For generations of children with special needs in Vietnam, school has been something only other children get to do. But now, in one rural community, over one hundred sponsored children are shattering stereotypes, exceeding expectations — and loving every minute of it.
Orphanages are overwhelmed with children due to COVID-19 — children like 13-year-old Cam in Vietnam.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Holt orphanage partners all around the world have reached out to Holt — sharing that more and more children were coming into their care. And the reason may surprise you. It’s not because of parents’ death or illness due to COVID-19, but because of poverty. The type of poverty that makes you unable to feed your children.
The type of poverty that forces you to make the heart-wrenching decision to place your child in an orphanage.
Vietnamese adoptee Clare Larson reflects on her life, her family and her hopes and dreams for the child she sponsors in Vietnam. A longer version of this story originally appeared in Holt’s fall 2017 sponsorship magazine.
In January 2017, Holt’s sponsorship team received an unusual email from a woman named Clare Larson.
“In 1993,” it read, “I was fortunate enough to be adopted from Vietnam at 9 years old and went through the Holt adoption agency. At 33 years old with a career in management consulting and a student at Cornell’s Johnson MBA program, I am finally able to give back. I would like to sponsor a child from Vietnam.”
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.
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”
Children’s health dramatically improves just one year after implementing Holt’s Child Nutrition Program in Vietnam.
Distant mountains lead to rolling green hillsides and stepped rice terraces in this rural agricultural province in Vietnam. The environment is beautiful, lush, fertile. So much so, that you would never know that children here suffer from malnutrition. Continue reading “Children Overcome Anemia in Rural Vietnam”
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.
Water bottles. Laptops. Hand sanitizer. Masks. More caregivers. Formula. Medical supplies.
These are just some of the materials and resources needed to care for children in orphanages through this continuing pandemic.
Over the summer, we shared with you about the devastating needs children are facing in orphanages around the world. Due to the pandemic, adoptive families are unable to travel to bring their children home. At the same time, more and more children are coming into care because their families are in crisis. And costs around the world rose become of the pandemic. This left a stark reality: so many children in orphanages, but not enough resources to care for them all.
In the countries where you support children, orphanages were low on diapers, food, formula, caregivers and more. But thankfully, through your generosity, you helped meet many of these needs.
Here are just some of the ways Holt donors helped:
All around the world this year, school will look different due to COVID-19. But whether children are physically in a classroom, or learning from home, your gifts will help children continue to learn and stay safe from early marriage and forced labor during this time of global crisis. Here are the current back-to-school plans in each of the countries where Holt kids live!
Whether a child is the daughter of migrant workers in India, lives near the Red Stone garbage dump in Mongolia, or has Down syndrome in Vietnam, education is vital to helping every child overcome poverty and reach their potential in life. It is also a cornerstone to the help that you provide through Holt.
But what about this year? What does back-to-school look like during a global pandemic?
From giving emergency food, water and medical supplies to supporting tele-counseling and more, you are doing amazing things to help children and families during this global health crisis. Here are the latest updates from the field.
Over the past few months, we’ve received lots of questions from you about how the coronavirus crisis is affecting children and families you help around the world.
In many ways, their lives may look similar to yours right now: children are home from school, parents are out of work or trying to find ways to work from home, they’re staying home — or wearing a mask when they have to go out in public. Parents and Holt staff in the field are teaching and reminding kids to “Wash your hands!” and “Don’t touch your face!”
But for children without families and families in poverty — the children and families you support — the effects of this coronavirus pandemic could have been devastating.
While the crisis is still ongoing and children and families will continue to face needs in the weeks and months to come, right now we want to share some good news…
Because of you, to date, our staff tell us that not one child in our programs has gotten sick from the coronavirus. Children who were hungry now have food. Families in crisis are getting the help they need!
Here are just some of the amazing updates on children and families you’ve helped since this crisis began:
When the Poliakoff family travels on Holt’s heritage tour to Vietnam, they meet a family whose quiet heroism in the face of poverty inspires them to help build a safe new home for the family and their children.
The second morning of our Holt Vietnam heritage tour, we set out at 9 a.m. from downtown Hanoi in our tour buses to visit families receiving services through Holt’s family strengthening program. I’m not sure that any of us knew what to expect. What we encountered that steamy July morning changed my understanding of Holt’s role, of families living in poverty, and of ways that our American families could make a real and sustaining difference. Continue reading “The Least We Could Do”
Last year for National Adoption Month, adoptee Mai Anh Hall reflected on adoption’s role in life — a role she hadn’t thought much about in her 21 years of life. One year later, she takes a closer look at the full picture.
Last year, I learned about National Adoption Month for the first time. I reflected on my adoption story, allowing myself to think about what my adoption meant to me.
When I reflected on my story, experiences and upbringing, my mind was immediately filled with gratitude. My brother and I both had positive experiences growing up together, as we were both adopted as infants. We knew adoption was a part of our family’s story from the beginning.
As a child, I rarely thought about my birth parents or culture. I didn’t feel out of place since I had other friends who were adopted, or grew up in Vietnamese families. I learned about the culture, ate the food and celebrated the Tet Festival every year. But honestly, I didn’t think too much about adoption’s role in my life.