Holt President & CEO Phil Littleton visits the children we serve in India while participating in the 25th anniversary celebration of our long-time partner Vathsalya Charitable Trust.
In June, I had the privilege of traveling to India to celebrate Vathsalya Charitable Trust’s (VCT) 25th anniversary. Our long-time partner in India, VCT has a rich history of providing loving, attentive care to orphaned and abandoned children. Visiting the childcare facilities and the families we are helping, and holding the children in my arms, it brings our work to life in a way that nothing else can, and it helps me to remember why God has me doing this very important work. On the day of the special anniversary event and fundraiser, it was an honor to present VCT with a commemorative plaque — recognizing over two decades of amazing work for children. At this special event, domestic adoptive families also spoke about their adoptions. Listening to their stories gave me great hope for the future of adoptions in India. More children are now able to remain in the country of their birth thanks to the growing number of families in India who are making the wonderful decision to adopt. Praise God for this wonderful part of our mission being realized in India.
While in India, I also visited one of our other cherished partners, Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), as well as three families in Holt’s family strengthening program and a community outreach program that supports 800 children. The families in our program are truly an inspiration. They work as domestic servants and day laborers, doing what they can each day to provide for their children. With Holt’s support, I pray that they can give their children better lives and hope for the future.
My trip also coincided with a training by the SPOON Foundation, a nonprofit organization we teamed up with two years ago to provide better nutrition for the children in our care, and better nutrition training for our caregivers. Thanks to a recent four-year grant from a private foundation, Holt and SPOON are combating malnutrition head on by training caregivers on improved feeding techniques, treating and monitoring children who show signs of hunger-related illness, and fighting against the leading causes of malnutrition. On my last day in India, I observed Zeina Makhoul, SPOON’s nutrition scientist, testing hemoglobin levels, and I learned that the incidence of anemia at BSSK has dropped from 45 percent to 9 percent since SPOON introduced small but critical changes such as providing iron supplements with Vitamin C to increase absorption. I feel extremely blessed to have such a pioneering organization like the SPOON Foundation on our side, fighting for the well-being of children.
I am very encouraged by the work we are doing in India, and I want to thank you for partnering with us.
Below, enjoy two videos of children performing special songs and dances in honor of the week’s festivities.
Phil Littleton | President & CEO