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Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Outreach/Rural Development

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Rural Development
North American Division


Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 2009



Earning this honor meets a requirement for:

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Investiture Achievement Connection: This Honor is related to the Investiture Achievement requirements for GUIDE Serving Others which require the Pathfinder choose to complete selected requirements from among several Honors, including this Honor. The Advanced Ribbon requires completion of a selected Honor, of which this is one of the options.

This honor was developed in cooperation with Adventist Community Services.

1. Explain to your instructor why some countries in our world are called “developing” countries and why others are called “developed” countries.

A developing country, also called a less-developed country, is a nation with a lower living standard, underdeveloped industrial base, and low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. There is no universal, agreed-upon criterion for what makes a country developing versus developed and which countries fit these two categories, although there are general reference points such as a nation's GDP per capita compared to other nations. Also, the general term less-developed country should not be confused with the specific term least developed country.

There is criticism of the use of the term developing country. The term implies inferiority of a developing country or undeveloped country compared to a developed country, which many countries dislike.

All developed countries graduated from developing to developed at some point (recently Poland for example) or newly industrialized, which is a country still not considered developed but no longer primarily agricultural and poor.

2. Name ten developing countries and list two things that ADRA is doing in these countries that would fall under the description of “relief” and two things that would fall under the description of “development”.

Rather than provide a list of countries and projects (which changes over time), we direct you to do research on adra.org where you can explore projects by region and country.

Development projects are generally designed to make a long term impact in the developing area. Examples include infrastructure construction (roads, wells and water pipes, sewers, schools, hospitals etc), health programs, education (farming practices, healthy lifestyle, midwife training, basic education and literacy), and microfinance (small loans to help people start businesses).

Relief work is a much smaller part of ADRA's focus but also very important. Relief efforts usually follow some natural or man-made disaster such as flooding, hurricanes or war. Relief could mean providing emergency equipment (tents, water purification), clothing and food, or medical assistance for victims. Other relief may include helping victims contact families or even migrate away from a refugee camp.

Now go explore adra.org and make a list or current or recent projects in developing countries.

3. Read what Ellen White has written about why we have the poor with us in Desire of Ages, Chapter 70, entitled “The Least of These My Brethren”. Summarize what you have learned from this chapter in 50 words or less.

You can find the amazing book Desire of Ages in any Adventist Church or School library and in many Adventist homes. You can also read the required chapter online http://www.whiteestate.org/books/da/da70.html

Your summary could be written or verbal to your instructor.

4. View an ADRA video report (www.adra.org) on development activities in other countries than your own, and participate in a discussion about what you see following the video.

Topics of discussion may include:

  1. Why is ADRA helping these people?
  2. What is ADRA doing to ensure a better life after ADRA leaves?
  3. What disadvantages do these people live under?
  4. Is there cultural issues, political issues, weather problems, or other issues you can identify?
  5. How is ADRA's policy of not discriminating based on religion working here?
  6. ADRA often focuses on women - if this project is women focused, why is that?

These are just example discussion points. Have fun and learn about helping others.

5. Participate in one of the following field trips or group projects:

a. Go on a mission trip to a disadvantaged rural area in another country or within your own nation.

This option is a perfect fit for an international mission trip with Maranatha Volunteers International maranatha.org as most mission trips build churches and schools in rural developing areas.

In North America and the South Pacific there are many poor rural areas (native reservations for example) that could be visited. In Europe, there is ample needs to be met in the poor rural areas of Eastern Europe.

Sometimes local conferences sponsor mission trips for young people that would qualify for this honor. You might also check with the nearest ADRA office.

b. Raise funds and contribute to the contents of an ADRA-kids-box of your choice (http://kids.adra.org).

A low cost, simple way to meet this requirement as you just need internet, a few minutes, and a credit card to build and fund a box for needy kids. There is interesting information and stories on the ADRA kids site worth checking out even if you choose a trip or a lock-in.

c. A 24-hour group fast and educational “lock-in” session with your youth group focused on understanding the needs of the poor in developing nations, and designed to raise funds for rural development.

This option will take some planning, but is a great opportunity to complete the other requirements of this honor in a group setting. Since you have 24 hours of not eating and no where to go, how many other ADRA and other honors can you complete the reading, research and discussion portions of?

Remember to make this a fundraiser too. Can you use the time to call friends and family for pledges (like a jail fundraiser where you can not eat or leave until you raise "bail") or perhaps use the time to make something your group can sell (baking or knitting honors anyone?) Brainstorm ideas with your group to plan an awesome lock-in. Than have fun!

6. Listen to or watch a presentation about a person who grew up in a rural, underdeveloped area. Discuss with a Pathfinder staff, club, unit or class how the following differed from your life:

a. What they wore or ate

b. How they kept warm or cool

c. What home, church or school was like

There is little guidance we can give for this requirement. A good activity to do during the lock-in or an evening of your mission trip.


Good map of the developing world: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developing_country

Discontinued honor of the same name: http://www.investitureachievement.org/wiki/index.php/Adventist_Youth_Honors_Answer_Book/ADRA/Rural_Development