A Malnutrition Transformation for Children in Ethiopia

In response to a hunger and malnutrition crisis, Holt began emergency nutrition assessments and interventions across rural Ethiopia.  Over 5,790 children were acutely malnourished. But thanks to generous Holt donors who provided nutrition intervention, education and treatment, children are surviving — and their health has transformed! 

Fully garbed in protective gear, Holt’s team of community health workers went village to village, hut to hut, in rural Ethiopia — looking for children who were malnourished.

Months into the pandemic, children needed help. Families had wisely stayed home for many months to protect themselves from the virus, but this also meant children missed their regular health checkups, vaccinations and nutrition screenings. And children were in danger. Continue reading “A Malnutrition Transformation for Children in Ethiopia”

The State of Kids in Orphanages in 2021

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of many children and families. Children living in orphanage care have been especially vulnerable to the effects of this global crisis. Over the past year, Holt’s orphanage partners have reached out to us, sharing that more and more children are coming into their care. At the same time, delays in international adoption have left even more children in care in some countries, causing overcrowding. These orphanages don’t have the staff or resources to keep up.

Continue reading “The State of Kids in Orphanages in 2021”

The Importance of Foster Kids Maintaining Connections With Biological Relatives

Holt’s foster care and adoption specialist shares why it’s important to help foster kids stay connected to their biological families, regardless of the reasons they entered the foster care system. 

When a child is entering into care, every situation or case is different. As a foster care worker, the one thing we hear a lot about from adults going through the foster care process is their uncertainty or uneasiness about being involved in legal risk, or being involved with biological parents or relatives. But at the end of the day, no matter what happened for a child to come into care, they all belong and came from somewhere and will long for that connection with their birth family. Continue reading “The Importance of Foster Kids Maintaining Connections With Biological Relatives”

Because Someone Cared

two photos of Pisey comparing when she first joined Holt's sponsorship program and after
Seven-year-old Pisey (left) and a photo of Pisey today.

Five years ago, Pisey’s family was one of the poorest in her small village community in Cambodia.

Seven-year-old Pisey and her family were living in a tiny home with her grandparents. They harvested rice from their small piece of land, but it was never enough to feed Pisey, her brother and her parents, and it was definitely not enough to sell for income.

Continue reading “Because Someone Cared”

A Reason for Hope

In India, and in developing countries around the world, the COVID-19 crisis has significantly increased the risk of child marriage. But there’s one way to protect the future of girls everywhere: an education.

This is an edited excerpt from “The Child Brides of COVID-19,” which originally appeared on Holt Stories in May 2021.

Across the globe, girls who marry young are more likely to experience domestic violence. They are at increased risk of early and unplanned pregnancy. They can become isolated from family and friends. And as the demands of housework and motherhood take up their time, they are less likely to stay in school.

The global COVID crisis may set back decades of progress even in communities where our partners had effectively ended the practice of child marriage. But one key factor continues to make a dramatic difference in the lives of girls and women. And that’s keeping girls in school.

Continue reading “A Reason for Hope”

First Child in Cambodia Joins Family Via Domestic Adoption

In Cambodia, Holt’s social work team has helped to develop three care alternatives for children growing up in institutional care — kinship care, foster care and for the first time, a formal, ethical system of domestic adoption. In March 2021, the first child in Cambodia joined her adoptive family via this new process. 

Chivy* is the first child to be united with an adoptive family via Cambodia’s new domestic adoption process.

In May 2020, early in the COVID pandemic, a baby girl was born in a hospital in Cambodia. She was small — weighing just over 5 pounds — but her eyes were dark and lovely and shining with light.

A bright new life had just begun.

But for her mom, this was not a day of celebration. As she looked in the eyes of her newborn daughter, she faced a heartbreaking decision.

Unmarried, and separated from the baby’s father, she feared her family’s reaction if she came home with a child. In many communities in Cambodia, the stigma of single motherhood remains alive and well — shaming women for having a child outside of marriage. This newborn girl’s mom had managed to keep her pregnancy a secret from her family. And on the day her daughter was born, she decided to relinquish her parental rights. Continue reading “First Child in Cambodia Joins Family Via Domestic Adoption”

Our Story of Adopting From South Africa and Becoming a Transracial Family

Adam and Erin Turner share about their experience becoming a transracial adoptive family as they welcomed into their lives two children from South Africa, the country where Holt recently launched our newest adoption program.

The Turner family, including their three biological children and two children they adopted transracially from South Africa.

It’s difficult to say when the word “adoption” first popped into our heads. We talked about adoption in the earliest moments of forming our family. Maybe it was an image or a story that stuck with us during our childhood years. We had no examples in our family, per se. It simply felt like a whisper and a heart opening. It felt like extending love, security and family to a child who desperately needed it.

The desire and whispering voice stuck with us as our young children grew. And in the most unlikely moment, that whisper turned into a curiosity about what was possible. Many hurdles had to be overcome and many unlikely “yeses” had to be given. When the doors flung open, we were nervous yet hopeful. We knew we had a lot to learn but that the gift of time would allow us to set out on a journey of growth and maturation that would be important for our family and all our children. Continue reading “Our Story of Adopting From South Africa and Becoming a Transracial Family”