New Sponsorship Documents

We have exciting news for our awesome child sponsors this week!

Soon, sponsors of children living in Cambodia, China, India, Mongolia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam will receive additional and personalized updates from their sponsored child. Sponsors of children in Ethiopia will begin receiving these updated in early 2015!

Over the next few months, watch your mailbox for this envelope — or, if you receive paperless updates, keep an eye on your email.

Inside, you will find a drawing, photo or letter from your sponsored child! We are excited for sponsors to learn more about the child they help support, and the children in our programs are excited to share more about themselves with you.

Most sponsors will receive at least one additional update from their child every year — building on the quarterly updates they already receive from Holt. Some sponsors may even receive more than one.

As our overseas program staff receive more training and improved technology, we hope to continue to expand and improve communications between sponsors and their sponsored child.

If you have questions about when you will receive a photo, drawing or letter from your sponsored child, you can call us at 1-541-451-0731, email us at sponsorship@holtinternational.org or visit the MyHolt Sponsorship Service Center by clicking here.

Check out a few of the beautiful photos, letters and pictures we’ve received from children in our programs so far: Continue reading “New Sponsorship Documents”

How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?

Every month, you faithfully send your $34 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. We don’t, in fact, actually give your sponsored child and his or her family $34 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 hears often.

There are many reasons why Holt doesn’t give cash to the children and families in our programs, but the biggest reason is that we care deeply about those who we serve and we want every mother, father and child in our programs to be successful. Remember, Holt’s ultimate goal is to ensure that every child has a permanent, loving family. But while our goal for every child is the same, the way we work toward that goal is different for every child. Continue reading “How Does Your Money Get To Your Sponsored Child?”

Holt Sponsorship transformation

Every day, more than 7,000 children we serve around the world receive life-saving nutritious food, medical care and access to education. Their families are growing stronger and more stable with the help of vocational training, free daycare programs, medical care and counseling — even forming community groups for support and networking, and their children are learning about sanitation and nutrition.

These are Holt’s sponsored children — children who, through the generous monthly gift of Holt supporters, are thriving and learning and finding hope for the future.

One of those children is Dawit — a young boy living with his family in rural Ethiopia. He has been in Holt’s sponsorship program for a little over two years, and in that time his life and the lives of his family have changed dramatically. You can see the change in his photos, the ones a Holt social worker snaps of him every six months. You can see his face change from sunken and sad to bright and smiley.

Two years ago, Dawit’s family was very poor and did not have enough land to generate income or grow crops to feed their family. They lacked basic sanitation and enough food too eat. Dawit suffered from malnutrition, but his parents could not afford to take him to a hospital.

Then, Holt helped Dawit’s family receive a cow, which provided nourishing milk every day — with extra to sell for income. When the cow had calves, Dawit’s family could sell them and add the earnings to a savings account. Soon after, Dawit developed pneumonia, and thanks to the support of Holt, he was able to see a doctor and receive the antibiotics he needed to grow healthy. Slowly, he grew stronger and taller, and he added weight.

Now, Dawit has close, loving relationships with his mother and father, and he is especially fond of his eldest brother. He likes playing soccer and marbles and he has many friends. Dawit is in school, and in the winter his parents paid for his school fees with the income from a calf. Each day, the whole family is stronger and more stable. Dawit is on track developmentally, and he is not malnourished. He is cheerful, friendly and respectful.

We celebrate victories like Dawit’s and his family’s, but we also know there are many children who need the same support that Dawit receives.

We encourage you to sponsor a child today. It is truly life changing — and the proof is in the pictures!

Infographic

Sometimes, nothing makes a point as well as a picture…

An infographic compiled by a website for healthcare administrators and those looking for research about the medical field titled “The Kid’s Aren’t Alright” combined data from World Bank, UNICEF and International Living to subjectively rank countries on the quality of life they offer children, based on per-capita GDP, infant mortality, safety and more.

When you choose a variable in the infographic, such as the percentage of children  vaccinated against polio or enrolled in primary schools, watch the map transform into a color-coded index illustrating which regions perform the best and worst in that area. Countries colored red scored the worst, while countries colored seafoam green excel. There are six color-ratings possible, following a rainbow spectrum.

