Karelia. As the need for food and clothing rose in connection with the collapse of the USSR, missions were launched from Finland to the Baltic countries and Russian Karelia. Moreover, ADRA Finland was a highly significant supplier of humanitarian aid to the areas of former Yugoslavia during the ethnic crisis there.
ADRA Finland also gained recognition for domestic efforts through its Iloinen Mieli* welfare assistance events launched during the 1990s in different parts of the country. The events involve distributing articles of clothing, toys, books and household textiles free of charge and giving everyone a free meal and bag of EU food aid. A shoulder massage and blood pressure measurement, both free of charge, bring further joy to hearts.
ADRA has organized 20–30 events of this kind annually, often in cooperation with the municipal social administration as well as local congregations of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
In 2012, ADRA Finland was the fourth largest distributor of EU food aid in Finland, distributing a total of some 100,000 kilos of food.
Over the past twenty years or so, some 6,000–7,000 people have participated in Iloinen Mieli* events annually. Furthermore, in cooperation with local congregations of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Finland, ADRA Finland has provided assistance to meet the needs of people with limited means at different localities, benefiting an estimated total of 33,000–38,000 Finns yearly.
Clients are often citizens living on meager income support from social services, but also single parents and immigrants.
Foreign Development Cooperation and Disaster Relief
ADRA Finland development cooperation in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland was launched already in 1978 as a divisional activity of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Finland. The first development cooperation project involved assisting a maternity clinic operating in Nigeria. To support this, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs allocated a sum of 55,000 Finnish marks.
Ever since then, projects have been carried out together with the Ministry in various parts of the world annually with the main target areas being Africa and Asia. Projects have also been carried out in South America as well as European destinations, such as Russia and the Balkans.
The number of annual projects varies from a handful of projects to more than ten projects a year. The self-financing threshold of the projects has been reached by means of the national Sympatia* campaign, which has been raising funds for more than 90 years.