International Children's Care Australia's former CEO Alex Currie. [Photo: ICCA & Adventist Record]

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Church-Supporting Ministry for Asian Children Finds Its Position Untenable

Tax code changes, among the reasons cited for International Children’s Care crisis.

Adventist supporting ministry, International Children’s Care Australia (ICCA, also known as Adventure Fund Global) was placed into voluntary administration on May 9, 2018.

This means the Sydney-based charity is unable to receive any further donations. While the company was still solvent when the announcement was made, the board of directors could see that its position was untenable.

Former CEO Alex Currie said it has been a “painful and difficult time,” and that he is among those who have been working to help ICCA-funded programs find additional donors.

In a letter sent to supporters and donors, Currie laid out some of the difficulties ICCA has faced recently, welcomed questions and asked for prayer as the ICCA leadership team continues to negotiate on behalf of their partner organizations, which provide child protection and community development programs in southern and south-east Asia.

“Thank you for your love and generosity for children and communities,” Currie’s letter read. “ICCA has made such a difference for so many destitute children for more than 20 years in countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.”

Currie cited a recent drop in donations that, according to his letter, has been experienced by a number of Australian charities recently. The Australian government has tightened tax deductibility regulations for charities operating overseas — activities classified as “welfare” are no longer tax deductible for Australian donors. In mid-2017, ICCA made efforts to cut back on costs in response to these challenges, including staff working fewer hours and an increased reliance on volunteers.

ICCA has been working with overseas partners to find alternative funding methods for their projects. The ministry microfinance programs and the Blessed Homes in the Philippines, for instance, will be taken on by other charities.

Unfortunately, to date, not all of the projects are supported.

“Since the decision was made last week, efforts have been and continue to be made to find a similar organization or organizations to support the Children’s Village partners in the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Flourish in Cambodia also needs help,” the letter reads. “We hope to be able to announce those arrangements in the very near future. Critical negotiations and possibilities are being considered.

“We want to express our heartfelt appreciation and support of so many donors, volunteers and staff over many years, and pray that the work of the organization may be able to continue in some form,” writes Currie.

Over the years, ICCA ran a number of Big Build trips, taking groups from Australia to visit project sites and construct housing for disadvantaged people. The 2019 Big Build has been canceled, and participants are having their payments refunded.

While ICCA is a recognized supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is largely run by Church members — it is not an official institution of the Church.


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