Education is the single most powerful weapon against poverty.
When children are educated, they are empowered to transform not just their own lives, but the lives of their families and communities. In many developing countries, kids who aren't in school are also vulnerable to child traffickers, exploitation, forced child labor and child marriage. School keeps them safe from these dangers.
But around the world, children in impoverished communities face tremendous obstacles to their education. Just the cost of pencils or uniforms can be an obstacle for many families.
When you give a child school supplies, a new uniform and shoes, you give a child exactly what they need to stay in school. School supplies might seem like no big deal, but they often mean the difference between a child dropping out early or graduating high school!
The hardships and hurdles that force children out of school vary from country to country. But no matter where they live, out-of-school children are more likely to be victims of child trafficking, child labor, neglect, coercion or abuse.
In Cambodia, only 66 percent of girls and 83 percent of boys learn to read and write. In Ethiopia and Uganda, illiteracy rates are even more staggering.
In China, the Philippines, Vietnam and other countries where we work, many families struggle to afford school fees and supplies, causing children to drop out early.
In India, gender-based violence and child marriage heighten drop-out rates when girls reach puberty — a common trend in the communities we serve.
Children with special needs rarely have the tools they need to be successful. Some schools don't even allow children with special needs to attend.
For children living in a garbage dump in Mongolia, the future held little to look forward to until one day, one of their own grew up — and opened a school just for them.
You smell, says the teacher. You can't wear dirty clothes to school. You can't learn anything. You don't belong here.
You belong to the garbage.
On the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, high above the city at the crest of a hill, a land of discarded waste sprawls over miles and miles, shrouded by a heavy cloud of toxic dust. This wasteland, this dumping ground for a million people's garbage, is a living place, teeming with animals and people who pick through the refuse to gather whatever they can find to survive. To get first pick at the discarded food in the trucks that arrive at dawn, some people sleep here, using cardboard and old tires to block the icy night wind.
Around the world, Holt sponsors and donors provide the support and resources children need to achieve their dreams.
Because of donors who gave to the Yesus Mena School for the Deaf, 15-year-old Dawit can finally express his thoughts and feelings — bringing greater hope, and happiness, to his life.
Without the support of donors, Shuang would probably have dropped out of school by now. Instead, she is preparing for high school!
Please write a short message of encouragement to your sponsored child on the bookmark we mailed to you and return it to Holt at 250 Country Club Road, Eugene, Oregon 97401. Your sponsored child will be excited to see your special note and a bookmark with their picture! The second bookmark is yours to keep as a reminder to pray for students around the world.