COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs

Lee, Yoon-Joo, director of overseas adoption programs at Holt Korea, and Paul Kim, director of Holt’s programs in Korea and Mongolia, share how the pandemic is affecting the children, families and individuals in Holt’s sponsorship program in Korea — and how Holt sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs.

While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.
While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.

How has COVID-19 affected Korea and what is life like there right now?

PK: Korea has gone from one of the first countries in the world outside of China to be impacted by COVID-19 to a leader in fighting the spread of the virus. The nation is currently experiencing the third wave of infections, and the authorities have tightened existing regulations. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs”

A Backpack, a Uniform and a Leak-Proof Roof: How Sponsors and Donors Helped Linna Succeed

In September 2019, we met Linna, a Holt-sponsored child living with her family in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The leaky roof over her head made it hard for her to sleep at night when it rained — and even harder for her to concentrate in class. Her family also needed help covering the costs for her to attend school. Learn how Holt sponsors and donors worked together to help Linna succeed!

 Linna holds a birthday card from her sponsor!
Linna holds a birthday card from her sponsor!

Linna lives with her mom, dad and older brother in the slum community of Phnom Penh. She just turned 10, and was about to start 5th grade when we met her last year. She was washing dishes in a big metal pot on a wooden table in front of her home, still wearing the white button-down sailor shirt and long blue pleated skirt of her school uniform.

Her mom works in a garment factory. Her dad had a good job as a security guard, but now works as a fisherman. It was just Linna and her dad at home when we visited. Continue reading “A Backpack, a Uniform and a Leak-Proof Roof: How Sponsors and Donors Helped Linna Succeed”

How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda

By providing solar lamps, sponsors and donors are helping children in Uganda learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created so many challenges for the children and families sponsors and donors support through Holt International. With schools closed and families isolating at home, one of the greatest challenges parents face is how to keep their kids learning outside the traditional classroom setting.

From country to country, the needs are a little different. In many places, access to remote learning devices like phones and tablets is a major obstacle. In some countries, lessons are broadcast via television — making it difficult for families who don’t own a TV. But in the rural farming communities where sponsored children live in Uganda, it’s not a lack of devices that keeps kids from learning— but a lack of electricity. Children are struggling to complete their schoolwork in the dark! Continue reading “How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda”

A Loving Home for Bo

Because of your generous gifts, Bo (center) has a safe place to live and plenty to eat.

When Bo lost both of his parents, Holt donors helped provide a safe and nurturing home. 

Bo had no one to take care of him after his mother died. Bo lived with his father, but his father was HIV-positive and too sick to care for his son. Bo had also contracted the virus from his parents. In China, a huge stigma continues to surround HIV and everyone in Bo’s village was afraid of catching the virus if they came close to Bo and his father. They were shunned by their community.

No one would help them.

But Holt donors were not afraid to help Bo! You helped Bo move to one of Holt’s group homes for children living with HIV in China. Here, Bo began to receive the nutrition, education and medical care he needs. You also made it possible for him to be taken care of by people who understand his condition and treat him with love and kindness.

Continue reading “A Loving Home for Bo”

The Only Home He Knew

When a tragic fire burns down an orphanage in Haiti, Holt donors immediately step up to provide nourishing food, safe shelter and psychological support for the 28 children who survive — including one boy who lost the only home he ever knew.

Samuel with a life skills trainer at the transit center where he has stayed since the fire at his orphanage in Haiti.
Samuel with a life skills trainer at the transit center where he has stayed since the fire at his orphanage in Haiti.

Ten-year-old Samuel can’t remember how old he was when his mom left him at an orphanage in Fermathe, a city just south of Port-au-Prince in Haiti. He was little, though — around 3 or 4 — and he remembers that his mom visited him for a while afterward. Until she didn’t. Continue reading “The Only Home He Knew”

COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids

An interview with Hang Dam, country director for Holt Vietnam, about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in Vietnam — and how sponsors and donors are meeting their most urgent needs. 

Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.
Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support  after they lost their source of income during the pandemic.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Vietnam programs?

We in Vietnam feel so blessed to be safe up to this point in time. All of our children are safe. None of them are diagnosed with the illness. But the pandemic has caused so many difficulties for the parents because so many have lost jobs. Even with the social distancing period over in Vietnam, many families still face difficulties finding a job due to the number of companies that had to close down or ran out of business. Families have fallen into financial crisis and are struggling with daily living and needing basic necessities for their children. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids”

Homes, Not Hotel Rooms for Children in U.S. Foster Care

Holt donors help children all around the world — including children in the United States! In Oregon and Washington, you help children find safe and secure foster and adoptive families. You help children like Marc and Jenny!

For two months, Marc and Jenny didn’t have a home. They entered Washington’s foster care system. But there was nowhere for them to go. Nowhere for them to unpack their bag of few belongings.

So they were moved around. They lived with nine different foster families. Never for very long. And when they were in between these foster families, they had to stay in a hotel with their social worker. They spent a total of ten nights in a hotel. Scared, and feeling alone and unwanted.

Finally, Holt staff in Washington found a foster family for Marc and Jenny to live with. These siblings had already experienced a lot of trauma, and the care of a family came right in time.

Continue reading “Homes, Not Hotel Rooms for Children in U.S. Foster Care”

I’m an Adoptee and This is My Story

Chinese adoptee Grace White shares about her life as an adoptee, and how she found a community — and a stronger identity — at Holt Adoptee Camp. 

Chinese adoptee Grace White

Every adoptee has a story. Although they likely share some similarities, each story is also unique to the adoptee. I hope sharing my story helps other adoptees or anyone from the adoption community speak out and share their own story. Even though it’s truly hard to write my story, I hope it sheds light on the challenges as well as shares the beauty of adoption, the highs and lows, the pros and cons, and not everything that is just black and white.

Hi, my name is Grace White. I am 16, almost 17 years old and this is my story. Continue reading “I’m an Adoptee and This is My Story”

Pregnant at 14, Macy & Liam Made a Loving Open Adoption Plan

Macy and Liam were 14 when they found out they were pregnant. They felt scared and lost. But Holt in Wisconsin helped them make a loving open adoption plan for their daughter. 

Right after she turned 14, Macy found out she was pregnant. She felt scared, stressed out, sad and lost.

“We didn’t know what we were supposed to do,” she says today through a video call, sitting in her backyard in Wisconsin with Liam. It’s nearly a year later from this time she’s describing — the beginning of their unplanned pregnancy and adoption story.

When Macy got pregnant, Liam was also just 14. For him, money was one of the biggest obstacles  — he had no clue how they would financially support a child.

It was late May and they were just finishing their freshman year of high school. Liam was excited to play football over the summer and in the fall, and Macy couldn’t wait for school to be out so she could spend more time with friends and family.

But suddenly, instead, they had a huge decision to make.

Continue reading “Pregnant at 14, Macy & Liam Made a Loving Open Adoption Plan”