Last winter, freezing fog descended upon Delhi, India. Temperatures dipped to the coldest it had been in 119 years. And it lasted for 10 days.
Children and families weren’t prepared.
The families you support in Holt’s programs in Delhi already lived in extreme need. All of these children have recently lost one or both parents, and live with either their widowed mother, or extended family who has taken them in.
They often live in impoverished slum buildings or in makeshift homes — open shelters made of plastic sheeting and tarps. When the cold front hit, these shelters did nothing to keep the cold out.
Because the temperature almost never drops this cold in Delhi, most children didn’t even own a coat or a heavy blanket, and their homes have no source of heat. These are luxuries that families living in poverty simply can’t afford.
“The children were often seen shivering with a single blanket covering their bodies, or spending entire days in front of a fire,” says Jim De, the director of Shishu Sangopan Griha (SSG), Holt’s partner organization in Delhi. It was heartbreaking to see what children endured over those 10 days of cold.
Families didn’t have the money to purchase the cold weather items they desperately needed. Children even started getting sick.
But then Jim De reached out to Holt donors on behalf of these children, asking for help. And as soon as you heard about their need, you sent emergency cold-weather help!
Right away, all of the children in Holt’s program in Delhi received winter clothing. Each child received a warm thermal inner layer, as well as a big, puffy winter coat!
“In such a difficult situation, Holt International donors saved these families,” says Jim. “Our team worked actively and quickly in distributing these woolies to all the children and the response was emotional with a sense of great joy on their faces!”