The official news service of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church



23 February 2011 Lillehammer, Norway [Britt Celine Oldebråten, tedNEWS] 400 Youth participating in the annual Seventh Day Adventist Floor ball tournament collected NOK 16 000 (approximately GBP 1750) for a wall around the “Keep Girls Safe”-shelter in Northern Thailand. The event is arranged by the Seventh-day Adventist children and youth society in the Norwegian Union and has also involved ADRA for the last couple of years.

"Young people who learn a service orientation are much more likely to identify themselves with the heart of Jesus and become active disciples for Gods kingdom," says Victor Marley, youth leader in the Norwegian Union.

"The tournament in 2010 was on just a couple of weeks after the big earthquake struck Haiti," says Gry Haugen from ADRA Norway. "The youth wanted to help, so they decided to give the offering from the sermon to ADRA’s emergency work in Haiti."

This year, one of our workers, Britt Celine Oldebråten, has been working for ADRA Thailand. Through facebook, blogging, magazines and e-mails, she has spread information about the needed wall around the “Keep Girls Safe”-shelter in Northern Thailand, and the tournament committee decided to give the funds from the special offering to this wall.

The tournament had a special program Friday night and during the service on Sabbath, everyone had a lego brick that they brought to the front when they came up for the offering. All the lego bricks were built as a wall around an imaginary “KGS lego shelter”. 16 000 NOK (GBP 1750) was collected during the service. In addition to other donations for the wall, around ¾ of the wall was now covered. Hearing about the enthusiasm of the young people, the Norwegian Seventh Day Adventist Union came on board and decided to match the remaining funds!

Why is it important to include a humanitarian aspect in a happening like this?
"Understanding the big picture and participating in that big human story is extremely valuable for our young people. All the statistics show that young people that participate in solidarity and service projects are much less likely to participate in “at risk” behaviours," says Victor Marley. He continues: "But even more than that, I believe that young people who learn a service orientation are much more likely to identify themselves with the heart of Jesus and become active disciples for Gods kingdom."

"Supporting a concrete humanitarian project like the wall has inspired the young people, and for the future, we are looking into cooperating even further with ADRA," emphasises Tor Kjetil Lisle from Lillehammer Seventh-day Adventist Church, which played a key role in organising this event.

Young people do not always have the most of money, but they are extremely engaged. Put 400 young people in one place and you really can make a difference: ADRA Thailand has already started on the process of building the wall!

The Keep Girls Safe project is preventing trafficking in Northern Thailand, and it is buils on three pillars: 1) Community awareness raising, 2) scholarships for vulnerable girls living at home, 3) a shelter for vulnerable at-risk girls.

ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity. [tedNEWS]

tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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