A Look Inside Orphanages Today


Since the pandemic first began spreading in early 2020, it’s changed life for everyone — but especially children in orphanage care. Here’s what life looks like now for children in orphanages from China to India to Thailand. 

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A Generation Lost and Found

A group of girls in traditional wear, learning about China adoption history on their Heritage Trip
A group of Chinese adoptees in traditional dresses on the 2010 heritage tour of China. As most of the children placed in the 1990s were healthy, infant girls, tour participants are almost all girls.

In 1993, Holt began placing children from China in loving families in the U.S. Here, our staff reflects on 20 years of international adoption and child welfare work in China — including the many Chinese adoptees who are now coming of age, graduating high school and beginning the bright futures we always hoped for them.

This story originally appeared in Holt’s fall 2013 sponsorship magazine

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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”

Medical Care, and a Healthier Home, for One Child in China

How Holt donors like you helped provide medical care and a safer, healthier home for one child and her family in China. 

Thao (center) with her family after Holt donors and Holt staff in China helped them overcome their challenges.
Thao (center) with her family after Holt donors and Holt staff in China helped them overcome their challenges.

When Holt staff in China first visited Tao’s family, their house was a mess. There were food wrappers everywhere, chipping paint, and the floor looked like it hadn’t been swept in months.

Seven-year-old Tao and her siblings appeared no better. They wore dirty clothes, and apparently never bathed or brushed their teeth. They got sick all the time. Continue reading “Medical Care, and a Healthier Home, for One Child in China”

Thanks to the Good-Hearted People

Li is recovering from home, and loves his stuffed ox!

Li and Wen never thought their hearts would be strong enough to run, play or even stay in school. But thanks to generous Holt donors, they both received the lifesaving heart surgeries they’d never dared to hope for. 

When the phone rang at 10-year-old Li’s home in rural China. It was a phone call he and his aunt never thought they’d receive…

“Is it true I can receive a free surgery?!” Li asked his aunt unbelievably.

“Yes,” his aunt answered, “there are many good-hearted people helping us.”

It was someone from Holt China on the other end of the phone, telling them that because of generous Holt donors who gave to the Valentine’s heart surgery campaign, Li could finally receive the operation he needed. Continue reading “Thanks to the Good-Hearted People”

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”