Kids with backpacks in Cambodia

This past month, children in Holt-supported programs around the world went back to school!

Every year a child returns to school is a huge accomplishment.

When a child lives in poverty, going to school isn’t always a “given.” Many children each year drop out of school because they can’t afford the school fees, uniforms or supplies they need to attend or be successful. And others drop out in order to go to work and make an income for their family.

But education is so important to ensuring children grow up with the tools and opportunities they need to overcome poverty and thrive. That’s why education is one of the biggest ways Holt sponsors help support their sponsored children.

Children Go to School Thanks to Holt Sponsors

At the beginning of every school year, thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, children receive school uniforms, backpacks, pencils and paper, workbooks and more — everything they need for a successful school year!

We just heard that in Cambodia, our staff has been busy gathering and distributing school supplies, backpacks and uniforms for sponsored children. Our local partners in the Philippines distributed complete sets of school supplies, school uniforms and hygiene kits to 705 students last month to get ready for school! And in Ethiopia alone, nearly 2,000 students are going back to school thanks to their Holt sponsors.

In celebrating the thousands of children around the world who get to go to school this year, we want to highlight a few children in particular who had their first day back in the classroom this past month.

With educational support from his sponsor, Hayou is getting the attentive care he needs to thrive in school this year. *Face covered for privacy

Hayou in China

Hayou used to go to school in the countryside. But for first grade this year, he switched to a school in a nearby town. He was nervous, worried about making friends… But because his new school is supported by Holt, as soon as he enrolled he got matched with a Holt sponsor who began to give him the additional educational support that he needed!

Our Holt China staff connected with his teacher, and asked her to keep a special eye on Hayou – to encourage him both in his schoolwork and with making new friends. After just a few weeks of school, we got back this report:

Hayou’s tilts his head back in laughter (center) as he plays outside with his classmates. *Face covered for privacy

“[Hayou] happily shared that he learned how to do addition and subtraction with his fingers at school. He also liked to make toy dinosaurs with clay, which made him feel a sense of achievement and uniqueness.”

He also shared that in a storytelling competition at school, he was initially upset because he got nervous and didn’t finish sharing. But despite this, he still got a special certificate from his teacher, which made him feel so happy and encouraged!

“Next time,” he said, “I’ll be braver and will try to tell the story all the way through.”

His teacher has already noticed a transformation in Hayou because of this additional support. He’s making good friends and is always willing to help her and other students in class. As the school year continues, she’ll make a special note to keep encouraging him in class, as well as connecting with his family to make sure he gets the homework help he needs at home.

Vasant in India

Vasant was just a baby when his family first came to Holt’s partner organization in Bangalore for help. They had recently moved to the big city from their village, and then the pandemic hit soon after. All at once, Vasant’s dad lost his income, and they struggled even more.

His parents enrolled Vasant in a free Holt-supported daycare and preschool where he got nutritious daily meals and stayed safe while his parents looked for work. He attended each level of the preschool, and then this year he was ready to go to a mainstream school. This can be a difficult transition — especially for children who are migrants and speak a different language at home than the primary language in Bangalore.

But Vasant is doing great! He tested into the first grade at his new school, and is learning and connecting with his new classmates. And thanks to Vasant’s Holt sponsor, his parents don’t even have to worry about paying his school fees.

Anant in India

When Anant arrived at his first day of school, a big smile spread across his face. He was so excited to wear his school uniform, and proudly showed it to everyone! You would have never known how nervous he was just the day before…

He loved his new school building, the activities and the interactions he had with his teachers and classmates. And all of this excitement is translating into a love of learning.

“Overall,” says his Holt advocate, “Anant is a reminder of the transformative power of education and the potential for growth and development when a child is given the right support and opportunities.”

Anbassa in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, schools were able to purchase new teaching materials, the playgrounds and school grounds were renovated and made ready, and every child received a fresh set of school supplies for the year ahead. One of these children is Anbassa, who is in fourth grade this year!

“I am very happy to come to school today,” Anbassa said on his first day back. “At the school, I play with friends and I don’t feel boredom.”

When Anbassa came back to his school this September, he was so excited to see that there was a brand new library! His favorite subject is math, and his goal is to get better in Amharic. Someday he hopes to become a doctor!

Thank you, sponsors, for giving each of these children – and thousands more! – a great school year ahead.
Kids with backpacks in Cambodia

Help a child in need get ready for back-to-school!

Your back-to-school gift of $30 gives a child the school uniform, notepad, textbooks and more that they need for a successful school year!

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