Surely, All of Us Can Learn — The Migrant Daycare in India

 Life can be harsh for migrant families in Bengaluru, India. But for 330 young children and their families, this Holt-supported daycare brings education, development, community and hope.

Three-year-old Dipika walks through the door, clutching her mother’s hand. After getting signed in, she walks wide-eyed down the hall where her mom gives her a hug before dropping her off in the classroom. Within seconds, Dipika’s eyes brim over with tears, joining a roomful of other bawling 3-year-olds.

This sound coming from the 3- and 4-year-old room is in sharp contrast to the colorful walls, toys and smiling staff throughout this building.

Continue reading “Surely, All of Us Can Learn — The Migrant Daycare in India”

10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!

We are starting 2019 inspired and filled with gratitude — all because of our donors! Thank you to every child sponsor, every donor, every advocate and every person who donated their time, money or social media platform to help a child in need this year!

You made it possible to help thousands and thousands of the world’s most at-risk children in orphanages, impoverished places, hard-to-reach communities and places of grave danger.

Because of you…

  • Hungry children received nourishing meals.
  • Sick children received critically needed medicines and surgeries.
  • Boys and girls learned they could go to school — in some cases for the first time! They received uniforms, books and supplies.
  • Children in orphanages received the one-on-one care they need to grow and thrive. Hundreds joined adoptive families. Many finally felt loved and accepted, joining foster families and group homes free from stigma and ridicule.
  • Single moms received job skills training, parenting help, free daycare support, and some even received new homes! Many more finally felt like they had a team of support wrapping them in encouragement and hope for the future with services like community savings programs, microloans, livestock training, counseling and much, much more.
  • Some women — and many children — fled or were rescued from violent situations.
  • You also fed more than 50,000 people in North Korea, including thousands of children growing up in orphanages.

Without a doubt, YOU are amazing. You are making the world a brighter place. You are giving real help and hope!

Here are 10 ways you are changing the world through your compassion, kindness and incredible generosity! Continue reading “10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!”

To the Warm-Hearted People

After her father died, Hyeon Ji relied on Holt child sponsors to help her finish school. Now, she has a message — and an update — to share with them. 

In early 2012, at 13 years old, Hyeon Ji began receiving support from sponsors to help her stay in school.

After Hyeon Ji’s parents  divorced, her mom left — and never tried to reconnect  with her.

But her dad was loving and kind and devoted to his daughter. He struggled to find work, but when he had the money he would take his daughter out for sushi dinners. When Hyeon Ji was in her early teens, he began working nights as a taxi driver — leaving Hyeon Ji home alone. She always felt safe, though — knowing he would eventually come home.   

When her father got sick, Hyeon Ji took care of him as best she could. For a while, he got better. Then, he got worse. When he passed away, Hyeon Ji was just 15. Continue reading “To the Warm-Hearted People”

Holt Sponsors Send Kids to School, Provide Free Lunch in Haiti

In one coastal community in southern Haiti, many parents struggled to feed their children and send them to school before sponsors began supporting them three years ago.

Jayson and his family live in a small fishing village off the southern coast of Haiti. His dad works as a fisherman, and every day, he nets his catch in the sparkling, azure blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. What he catches, he sells.

But he almost never brings home any fish for his family.

Instead, they eat spaghetti. Or corn. Or rice imported from the U.S. Some days, they eat almost nothing.

“Fish is expensive,” explains Gustave Richard, a Holt social worker who works closely with families in sponsorship. “If they have it, they’d rather sell it.” Continue reading “Holt Sponsors Send Kids to School, Provide Free Lunch in Haiti”

The Story of My Life

Growing up without a stable family in the Philippines, Konny Dela Cruz struggled to stay on track — and eventually left school early to work in a garment factory. Then she learned about Holt’s  independent living and educational assistance (ILEA) program — a donor-funded program that helps institutionalized and disadvantaged teens to attend college and learn independent living skills. 

Konny Dela Cruz in her graduation gown.

The story of my life is so beautiful with a lot of learnings.

I was born in 1997. I grew up with a family with whom I have no blood relationship. I was only 2 years old when my mother entrusted me to the care of the landlady of the boarding house where we used to stay because she went to Korea to work.

When I was growing up, I was wondering why there is no name of my father on my birth certificate. I asked the landlady, whom I have been calling grandmother “Lola,” to explain “why I have no father on my birth certificate,” but she would just tell me it is only your mother who can answer your question. And my mother kept ignoring my question, too.

I could not approach any relative because I don’t know anyone — and maybe nobody knows about me, too. Continue reading “The Story of My Life”

This Is Linh’s Story

We were given permission to share this story by the people involved, but due to its sensitive nature we have changed their names.

As Holt’s senior writer for the past eight years, I’ve met a lot of kids. I’ve heard — and retold — a lot of stories. And I’ve seen some pretty heartbreaking things. I feel it, every time. The hurt, the sadness in the eyes of these children.

But at this point, it’s pretty hard to shake me.

Then I met Linh.

Linh shook me. And I can’t get her out of my mind. Continue reading “This Is Linh’s Story”

Secondary Education in Uganda Lets Kids Dream Big

In rural Uganda, sponsors are now helping children attend secondary school — the critical second half of their education that empowers them to rise above poverty, and to dream big. 

Before, Edith might have gotten married. When she graduated primary school last year at age 13 — her education finished — she might have started to run her own household, possibly becoming a mother as a young teenager.

And Raymond? He might have moved to Kampala. As a 12-year-old in Uganda’s largest city, he might have found a manual labor job or started working for a wealthy family — anything to earn a living.

secondary education students in Uganda
Raymond and Edith share about getting to go to secondary school.

There’s no way to know exactly where Edith and Raymond would have ended up. But of one thing we can be certain — they would not still be in school. Thrown into adult life, without a full education, the cycle of poverty would have continued for them and their families.

Continue reading “Secondary Education in Uganda Lets Kids Dream Big”