Caring for Children With HIV in China

In China, children living with HIV face intense stigma and discrimination. But through the kindness and generosity of Holt donors, they find love, care and compassion in Holt’s HIV group homes. This story originally appeared in Holt’s fall 2017 sponsorship magazine

A little girl at the HIV group home looks out the front door to a sunny courtyard.

Most of the children here don’t know they are HIV+. It’s too risky.

Their teachers don’t know. Their neighbors definitely don’t know because if they did, they would have to move again. They’ve moved eight times in ten years, all 28 children. If their teachers knew, they would be isolated and discriminated against or even kicked out of their pricey private school — a school they attend because they don’t have to inform the principal of their disease.

Most of these children don’t even know about the disease in their blood — the disease that killed many of their parents, robbed them of their life in their villages and that was likely passed to them at birth.

They just know that they have strict rules to follow.

Absolutely no fighting. No rough housing. If they get a cut or a scratch, they have their own first aid kit. And they have Mr. Huang.

“The kids are happy now,” Mr. Huang says, his face worn and tired, his spiky, graying hair hinting at his age.

When children pass through the living room of the apartment, they stop to grab his hands or talk to him and his eyes soften as he greets them lovingly.

“They are too young,” Mr. Huang says. “They don’t understand their fate. But as they get older, they will learn. The discrimination will start. They will always have to keep their secret.”

Continue reading “Caring for Children With HIV in China”

How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?

Why we don’t give your $39 monthly sponsorship donation directly to your sponsored child’s family or caregivers, and how Holt uses your money to help your sponsored child instead.

A mom and her son in Colombia. Sponsorship helps this boy attend a daycare program where he receives a critical early education.
A mom and her son in Colombia. Sponsorship helps this boy attend a daycare program where he receives nourishing meals and a critical early education.

Every month, you faithfully send your $39 to your sponsored child … Sort of.

Technically, you send your gift to Holt International, trusting that we will properly steward your money and direct it to your sponsored child. While we do on occasion give cash directly to families to meet immediate identified needs, we don’t actually give your sponsored child and his or her family $39 in cash or check each month.

Why, you ask? Wouldn’t our sponsorship program be just as effective if we simply wrote a check each month?

 

Well, that’s a great question, and it is one that our sponsorship team often hears. Continue reading “How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?”

9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child

The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?”

We think this is a fantastic question! It shows that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child is one that warms our hearts — and your sponsored child’s, too!

Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.

Here, we’ve created a “9 dos and don’ts” list regarding correspondence with your sponsored child. Continue reading “9 Dos and Don’ts About Writing Letters to Your Sponsored Child”

On Her Darkest Day

The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids.

 Last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.
Erika, 23, blow-dries a client’s hair. Thanks to sponsors and donors, last year Erika was accepted to a vocational training program that is helping her earn enough income to give her kids a stable home.

Erika’s stained clothes draped loosely off her already tiny frame. Her hair was snarled and knotted — her skin dirty.

She held one little boy in one arm and clutched another’s hand. Both boys, like their mom, were thin and messy.

They dipped through the doorway of a two-story building on a street stacked with single-room homes in southern Bogotá, not far from the hilly area where Erika grew up. Continue reading “On Her Darkest Day”

10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!

We are starting 2019 inspired and filled with gratitude — all because of our donors! Thank you to every child sponsor, every donor, every advocate and every person who donated their time, money or social media platform to help a child in need this year!

You made it possible to help thousands and thousands of the world’s most at-risk children in orphanages, impoverished places, hard-to-reach communities and places of grave danger.

Because of you…

  • Hungry children received nourishing meals.
  • Sick children received critically needed medicines and surgeries.
  • Boys and girls learned they could go to school — in some cases for the first time! They received uniforms, books and supplies.
  • Children in orphanages received the one-on-one care they need to grow and thrive. Hundreds joined adoptive families. Many finally felt loved and accepted, joining foster families and group homes free from stigma and ridicule.
  • Single moms received job skills training, parenting help, free daycare support, and some even received new homes! Many more finally felt like they had a team of support wrapping them in encouragement and hope for the future with services like community savings programs, microloans, livestock training, counseling and much, much more.
  • Some women — and many children — fled or were rescued from violent situations.
  • You also fed more than 50,000 people in North Korea, including thousands of children growing up in orphanages.

Without a doubt, YOU are amazing. You are making the world a brighter place. You are giving real help and hope!

Here are 10 ways you are changing the world through your compassion, kindness and incredible generosity! Continue reading “10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!”

What Makes The “Perfect” Family?

Taeyang and his sisters.

Special needs. Older children. Single parent adoption. Kids with unknown medical needs. Just the good ol’ “let the agency choose” path. There are lots of adoption paths — and no “perfect” families — but whatever path you choose, your family will ultimately be the right family for a child who is waiting.

Once upon a time, there was the perfect adoptive family. The mom and dad — both pediatricians — decided to adopt a child with a few medical needs. Their neighbors, high school teachers with a trust fund and awards for their work with underprivileged youth, decided to adopt an older child. Then, their other neighbors, who have never once been afraid in their whole lives, adopted a child with some “unknowns” in his history.

If you already questioned whether this was a “true” story, congratulations! You caught us. Continue reading “What Makes The “Perfect” Family?”

Your Generosity Is Keeping Them Safe and Warm!

Choy Thy with her two children in front of their house in Cambodia after donors replaced the leaky thatched walls, roof and stairs with weather-proof tin.

Because of your incredible generosity, 10 of the most vulnerable and impoverished families in Prey Veng, Cambodia received new homes or significant and seriously needed renovations. The families and their villages helped with construction, but Holt donors provided all the tools and materials.

There are no greater words of gratitude than from the families who received homes themselves! Continue reading “Your Generosity Is Keeping Them Safe and Warm!”

In Memory of David Kim

A celebration of David’s life will take place at the Faith Center in Eugene, Oregon, on February 24, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested to please make donations to Holt International. Your gift will be used to help children with urgent needs that might otherwise go unmet, especially children with special needs as that was a cause close to David’s heart. For hotel information for February 23 and 24, please scroll to the bottom. If you would like to share memories or photos of David Kim, please email them to photosubmission@holtinternational.org

Dr. David Hyungbok Kim, who alongside Harry and Bertha Holt pioneered the modern practice of international adoption, died on Jan. 25, 2018, in Eugene, Oregon. He was 86 years old.

With a deep Christian faith, David devoted his life to advocating for orphaned and homeless children around the world. It was the suffering of children that David witnessed during his early days working for Harry Holt in post-war Korea that in many ways shaped the course of his life and career. Continue reading “In Memory of David Kim”