Around the Globe

Updates on Holt programs around the world.

Ethiopia

A Holt-funded health center in the rural area of Shinshicho has now opened its doors to patients! This major project began in 2010 when Holt renovated a small clinic in rural Ethiopia serving a region of 250,000 people — many of them families in Holt’s family strengthening program and children supported by Holt sponsors. But the community needed more than a clinic. They needed a hospital equipped to provide advanced medical care for everyone from women facing complications in childbirth to children born with surgically correctable conditions.  Recognizing the need, Holt partnered with the local community to begin building a full maternal-child hospital. And now, for the first time, this community is receiving the care it needs. “Thanks to donors and our partners in Ethiopia, children and families have hope for the future,” says Phil Littleton, Holt president and CEO.  “We were blessed to be a part of this meaningful project in Shinshicho, and are so grateful that the people of this community will now receive the medical care they need.”

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Haiti

In Haiti, Holt is now partnering with the nonprofit organization Fondation Enfant Jesus (FEJ) to empower women through microenterprise. Through the Chache Lavi program, women receive the resources, education and support they need to create and sustain small businesses — enabling them to independently support their children.  “The program’s aim is to break the cycle of poverty experienced by children and their families,” says Mike Noah, Holt’s director of programs for Haiti and Africa.  “We want to help women create or expand small businesses, while providing them with the required technical and financial tools to increase their earnings and meet the immediate needs of their family.” Holt is providing training and micro-loans for 68 women, and their children are paired with sponsors to help meet their everyday needs — a vital source of support that allows each woman to focus on building her business. “Sponsorship provides the needed backbone for the women to build self-sufficiency,” Mike explains. “Upon completion of the Chache Lavi program, the women will be in a much better position to care for themselves and their families.”

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Mongolia

In one of the poorest districts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Holt partnered with the community to open a much-needed library and after-school program. “The children in this area love to read and need a safe and warm place to go when they aren’t in school,” says Paul Kim, Holt’s director of programs for Korea and Mongolia. Paul hopes that the new program will also address some of the longstanding issues in the region, including schools that are filled beyond capacity — forcing children to attend in shifts. “There are no resources for these children. If they have parents, their parents are working or trying to find jobs and the children are much more at risk of becoming involved in illicit and unhealthy activities, leaving their homes and living on the streets,” Paul says.  Along with giving children access to books through the library, Holt also plans to provide study programs, art and music instruction, language class and other activities. The children will receive hot lunches, health monitoring and hygiene support, and counseling and intervention, as needed, by local advocates. Ultimately, Holt hopes that this special after-school program will provide a gateway through which we can partner with child sponsors to serve a much greater number of families and children in the district.

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Vietnam & Philippines

In Southeast Asia, Holt continues to expand daycare for sponsored children and their families. For the past four years, the daycare programs in Vietnam have provided critical early education and socialization opportunities as well as a safe place for children to stay while their parents work.  Holt has also tailored programming to meet the specific needs of each community. In five provinces, Holt provides daycare services that include specialized therapies for children with special needs  — with the newest special needs daycare opening last year in Binh Duong province. Nutrition is a critical issue as well. At one daycare center in southern Dong Nai province, free milk and nourishing school lunches have dropped malnutrition rates from 7.5 percent to less than 1 percent — progress that makes Thoa Bui, senior executive for Holt’s programs in South and Southeast Asia, enthusiastic about the future of daycare services in other Holt countries. Holt currently supports six daycare centers in the Philippines, and expects to add another in September. “Access to daycare does not just create opportunities for early access to education and stimulation, but also allows parents to go out and seek jobs, increasing financial stability for families,” Thoa says. “This addresses the needs of children and families in a holistic approach, and helps keep families together.”

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