The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has collaborated with six Adventist universities, including Andrews University, Kettering College, La Sierra University, Pacific Union College, Loma Linda University, Oakwood University, and Walla Walla University, to kick–off its first–ever ADRA Connections Extreme program. ADRA Connections is ADRA’s global volunteer program that allows service–minded individuals to experience the mission of ADRA first hand and make a difference.
This year, ADRA Connections and more than 80 student volunteers from the North American-based Adventist universities, will travel to the Amazon to help finish the Adventist Technical School of Massauri, or ETAM, in Brazil. ETAM is a technical school comprised of 20 buildings. An additional 100 student volunteers from the Centro Universitario Adventista de Sao Paulo in Brazil will also help to collaborate on the building project. The school, inaugurated in 2016, is the first of its kind for the community to be built and will be completed in July with the help of the student volunteers and ADRA.
Student volunteers will help complete classrooms, a dormitory, a cafeteria, missionary houses, and a library. An inauguration ceremony will be held toward the end of the trip honoring the official opening of the school. Forty–four ETAM students, ages 5–14, will soon receive their education for the first time in concrete buildings.
“Through ADRA Connections Extreme, the student volunteers will learn about ADRA and will explore the world like never before,” says Adam Wamack, ADRA Connections manager. “In Brazil, they will work on projects that involve painting, ceramics, and furniture assembling. There will also be no wi–fi connectivity and students will sleep on hammocks on the boat during their stay, so it will be interesting to see how students cope.” Wamack added that more trips will be offered in the near future and will be opened to anyone.
Students who have been on prior ADRA Connections trips had this to say about their excursion.
“It was a unique experience living in the boat for ten days —one I will never forget!” –Arusha E “I have a background in building houses so it was amazing to put that into good use and help the community. It was fun!” – Joshua
“The soccer experience with the community was really fun because it was a unique way to bond with them.” –Matthew
“This trip has really opened my eyes about the needs of other people and I feel like I can make a difference.” –Andy