Photo Courtesy of ADRA Uganda
Uganda | Immanuel Ogwal | Director | AWR Africa Region| Uganda Union Media Centre

The president of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Michael Kruger, has applauded the government of Uganda and challenged other countries to emulate Uganda’s refugee-friendly policies that make the nation a preferred refugee host.

Kruger was the chief guest during the World Refugees Sabbath, celebrated at Kyaka II Refugees Settlement in Kyegegwa District, about 200 kilometers west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. He was received in Uganda by Dr. Matte Daniel, board chairman for ADRA Uganda, and Elder Frank Kiggundu, ADRA Uganda’s country director.

As part of his engagements in Uganda, Kruger inaugurated a hospital worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, built at the refugee’s settlement with assistance from ADRA International, Adventist Help, which was represented by Hilde Camacho from Iraq, and other development partners. 

The guest of honor from the government of Uganda was Rt. Hon. Rukia Nakadama, the third deputy prime minister, whose office is charged with the refugees’ matters. She informed the guest that with about 1.5 million refugees, Uganda is a top hosting country in Africa.

Nakadama said, “Under the exemplary leadership of the president of Uganda, the refugees’ policy on self-reliance was developed, and this has been described by UNHCR as a model of development and best assistance.”

The deputy prime minister applauded ADRA International for, among other things, supporting the education and health sector in Uganda.

Responding to the government statement, Kruger said, “Madam Prime Minister, I want to commend you and your government as you said in your statement today; the actions and the policies of refugee integration are ones that could be emulated by other countries around the globe.”

Introducing ADRA as the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with operations in 118 countries, Kruger pointed out, “If you do not have compassion, you cannot call yourself a Christian. When Jesus works on our sinful hearts, we change and we look to the needs of others and not only ourselves.”

In a later interview with Hope Channel Uganda, Kruger challenged the church members: “If you are an Adventist, you are ADRA. ADRA could never make an impact around the globe without the 20 million odd Adventists that are around the globe.” He encouraged all church members in Uganda to be welcoming and open to spend their resources for those in need as the Lord may lead, to impact others’ lives.

Several ADRA representatives from around the world also attended the WRS events, including ADRA Africa Regional Executive Director Peter Delhove, ADRA Africa Regional Office Emergency Management Coordinator Dr. Hannah Ndungu, and ADRA International Emergency Response Program Manager for Africa and Europe Regions Billy Andre.

 Hans Klahar, from ADRA Sweden, Christopher Kjolner, from ADRA Norway, and Hilde Camacho, from Adventist Help, were among the guests who accompanied Kruger.

Conference and field presidents of the church in attendance were Pastor Samuel Kajoba, Pastor Samuel Mwebaza, Pastor Richard Rusoke, and Pastor Daniel Ssenuni, from the Central Uganda Conference, Western Uganda Field, Mid-Western Uganda Mission, and Western Buganda Field, respectively.