Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/ADRA/Community Development

Community Development
General Conference
Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 2009

1. Define community development.


Community development is a broad term applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, involved citizens and professionals to improve various aspects of local communities.

Community development seeks to empower individuals and groups of people by providing these groups with the skills they need to effect change in their own communities. Community developers must understand both how to work with individuals and how to affect communities' positions within the context of larger social institutions.

2. Explain to your instructor why some countries are considered “developing” while others are referred to as “developed.”


Those countries called developed or industrialized nations are those with common use of western medicine, wide systems of paved roads, structured education for children through adulthood, stable economies and governments, provide large portion international aid for developing nations, provide portions of international military assistance, commonly provide scientific advancement and fund scientific research, and the majority of whose population lives out of poverty.

Developing nations are formerly known as third world countries. These nations are not stable in economy and government, often needing financial and military intervention for any form of stability. Some have no regular government in place that is fully recognized by the people of the country - for example Somalia and The Sudan. There is often ongoing civil war, little or no education opportunity, even in the most basic systems of living. There is limited access to medical assistance in these nations and they rely primarily on foreign aid in this aspect as they do all others. From the government to the people, they are often countries that have become total welfare states and are in fact not developing, but rather waiting for their next handout. They rely on Non-governmental Organizations (NGO's) and foreign nations for their survival. Those that are developing such as Kenya, suffer set backs in which they seek assistance such as a current (2006) widespread drought there but have a largely stable economy and government.

3. Name 5 developing countries and list three things that ADRA is doing in these countries that would be considered “development” and two things that would fall under “relief.”


The best sources for up to date information on ADRA's work is your ADRA Country Office or the ADRA Really Useful Gifts Catalog. Emergency Management and Food Security are relief effort categories.

4. Read about why there are poor people among us in the book Desire of Ages written by Ellen G. White (Chapter 70, "The Least of These My Brethren.") Describe to your instructor what you learned.


Most of Ellen White's writings are available online. This particular passage can be found at

5. Describe at least one need in your community that requires attention.


There are many ways a group of young people can get involved in helping an urban community. Here are some ideas:

Street Feeding
Make lunches and distribute them to the homeless living in the street. This can be done from of a volunteer's vehicle or from an ACS van. Some groups also collect blankets, socks, underwear, gloves, and coats (or any combination of these) and distribute them with the lunches.
Work in a Soup Kitchen
Groups may volunteer on a regular basis, or as available.
Homeless Shelters
Find out what other churches in your community are doing for the homeless. Some churches may band together to offer shelter on a rotating basis for one month (or one week if there are enough churches) during the coldest part of the year. A meal is usually served each evening as well. If your community already has a program like this, join it. If not, look into starting one.
Thrift Store
Contact your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, or similar organization and ask what you can do to help. They may be able to put you to work sorting donated items or helping out in many other ways. These stores usually employ those who are in desperate need, providing them with on-the-job training that may enable them to get a job in a regular retail establishment.
Day Camp
Start a Day Camp at your church. These programs are operated much the same as a Vacation Bible School program, with or without the religious component. These programs are offered for free and are targeted towards underprivileged youth. They also provide the parents with a form of free babysitting allowing them to run errands or even work.
Tutoring Program
See the Literacy honor for more information.
Clothes Closet
Collect used clothing from church members and make it available to those in need. This can be done on a regular, weekly basis, or by appointment. You can photocopy ads with tear-off phone numbers for the program and hang them on bulletin boards around your community.

6. Write a short community development plan that your Pathfinder group can implement (planting trees, cleaning parks or yards, repainting public walls, etc.). The plan should describe the activity, group size, transportation logistics, and materials.


Getting your plan down in writing will help you stay on track and give you a better understanding of what you will need to accomplish your goals. This paper can be presented to local businesses in an effort to gain funding for your project. They are far more likely to donate generously to your program if you have a plan in place and can demonstrate specific needs.

7. Spend at least four hours in one of the following field trips as a participant observer


Participate with a group that provides assistance to the homeless in your community.


One project you could get involved with would be the collection and distribution of food and/or blankets. Collect the items at your church for about a month ahead of time. This can be done by placing a large box in the church foyer and having its purpose announced from the pulpit and in the church bulletin. Make a sign for the box as well, and decorate it (use gift wrap) to make an attractive, eye-catching display. This may also be done as a Sabbath School class project over the course of a quarter (three month period).

Participate with a work team that is repairing or building housing for the poor.


Since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the concept of "voluntourism" has become popular. "Voluntourists" are people who spend their vacations volunteering in an area needing help, such as one that has been struck by a natural disaster. Often, the volunteers will take a day off during their visit to tour nearby, unaffected areas.

Other options including signing up with Habitat for Humanity, or Maranatha Volunteers International.

Work in a food distribution center, soup kitchen, or homeless shelter in your community.


You can find local soup kitchens and shelters in your phone book. Call them and ask how you can help. Work with the staff to find a need they have that your group is able to fill. Then do it!