Naturally, at Holt, we zoomed in on the countries where we work. We noticed some immediate trends — many of which directly relate to the work we do overseas combating child abandonment, poverty and family instability.

Below, we break down how the infographic rates in countries where we work, and what we are doing to battle some of the issues most prevalent in the region.

Check out the infographic here.


Produced By Healthcare Administration Continue reading “Infographic”

This is Your Last Chance to Give a Special Birthday Gift to Vulnerable Children

This is your LAST CHANCE to send a birthday gift to a child in Holt’s care!

One of the best ways to show your love for vulnerable children is to wish them a happy birthday.  Last month, we sent a letter informing you of our plans to throw one big birthday party for all the children we’re helping worldwide on June 1 — the International Day of the Child.

Join us as we celebrate the precious children in our care, and give today!

Your online Birthday Gift today of $25 or more will help provide special party treats, such as: a delicious birthday meal, festive party decorations, exciting games and activities, Bible stories and songs, birthday goodies and even essentials like clothing and shoes!

Even though you and I can’t reach out in person to every child on their individual birthdays, we can celebrate every child in our care on this one special day!

Please help us make children in our care feel extra special on June 1. Give a Birthday gift today!

Thank you!

Who Writes Sponsorship Reports

You open your mailbox and pull out a familiar red and yellow envelope, Holt’s logo flashing from the corner. It’s an update about your sponsored child — one that comes each season. You rip open the envelope and pull out a new photo of your child and an update about his or her life overseas. Or, you log into your email and click on a familiar link from Holt. Soon, a new picture of your sponsored child stares at you from your screen.

You examine the new picture of your sponsored child — her smile, how she’s changed from the last photo — and delve into the words, how your $30 per month is changing her life.

Maybe you even wonder about the day a Holt staff member visited your child to take his new photo and get his update, and the journey to get that update to you, the sponsor. How did it get to you, and why, in April, is your child talking about Christmas?

Here we explain who wrote your sponsored child’s update, and the long journey that report took to get to you. Continue reading “Who Writes Sponsorship Reports”

Mother’s Day Gifts of Hope

Three of Amita’s children play and talk with staff at Holt’s childcare center in India.

As kids, our moms would often fret over whether we had eaten enough. Moms took us to the doctor when we were sick. They checked our homework, worried about our education, and also taught us many lessons themselves. Lessons like kindness and how to care for others.

This Mother’s Day, salute the person who taught you compassion by giving a Gift of Hope — a gift to ease the worries of a struggling mother or family in one of Holt’s programs overseas. A gift to ensure her child will have healthy meals, afford to attend school, or be able to see a doctor.

It’s a gift to help mothers like Amita* in India.

A single mother, Amita struggles to care for her four children alone. On good days, during festivals or celebrations, Amita might earn $1.75 selling flowers. But many days, Amita is too sick from a chronic health condition to go to work at all. The whole family shares a one-room shack without a bathroom or kitchen, and when they can’t pay rent, Amita and her children sleep outside. The family has little to eat most days, and Amita’s two eldest children often skip school to look for work.

Last year, Amita heard about Holt and the services we offer families on the verge of separation. She came to us for help with school fees and nutritional support — but also to gain the skills she needs to independently support her children.

Holt was able to provide the emergency food and medical care Amita’s family needed to grow strong and healthy. Each day, all four children receive breakfast, snacks and lunch at school. Now, five months later, the children’s teachers praise the students for their hard work and passion to learn. Amita is also learning new skills through the job training Holt provides to parents in her town. It only took a little assistance for Amita to get back on her feet, and today, she is proud that she can support her family.

This Mother’s Day, help change the world for a mother like Amita. Give a Gift of Hope in honor of your own mother.

*Name changed.

Thank You for a Wonderful Day In Our Children’s Lives

A photo essay and update on last year’s sponsor-funded International Day of the Child celebrations for children in Holt’s programs overseas.

