On June 1, International Day of the Child, children in Holt programs around the world had a huge birthday bash — because every child deserves to be celebrated.
From Korea to Thailand to Colombia and beyond, there are all kinds of traditional and fun ways children and families celebrate their birthdays. But what about for children who live in orphanages or in poverty — like the children in Holt’s programs?
The sad reality is that many of these children don’t get to celebrate. There’s no money for a cake, balloons, a special outing or party with friends.
That’s why every year on International Day of the Child, Holt sponsors and donors come together to provide a birthday gift and celebration to children in Holt’s programs. Because every child is a reason to celebrate.
Here are some updates from some of our 2023 International Day of the Child birthday celebrations around the world!
At orphanages and education program sites across China, children were overjoyed to receive gifts, cake and a fun party.
“International Children’s Day is the holiday that children look forward to most. To celebrate this day, we bought a batch of toys for the children in the orphanage. These toys included children’s favorite cartoon character dolls, toy cars, building blocks, clay, makeup toys and so on. Ninety-nine children got their favorite toys. They are very happy. They couldn’t wait to open the toys and show each other. They also exchanged gifts with good friends. They learned that sharing with each other magnifies their happiness. The orphanage also held celebration activities for the children. The children performed well. They sang and danced together, and they had a happy day. Orphanages and group home parents and children were very grateful to the sponsors for their generosity. They thanked the sponsors for their constant care and help. They wished the sponsors good health and all the best.” – Holt orphanage partner in China
At another orphanage in China, children sang and danced, then had a special visit from a clown!
“The orphanage and the children wish the sponsors good health and all the best.” – Holt orphanage partner in China
At an educational program site in rural China, children received books about stars and the solar system! One child, Yin Yan, was overheard saying, “The quality of this set of books is so good, and the content looks great. I love it so much.”
And one of the teachers affirmed how important this gift was for these children. “Children in the countryside don’t have many opportunities to read extracurricular books,” she said. “They usually just read some textbooks, and few parents buy books for their children. But in fact, children’s desire for books and knowledge is very strong, so this gift is really good, thanks to the teachers and sponsors from Holt!”
Children ages 6 months to 4 years old in a Holt-supported nursery school program did a special coloring activity about their favorite pet. Afterwards, children got to have a piece of cake along with the beautiful birthday card from their sponsors.
“All the kids had a great time. Thank you for your constant support and generosity. These children have the opportunity to enjoy great moments.” – Maria Gabriela Cadena, Holt partner in Colombia
At one orphanage in India, children celebrated with a trip to the park, games and a special meal.
“The children were wearing new clothes and were very happy to enjoy the day with full of energy. We visited the nearby park. Children enjoyed the outing and experienced the different atmosphere in the garden. There were statues of different animals in the garden and the children took nice pictures with them. Children also played different games in the garden. They enjoyed playing on different play equipment like the see-saw and swings. It was good to observe a lot of happiness on their faces.
“On behalf of the children, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the sponsors. Your generous contributions, love, and support brought immeasurable happiness and created lasting memories for each child. Thank you for making this event truly remarkable.”Holt’s partner in Pune, India
After coming home from the garden in the evening, the children got a special meal.
“We are very thankful for your generous donation to the children on the occasion of International Children’s Day,” said this Holt orphanage partner in India. “The children enjoyed the day very much. It was a big day for the children.”
And at an educational support program in Pune, children did drama performances, origami, games and more. Then they had special snacks and cake!
“On behalf of the children, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the sponsors,” says Holt’s partner in Pune, India. “Your generous contributions, love, and support brought immeasurable happiness and created lasting memories for each child. Thank you for making this event truly remarkable.”
Nine orphanages in the Philippines held International Day of the Child birthday celebrations for the children they care for. Especially after a year of diminishing resources, they said the celebration was such a joy!
Here are just a few sentiments shared by orphanage staff:
“The program started with an opening prayer led by one of the sponsored children, followed by a dance performance by the children …. The children were provided with baked macaroni, fried chicken, vegetables and a fruit salad for dessert.” — Holt orphanage partner in the Philippines
“Thank you all Holt sponsors for giving the children and the staff an opportunity to celebrate a day of fun and wonderful memories. May God’s blessing by always wth you and your families.” — Holt orphanage partner in the Philippines
“The children and youth [here] are grateful for the joy you have given to them. The smiles on their faces is because of your thoughtfulness and generosity.” — Holt orphanage partner in the Philippines
“With the desire to bring unexpected joy to children on the occasion of International Children’s Day, this year Holt Vietnam decided to give gifts to all children in the scholarship program. Each child received a cash gift so that they could buy their own favorite gift …. Some of the children who received the gift just shyly smiled and said they were happy to receive this gift. Some other children expressed their extreme happiness because this was their first time receiving a gift on this special day, and they were extremely grateful for the kindness of the sponsors for them. The gift made them feel cared for and encouraged.”
Give a Happy Birthday
You can give a birthday party, meal and present to a child in need!