School Lunch Takes Away Hunger at Yesus Mena!

school lunch helps hunger at yesus mena

Children attending a special school for the deaf in Ethiopia were showing up, full of hunger, at Yesus Mena each day. But thanks to sponsors and donors like you, they aren’t hungry anymore!

In rural Ethiopia, students at the Yesus Mena School for the Deaf travel incredibly long distances to get to school each day.

And they’d always show up, full of hunger, at Yesus Mena.

Many of their families are subsistence farmers, and can’t provide regular meals for their children. Students would walk miles each direction to get to this special school, but once they got there they were too hungry to concentrate — distracted by hunger pains. But not anymore!

Because of your generosity, 680 students at Yesus Mena now receive free school lunch every day!

Every day, you help provide a lunch of stewed vegetables and meat, rice, spongy injera and more! This filling, delicious meal keeps them attentive, and is just the fuel they need to learn to their fullest potential!

Thank you for helping fight hunger at Yesus Mena School for the Deaf!

Want to help provide a filling and delicious lunch for children like the students of Yesus Mena? Just $25 provides a school lunch to one child for a whole month.

Thank You for Helping Duy Grow and Thrive!

duy eating food thank you for helping duy grow and thrive

Duy was suffering from malnutrition and needed help. But thanks to generous donors like you, Duy can grow and thrive!

Before, Duy and his older sister were left at an orphanage in Vietnam when their mother couldn’t afford to feed them anymore. He was sick with a chronically upset stomach, swollen legs, a constant stuffy nose and ear infections.

And it was all rooted in one thing: malnutrition.

Continue reading “Thank You for Helping Duy Grow and Thrive!”

They Don’t Like Girls

“Why do they want to let the children to study?” says Payal, her dark brown eyes perplexed.

“Especially girls…?” Mayvis adds hesitantly — the addition to Payal’s statement that makes all four girls nod in mutual questioning. Payal, Sanjana, Manixa and Mayvis are recording a message for their Holt sponsors. And this, their biggest question, marks a drastic shift in tone.

Just five minutes ago they sat upstairs in their classroom — proudly performing an American pop song in front of their classmates. Their friend group, all between the ages of 11 and 13, calls themselves the “Planet Chicks.” They like to talk on the school bus, dance and sing, and encourage one another to do the right thing.

They are happy, carefree girls. But, as their biggest question lets on, they know things could be drastically different. The conversation becomes serious.

“They don’t like girls,” Sanjana says, “they only like boys.”

“People in the village,” Payal clarifies.

These girls all come from families that have migrated from the villages to the booming, southern city of Bengaluru. The villages they speak of are actually cities of several hundred thousand people, where people still adhere more strictly to the rules of traditional patriarchal society. Where they come from, it is common to educate boys, but not educate girls. Where they come from, young girls get married.

This is an excerpt from a longer story that originally appeared on the Holt Stories blog in July 2018. 

Just $27 can help keep a young girl safe and  in school. Right now, your gift doubles to help build girl-friendly bathrooms at school!



Because of You, Jovan Never Misses a Meal!

Critically malnourished and always tired, Jovan’s health was suffering. He needed help.

Pale and skinny, Jovan’s health was so poor, he didn’t even have enough energy to help around the house. He had terrible, debilitating stomach pains. He couldn’t gain weight even though his family gave him whatever extra food they had — which wasn’t very much.

Jovan is one of seven children. Both of his parents work, but they don’t make enough to support a family of nine. While none of them had enough to eat, Jovan’s health was worst of all…

Continue reading “Because of You, Jovan Never Misses a Meal!”

A Looming Hunger Crisis Among School Children Due to COVID-19

Holt’s nutrition program director shares why COVID-19 is increasing hunger among school-age children around the world. 

When COVID-19 became a global pandemic, hunger was already present in many of the communities where Holt works. For many children, it was common for them to miss meals or go days without food.

In almost all of the countries where Holt works, sponsors and donors support children to go to school and for those schools to provide a balanced and nutritious meal for every child. For many of the children in Holt programs, this was their one nutritious meal of the day.

But then COVID-19 hit, closing schools across the globe. What was already a big problem has now became a crisis. Continue reading “A Looming Hunger Crisis Among School Children Due to COVID-19”

What Keeps Girls From Going to School?

three girls sitting at a desk for blog what keeps girls from going to school

Around the world, many girls are denied a basic right… an education.

In countries where women do not have a voice in society, they are more vulnerable to early marriage, trafficking and child labor. Around the world, school is often the greatest line of defense for vulnerable women and girls.

When a girl goes to school, she spends the day safe and protected in a classroom, and walks out empowered to make her own choices in life.

So, what keeps girls from going to school?

Continue reading “What Keeps Girls From Going to School?”

A Malnutrition Transformation for Children in Ethiopia

In response to a hunger and malnutrition crisis, Holt began emergency nutrition assessments and interventions across rural Ethiopia.  Over 5,790 children were acutely malnourished. But thanks to generous Holt donors who provided nutrition intervention, education and treatment, children are surviving — and their health has transformed! 

Fully garbed in protective gear, Holt’s team of community health workers went village to village, hut to hut, in rural Ethiopia — looking for children who were malnourished.

Months into the pandemic, children needed help. Families had wisely stayed home for many months to protect themselves from the virus, but this also meant children missed their regular health checkups, vaccinations and nutrition screenings. And children were in danger.

Continue reading “A Malnutrition Transformation for Children in Ethiopia”

The Importance of Foster Kids Maintaining Connections With Biological Relatives

Holt’s foster care and adoption specialist shares why it’s important to help foster kids stay connected to their biological families, regardless of the reasons they entered the foster care system. 

When a child is entering into care, every situation or case is different. As a foster care worker, the one thing we hear a lot about from adults going through the foster care process is their uncertainty or uneasiness about being involved in legal risk, or being involved with biological parents or relatives. But at the end of the day, no matter what happened for a child to come into care, they all belong and came from somewhere and will long for that connection with their birth family. Continue reading “The Importance of Foster Kids Maintaining Connections With Biological Relatives”

Because Someone Cared

two photos of Pisey comparing when she first joined Holt's sponsorship program and after
Seven-year-old Pisey (left) and a photo of Pisey today.

Five years ago, Pisey’s family was one of the poorest in her small village community in Cambodia.

Seven-year-old Pisey and her family were living in a tiny home with her grandparents. They harvested rice from their small piece of land, but it was never enough to feed Pisey, her brother and her parents, and it was definitely not enough to sell for income.

Continue reading “Because Someone Cared”