Around the world, the COVID crisis has significantly increased the risk of family separation. But because of Holt sponsors and donors, vulnerable families have what they need to stay together. View a slideshow of families in Cambodia who received COVID microgrants to start small businesses they can sustain throughout the pandemic.
During COVID, Mou and her husband received a microgrant and resources to start a small business selling noodles and cakes. With the income they earn, they can support their four children and keep their family together.
This mom received a freezer to help her start a small business and earn an income to support her family during the pandemic.
This family already had a strong business raising and selling frogs. But when the pandemic hit, they needed additional resources to sustain their business, which sponsors and donors provided through a generous microgrant.
When this mom lost her job due to COVID, Holt Cambodia helped her start a small business selling noodle soup — giving her enough income to support her children.
With the help of a microgrant, this mom bought the supplies she needed to start a sewing and tailoring business.
When this father needed help supporting his children during COVID, Holt sponsors and donors provided a water pump generator and pipe to start a small business he could sustain throughout the pandemic.
If you’re considering older child adoption, one of the best things you can do is seek advice from other families. Families who have worked through many of the same fears or concerns you’re now grappling with, and who have gone through the experience of helping an older child adapt to a new country, culture, language — and, in many cases, to life in a family instead of an institution. Families who have learned how to help their child heal from trauma and long-term institutionalization, and how to build a loving, trusting bond with a child who may have never experienced that kind of bond with a caregiver or family member before.
View the slideshow above to hear from a handful of Holt families who have adopted children at older ages. You can also read more in-depth stories about these families below and, if you would like more advice, you can contact an adoption service specialist to get in touch with an advocate family directly!
Sponsor Jen Haberling is surprised to discover that her new sponsored child lives in Mongolia, where her sister is in the Peace Corps! This story originally appeared in Holt’s spring 2018 sponsorship magazine.
My sister Andrea’s mind was racing in a million different directions as she spent months preparing for a big life change. After much thought and deliberation, in 2015, she decided to leave a safe government job of 16 years and join the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps recruiter gave her four country choices, and when she asked where the greatest need was, the recruiter quickly answered, “Mongolia.” Andrea knew nothing about this part of the world and immediately began researching the culture and studying the language, while her family and friends came together to support her and help make this dream happen. Continue reading “A Day With Javkhaa; Meeting a Sponsored Child in Mongolia”
Tha Sala Learning Center in southern Thailand is a place for sponsored children and families to grow. This story originally appeared in Holt’s spring 2018 sponsorship magazine.
Before completing any other task, children first move fresh dirt into the plant beds.
A mother and daughter in sponsorship carry a basket of freshly grown mushrooms.
Pineapples — which the children are planting here — are just one of many fruits and vegetables that grow at the learning center. At Tha Sala, children and families also learn to grow mangos, mangosteen, rose apples, sugar cane, rambutans, cashews, corn, cucumbers, green tea leaves, mulberries and more! Families in need take home some of this food, and they sell anything extra at the market — giving children and families in sponsorship the opportunity to learn how to manage a small business.
Fun obstacle course activities dot the property, and each one of them teaches an important life lesson. As they balance on the rope bridge, these sisters learn that sometimes you have to work hard and develop strategies in order to avoid or work through bad situations.
Daris holds onto his sister, Nada, as she balances on a suspended pipe. This exercise stresses the importance of community — how it is easier to walk forward in life when you have help from others.
A boy crawls through the last of nine tires, lined up to form a tunnel. This represents the nine months that a child grows inside a mother’s womb — one of the many reasons to show her appreciation and respect.
Children cheer and root each other on as they wait in line to complete the next obstacle.
Eleven-year-old Madee, pictured here crossing the rope bridge, has attended the learning center since she was in kindergarten. What does she love most? Cooking, growing vegetables and — on extra special days — swimming in the canal at the back of the property!
Walking through the gates of Tha Sala Learning Center is like stepping into a greenhouse with no walls.
When the Horner family first saw Melia’s face on Holt’s waiting child photolisting, they were saddened to learn that this smiling little girl had major congenital heart defects. But instead of giving in to the unknkowns, the Horners decided to overcome their fears, holding on to hope and joy.
Read about the five most common congenital heart defects among children waiting for adoptive families, as well as potential challenges, treatment plans and stories from Holt families who have adopted children with a heart condition.
Congenital heart defects are problems of the heart’s chambers, valves or blood vessels that develop before birth. This condition encompasses a broad range of defects, most of which affect how blood flows through the heart or through the blood vessels near the heart. Some defects may cause blood to flow in an abnormal pattern, while others completely or partially block blood flow.
Earlier this year, a Holt child sponsor decided to make an extra donation of $500 to her sponsored child and his family in Uganda. In response, she received these photos of her sponsored child standing in front of the new home she helped build for him — along with the following letter from Julius Magezi, Holt’s sponsorship coordinator in Uganda.
In a region of southern Ethiopia with an unusually high prevalence of deafness, Holt sponsors provide the sign-language based education children need to finally express their thoughts and feelings — bringing greater hope, and happiness, to their lives. A longer version of this story appeared in Holt’s fall 2016 sponsorship magazine.
When Dawit was 3 years old, a mysterious epidemic swept through his village in southern Ethiopia. With the nearest hospital an inaccessible 12 miles away for most families in this impoverished farming community, many parents instead cared for their children at home — hoping and praying for their recovery. But as the community mourned the loss of first one and then another and then another child, Dawit’s mother nursed and comforted her only son — and prepared to say goodbye.
The year 2020 was truly an unprecedented one. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work and live, and caused a tragic loss of life and livelihood on a scale few if any of us have ever seen. But as we look back on the year, and feel sorrow for the lives lost, we also feel immense gratitude for Holt’s incredible supporters who responded to this crisis with selflessness, compassion and generosity.
Because of you — because of your kindness and generosity — 288,405 children and families in 14 countries around the world received the life-changing care and services they needed to stay strong and healthy throughout this unprecedented year. Your devotion to children in need during this time of global crisis is truly inspiring. And we’re so incredibly thankful for you.
Here are 10 specific ways that your heartfelt giving changed the lives of children and families in Holt programs last year:
Last year, we were truly humbled by your generous giving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in 2020, when we told you that orphanages in China didn’t have enough masks and PPE to protect children in care, you gave above and beyond our expectations — making it possible to care for kids in more orphanages than we partner with. When we told you that lockdown measures were causing children to go hungry in countries like India and Mongolia, your donations ensured our teams on the ground could distribute emergency food to thousands of families. Continue reading “10 Ways You Changed Children’s Lives in 2020”