Bringing Education To Their World

Imagine your sponsored child receiving her first school uniform or the news that he can attend school on a one-year scholarship. Imagine the opportunities that an education will provide her, knowing that going to school helps prevent gender-based violence and discrimination.

Sponsorship — and your commitment to your sponsored child — empowers boys and girls around the world to overcome poverty and achieve their dreams. 

Cambodia

At a preschool in Cambodia’s impoverished Kampot province, a sponsored girl leans on her desk. In many rural areas of Cambodia, children do not have access to a preschool education, resulting in delayed social, language and academic development. But in Kampot, children now attend one of five sponsor-supported preschools where they have a safe space to eat snacks, learn skills and prepare for life-long success in school. Students like this young girl can now pursue their dreams by receiving an early education. Continue reading “Bringing Education To Their World”

Six Families Receive New Homes in Cambodia

In Cambodia’s impoverished Prey Veng province, children and families live in conditions that no one should ever live in. 

Every day, these families sleep, study and eat their meals under roofs that leak, inside palm leaf walls – unstable homes that cannot protect them from the rain and wind. But because of Holt’s generous donors, many families in this community now have hope. Working alongside local partner Child and Life Association (CLA), Holt donors recently provided new homes and necessary renovations for six of the most vulnerable families in Pre Veng province. 

Through these new and safe living conditions, these families’ lives have dramatically changed.

VeunSam Oun's Family – Before
Veung Sam Oun's Family – After
Continue reading “Six Families Receive New Homes in Cambodia”

We Will Never Forget You

As the oldest child in a single-parent home, Mol Vey felt the need to help support his family. After losing his father at a young age, his mom struggled on one income. But he could only do so much, and often missed school to help his mom. Then sponsors and donors stepped in — providing the tools and resources his family needed to stay together, and grow stable and strong.

Mol Vey with his mother, Leng Sina, and younger brother.

Mol Vey lives with his mother, Leng Sina, and younger brother in Prey Kuy village — a small village located in Cambodia’s rural Prey Veng province.

His father died from diabetes when Mol Vey was just 4 years old, and his family already struggled to survive on minimal income. But when he passed away, their living conditions grew even worse.

Continue reading “We Will Never Forget You”

Because of You, Phal and Her Siblings Have a New Home

Poverty is complicated.

It’s never the same from one family or child to another.

And, while it can be defined by not having enough — material goods, resources, support, opportunities — there are no perfect, broad solutions that help every child escape.

Keeping kids in school helps. Providing advocacy helps. Giving food and medical care helps. And for some families, that support is enough.

But some children need more. They need the individual attention, love and willingness to go the extra mile that parents usually provide.

Poverty also has some ugly, horrible cousins: abuse, neglect, loss.

But every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential. Every child deserves the love of a family to help them grow and reach their dreams.

Phal when she was 10. I received this photo in a sponsorship update on Phal, and it broke my heart.

I want to tell you about Phal. We shared her story in December in an urgent plea for help. And you responded so generously. I finally have a happy update.

Phal is the saddest child I have ever met. Continue reading “Because of You, Phal and Her Siblings Have a New Home”

Realizing Her Potential

Widowed at 38, and supporting six children, Sao Yien struggled to make ends meet. But when she received a Gift of Hope to build a small business, she realized how strong and independent she truly could be.

Thoa Bui (left), Holt’s vice president of programs in South and S.E. Asia, hugs Sao Yien as she cries on her shoulder during their recent visit.

When Sao Yien said goodbye to Thoa, she buried her head in Thoa’s shoulder and cried. She didn’t say anything. She just cried. And so did Thoa.

Thoa Bui is Holt’s vice president of programs in South and Southeast Asia. Sao Yien is a woman in our family strengthening program in Battambang, Cambodia. A widow, Sao is the sole support for seven members of her family, including her own child, her sister’s five children and her 90-year-old grandmother. Until two years ago, when Holt’s social work team in Cambodia began working with Sao, she and her family were living in extreme poverty.

“At that moment before we parted,” Thoa says, “she was crying — and I was crying too to be honest — and I said I have a lot of feelings because I totally understand what you have gone through, and I understand the burden of responsibility that you continue to carry for these children and your family.” Continue reading “Realizing Her Potential”

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!”

This Gift of Hope Keeps Kids and Families Safe and Warm!

Preun’s three children outside their home before repairs.

Cold. Wet. Shivering at night. Constant colds and flu. Kids with sleep deprivation. For Preun, a single mother of three school-aged children, this was simply her reality.

With no money to repair her leaking roof and thatched walls, the rainy season in Cambodia was absolutely miserable — and a very serious threat to her children.

Every time it rained, her children’s school supplies, their precious rations of rice and few blankets were soaked or ruined. Her children struggled to keep up in school. The coconut leaves they used for walls dripped with cold, dirty water. When they fell sick, they could not afford to see a doctor.

But in June, Preun received the most surprising, exciting, miraculous news! Continue reading “This Gift of Hope Keeps Kids and Families Safe and Warm!”

With A College Degree, Her Life Will Never Be The Same

When Tham Sao Run is home for a visit, her accounting books are so foreign to her family, they could be written in another language.

Neither of her parents have bank accounts. Sao Run isn’t sure if anyone in her village does.

Sao Run reads in the shade under her stilted house, learning about cash flows and shareholders equity. A rusting blue bicycle rests against one stilt and chickens pick through the grass and dust.

In high school, Sao Run raised chickens to pay for her school supplies, books and uniforms. She was especially proud to purchase her bike, a cherished item that meant she would no longer have to walk an hour each way to her high school classes. Continue reading “With A College Degree, Her Life Will Never Be The Same”

Holt Cambodia Repairs Roofs for 18 At-Risk Families

In Cambodia, palm trees are used in all kinds of ways. The tall stalks act as landmarks, designating a family’s home and property. Its fruit is used to make delicious “fish amok” — a traditional Khmer dish featuring rich, creamy coconut curry. And when you pull apart the different strands of the palm leaf, you can bend and twist it upon itself to create the traditional craft of a rather lifelike locust.

Cambodians use palm trees for all kinds of good things.

But when palm leaves are used to thatch a family’s roof? This isn’t so good. Continue reading “Holt Cambodia Repairs Roofs for 18 At-Risk Families”

Holt Secures Grants to Reunite Children With Families in Cambodia

In Cambodia, there are many threats to family stability, and when parents or grandparents fall into hardship, they are forced to make difficult decisions about how to ensure their child or grandchild’s basic needs are met. In desperation, many parents will take the last resort — relinquishing their child to orphanage care. But through research and community collaboration funded by Save the Children, USAID and GHR Foundation grants, Holt hopes to create a model of services that keeps children out of institutions and with their families.

Krasaing Mean Chey Village
Sinat’s home in Krasaing Mean Chey Village near Kampot, Cambodia. Sinat, dressed in green, waves as Holt staff leave. Sinat’s grandson is standing in the front of the frame, wearing the Holt schoolbag his child sponsor in America helped purchase for him.

Last January, I was sitting under a tin-covered porch on a rough, wooden platform. Red-faced and sweating, I was not cutout for the heavy, exhausting heat of the Cambodian summer.

The shade of Sinat’s porch was welcome relief. Sinat’s house is a single-room structure, with green tin walls. Unlike many of the homes in rural Cambodia, her home is not built on stilts, which typically protects homes from flooding. For that reason, Sinat and her 15-year-old grandson sometimes sleep in their rice storage room, an additional structure behind the main house, elevated about four feet off the ground on thick, wooden stilts. Continue reading “Holt Secures Grants to Reunite Children With Families in Cambodia”