Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with an economy and environment battered by years of repressive politics, widespread corruption and mismanaged resources. As Haiti's infrastructure has suffered, so too have the Haitian people. Over half the population is unemployed, and many families live in such dire poverty that they cannot feed their children. With little to no social services available, many families must seek alternative care for their children.
On January 12, 2010, a massive earthquake plunged Haiti into further turmoil. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes, including thousands of children, many of whom either lost their families or whose families could no longer provide for their care. The earthquake also significantly damaged key infrastructure, which today remains in very poor condition.
Holt began our work in Haiti in 2003 — partnering with the humanitarian organization Hope for Haiti Foundation, centered at the Fontana Children's Village
north of Port-au-Prince. For 11 years, Holt worked alongside Hope for Haiti to provide nurturing care for children at the village, including many affected
by the January 2010 earthquake. Many of these children were ultimately able to reunite with their birth families. For those children unable to rejoin their
families, we worked to find loving adoptive families.
For over six years, Holt also provided family strengthening services for families near the coastal town of Montrouis and later in the community surrounding
the children's village. By providing tools to help them become self-reliant, including vocational skills and family wellness trainings, our efforts created
positive and lasting change in the lives of these families.
In 2014, Holt's central adoption authority implemented changes to the adoption process in Haiti — creating new guidelines for how agencies can work with
orphanages. As a result of these changes, our long-standing partnership with Hope for Haiti and Fontana Village came to an end.
Today, Holt continues to care for children in Haiti through our sponsorship program. At one care center in Port-au-Prince that was badly damaged in the
2010 earthquake, Holt sponsors are helping to meet the nutritional and medical needs of children in care while the staff works to rebuild the structure.
Ultimately, with support from Holt, the care center hopes to resume an educational program for children in the community that abruptly stopped after the
Although the new adoption system limits what and how we can fund programs for children in Haiti, Holt continues to seek more opportunities to work within
these new guidelines and come alongside existing organizations that are already meeting the needs of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. At the
same time, Holt is exploring ways to resume our family strengthening work in Haiti. As always, our ultimate goal is to help parents regain both stability
and self-reliance, and help children grow and thrive in the loving care of their families.
From more information about international adoption from Haiti, click here.
Help Support Children and Families in Haiti!
Become a Holt child sponsor today!
For $30/month, you can help provide nutritious food, warm clothing, safe shelter and loving care for a child in Haiti.
Give a Gift of Hope!
Help provide basic healthcare, life-saving food or even a needed medical procedure for a vulnerable child. Whether for Christmas or another occasion, giving from Holt's gift catalog is a wonderful way to honor a loved one.
An expanded version of this document is available as a PDF. Click here.