Few things in life are as momentous as the birth of a child. When a child comes into our lives, we cheer and hug and pass around cigars — our faces wet with joyful tears. And every year after, we celebrate the anniversary of the day our child entered the world with parties and gifts and candlelit birthday cakes. Birthdays are more than a silly tradition. And however we celebrate them, the fact that we DO expresses to our children just how much we love them — and how grateful we are that they were born.

Every child deserves a birthday. Every child deserves to eat cake and open presents and have a whole day devoted to celebrating them.

But some children don’t have mothers and fathers and grandparents to throw them birthday parties. Others have loving families who wish they could do more on their children’s birthdays, but can barely afford to give them what they need every other day of the year.

That’s why, several years ago, Holt started a tradition of celebrating the birthdays of children in our programs overseas on June 1, the International Day of the Child. To fund these parties, Holt sponsors go above and beyond their normal monthly donation. They provide goodie bags with signed messages wishing their sponsored child a happy birthday, and give a little extra money for the celebrations. This year, donations from sponsors are also helping to provide a new pair of shoes for every child!

Below, we share photos from last year’s International Day of the Child celebrations in countries we serve around the world.

Click here to donate to this year’s birthday celebrations!

In Thailand, local staff used sponsor funds to fill goodie bags with stationary sets, sippy cups or cartoon-covered water bottles, chocolate bars and cookies. “HSF would like to convey our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Holt’s child sponsors for their generous donation,” writes the staff of Holt Sahathai Foundation, our partner in Thailand. “This special donation was very meaningful to needy children in our care!”

Continue reading “Thank You for a Wonderful Day In Our Children’s Lives”

Just Another River to Cross

Overcoming financial and family pressures — and one fast-moving river — a young woman in Cambodia pursues her dream of a college education. Research and interviews for this story were conducted by University of Oregon student Hallie Rosner, who recently interned with Holt Cambodia through IE3 Global Internships.

Every morning before class, Sath Chheangly puts on her uniform — a neatly pressed, knee-length khaki skirt and crisp white button-down oxford that proudly displays the logo of the university she attends in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She looks like any other college girl, with stylish, blunt-cut bangs and a little personality coming across in her choice of shoes, often a pair of yellow, flowered flip-flops. Quiet and contemplative, Chheangly is a serious student, majoring in economics, rural development and agriculture with extra classes in Chinese.

But she, more than most, knows just how much personal appearance matters.

Continue reading “Just Another River to Cross”

Something As Simple as a Water Jar

How Holt is empowering women and children in Cambodia.

 

Nai hopes to become a teacher someday

 

 Holt International hopes the water jar we recently provided *Nai will help her change the world.

But for now, we just hope it helps her get to school on time…

Every morning, 13-year-old Nai fetches the water, takes fertilizer to the field and tends to her family’s four cows in the poverty-stricken Chhouk district of Cambodia. If these tasks take too long, as they often do, Nai misses her ride to school. Sometimes, she walks the long distance and is able to join her classmates. Most often, she stays home and helps her family with the rest of the daily chores.

With aspirations of attending college and becoming a teacher some day, Nai can’t afford to miss out on the very lessons that she hopes to one day teach. But in Cambodia, impoverished families often rely on their school-aged children to help earn the income needed to survive.

At Holt, we applaud children like Nai, who sacrificially step up to help their families make it from day to day. It’s our belief, however, that children shouldn’t have to sacrifice a proper education – and their dreams – to assist their struggling families.

To help Nai and children just like her, Holt began partnering with Cambodia Organization for Children and Development (COCD) in February 2013.  COCD believes that vulnerable children are better protected and cared for through the social and economic empowerment of women.  Having initiated programs that help to empower women and young girls in India and Haiti, this was a mission that Holt could get behind. To achieve this goal, Holt and the COCD have established community self-help groups for poor, female-headed households in the Chhouk district. The self-help groups serve as education tools, teaching women to contribute to a savings plan. Holt helps provide the groups with income-generating projects and teaches technical skills and lessons on proper household care and hygiene. Continue reading “Something As Simple as a Water Jar”