Phil Littleton, Holt’s president and CEO, recently returned from a trip to Vietnam. While on the trip, Phil visited a daycare center and orphanage we help support in Dong Nai and met with Holt-Vietnam staff and the deputy director of adoption to discuss our work in the country.
Holt first served families and children in Vietnam through a USAID-funded nutrition program, later developing an international adoption program to help find permanent homes for the twenty-five thousand children living in Vietnam’s orphanages. In 1973, Holt introduced foster care for children in the country’s orphanages, providing loving, individual attention to nurture their development while they await permanent placement. Despite steady growth in services, political instability forced Holt to cease work in Vietnam in 1975. Returning in the late 1980s, Holt developed programs throughout the country that enabled children to stay within their birth families, despite hardships.
“Holt has a very long history of serving children and families in Vietnam,” Phil says.
On September 16, 2014, Vietnam’s Central Adoption Authority granted Holt International a license to facilitate international adoption for children with special needs, children older than 5 years old and children who are part of sibling groups — effectively ending a 6-year moratorium on adoption from Vietnam to the U.S. “Children without families are being united with adoptive families,” Phil says. In addition, Holt continues to keep or place children in families in Vietnam through family strengthening and preservation, reunification and domestic adoption services. Working in partnership with the government of Vietnam, Holt provides emergency assistance, counseling and the basic financial, health, nutritional and educational support needed to stabilize struggling households. While helping to sustain three government-run child welfare centers, Holt remains one of the few NGOs providing foster care for children in Vietnam.
“It was so wonderful to be able to see our work firsthand,” Phil says. “We have an amazing staff and partners in this country.”
Below are a few photos from Phil’s trip:
Holt-supported daycare in Dong Nai:
Phil meeting with Holt Vietnam staff and deputy director of adoption:
Orphanage in Dong Nai: