This week, Holt staff from across the U.S. and around the world will gather in Eugene, Oregon to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Holt International and to share wisdom, ideas and inspiration as we continue seeking a world where every child has a loving and secure home.
This coming week, Eugene, Oregon will welcome more than 35 child welfare and orphan care experts from 12 countries — including Mongolia, China, Korea, Cambodia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Uganda, Haiti and from around the U.S. — each bringing passion, inspiration and hope to create a better world for the children of their country.
What’s the occasion? Throughout this week-long international summit, Holt staff will celebrate Holt International’s 60th anniversary of serving children and families. It was 60 years ago this year that Harry and Bertha Holt, two farmers from a small town in Oregon, decided to adopt eight children orphaned by the Korean War. In doing so, they paved the way for international adoption and began an organization and legacy that today, along with its global partners, serves nearly 100,000 orphaned and vulnerable children across 13 different countries.
The summit will celebrate our accomplishments so far, while educating both the Eugene community and Holt’s global staff about the revolutionary impact of Holt’s different programs in communities around the world. Keynote speakers include Ron Federici, the CEO of Care for Children International, who will speak about the needs of institutionalized children; and Ambassador Susan Jacobs, the Special Advisor for Children’s Issues for the U.S. State Department, who will talk about the current state of international adoption. During various summit presentations, attendees will share learnings from their unique programs on such topics as: tracking and improving nutrition for children in orphanages; cost-effective ways to prevent child abandonment and keep struggling families together; investing in microloans to empower women; healthier alternatives to child institutionalization; caring for abandoned children with heavily-stigmatized diseases, like HIV; increasing pre- and post-adoption resources and counseling for families adopting transracially; and increasing openness in international adoption.
A gala dinner will conclude the week’s events as attendees represent their country’s unique and beautiful culture through wearing their traditional dress. What a sight this will be! And what a beautiful reminder of the broad scope and diversity that Holt has come to include in its 60 years.
There are so many reasons to celebrate Holt’s work around the world! But we keep our eyes on the future — constantly finding ways to expand and better our aid to children and families. And with such an amazing and hardworking staff, from our headquarters in Eugene, to our branch offices across the U.S., to our programs in 13 countries, we confidently and diligently press onward toward our vision — a world where every child has a loving and secure home.