In Vietnam, Sponsors Send Kids With Special Needs to School

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.

A longer version of this story originally appeared in the spring 2018 Holt sponsorship magazine.

Khang swivels his head and shakes his body to the pop-y, upbeat dance tempo that reverberates off the tile floor and blares out into otherwise quiet fields of rice on this cool January day. He opens his mouth wide and snaps it shut in a toothy grin, reaching out for a friend who dances alongside him. Continue reading “In Vietnam, Sponsors Send Kids With Special Needs to School”

How You Helped These Four Children at Year End

At the end of 2020, Liya, Cam, Purev and Guneet represented the greatest needs children were facing after a difficult year. One month after Holt donors generously stepped up to help, see how these children are doing now!

In the last months of 2020, we shared about some of the greatest, most urgent needs children around the world were facing as part of our President’s Top Priority Campaign for Children 2020. After such a difficult year, from stay at home orders to lost income to schools closing, children were truly in crisis.

The top needs Holt staff around the world identified were: malnutrition in Ethiopia, overcrowded orphanages, children living and working in the garbage dump in Mongolia, and children and families who were homeless or on the brink of homelessness. Each need came to life through a child and his or her story. These children were Liya in Ethiopia, Cam in Vietnam, Purev in Mongolia and Guneet in India.

While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be long-lasting, Holt donors responded generously, providing help to these children who needed it the very most. It’s only been a month since the President’s Top Priority Campaign for Children 2020 concluded, but already children are starting to get the help they need.

Here are the latest updates we’ve received about Liya, Cam, Purev and Guneet since they began receiving help!

Continue reading “How You Helped These Four Children at Year End”

Children Belong in Homes, Not Hotel Rooms

The best place for children is NOT a hotel room.

Can we all agree that children belong in families who are safe and able to meet their needs? This is why we have foster care. What happens, though, when the system intended to protect children has weaknesses of its own? What if the state removes a child from their parents, turns to find a fostering family, and finds none? Continue reading “Children Belong in Homes, Not Hotel Rooms”

The Brave Girl

How a Holt child sponsor is empowering one young girl in Cambodia to stand up, speak up and become independent and strong. 

Sreyka holds her hands together palm to palm, a traditional way to say thank you in Cambodia.

In rural Kampot, Cambodia, Holt sponsors and donors help over 350 school-age children, and 200 preschool children, go to school. Many of these children are girls who would likely drop out early if not for the uniforms, supplies, books and lunch money their sponsors provide. At school, girls sit side by side with the boys. They learn to read and write, to speak up in class and voice their ideas. Continue reading “The Brave Girl”

Reader Favorite Stories of 2020

Revisit our most read, most shared, most liked adoption, adoptee and international program stories from the past year!

Top 5 Adoption Stories 

Why International Adoption is Still Needed

Until we live in a world where every child can grow up safe and loved  in a permanent, loving family, Holt will continue to provide and advocate for ethical, child-centered international adoption. Continue reading “Reader Favorite Stories of 2020”

COVID-19 in Ethiopia: How the Pandemic is Affecting Children in Sponsorship

An interview with Zerihun Gultie, country director of Holt Ethiopia, about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in Ethiopia — and how sponsors and donors are meeting their most urgent needs. 

A doctor checks the temperature of a baby at the Shinshicho Mother & Child Hospital, which Holt donors helped build several years ago for the people of this impoverished community. To protect frontline workers and patients during the pandemic, Holt sponsors and donors helped provide supplies of masks, sanitizers and other PPE for the hospital.
A doctor checks the temperature of a baby at the Shinshicho Mother & Child Hospital, which Holt donors helped build several years ago for the people of this impoverished community. To protect frontline workers and patients during the pandemic, Holt sponsors and donors helped provide supplies of masks, sanitizers and other PPE for the hospital.

How is the pandemic affecting children and families in Ethiopia?

COVID-19 has been affecting all of us. … March-May was terrifying because we knew that the infrastructure in this country isn’t able to cope with a pandemic like this …Travel was banned to the field. Public gatherings were also restricted. Schools were closed. And the economy was partially shut down. So this has been affecting the socioeconomic livelihood of communities, especially in the places where we work. … People who used to get food from the market were not able to get food. It has affected everyone, especially the poor and those who are living in the rural settings. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Ethiopia: How the Pandemic is Affecting Children in Sponsorship”

Nobody Sees Me, But You Do

In her early teens, Devi thought she’d never be able to attend school. But then, Holt sponsors began supporting her family —  lifting them out of the darkness.

Devi (top left) stands outside her home with her mother and two of her younger siblings.

“Can I say something?” Devi asks, shyly. Devi has a thin face and large, deep eyes, just like her mom. She looks less tired than her mom — although her eyes hold more suffering than most teenage girls. 

“Of course,” we tell her. She had been mostly quiet during our time talking with the family, so what she says next surprises us all.  

Immediately, tears cascade down her cheeks.

“I’m not speaking in English nicely, but [I want to] so thank you. It is God’s grace and mercy that you help us. I want to say, God is helping me through you. God is working, and you are His engine for good,” she says, becoming more choked up and passionate as she goes. “My mom is working and I’m working, but really, you are helping in my education and studies and all things. I am very thankful for you. Nobody sees me, but you do. You help give us medicine, milk and food. All my family was in darkness, but now there is light.”

This is an excerpt from a longer story about Devi and her family from when our storytelling team met them in Pune, India.  Read the full story now!

2020 in Photos: A Look Back at The Impact You Made

As 2020 comes to a close, and we look back on this extraordinary year, so many emotions come to the surface. And so many moments stand out. Continue reading “2020 in Photos: A Look Back at The Impact You Made”