She felt like her life was saved.

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When Xiao Cai’s father died, she considered dropping out of school to help support her family. But when she heard about Holt sponsorship, she felt like her life was saved.

In poor regions of China, many children face difficulties continuing their educations — especially in rural areas, where some experts estimate that 63% of middle and high school children drop out before graduation. Like Xiao Cai, most children leave school either because they have to work to bring in income or because their family does not have the funds to pay for supplies and uniforms.

But we know that if children stay in school, their lives will proceed normally and they will have better connections to society. They will not end up living on the streets or working in child labor. And they will gain the ties they need to succeed in China. Continue reading “She felt like her life was saved.”

Girls in India are being denied this basic right…

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In India, a girl child begins her life with uncertainty about her very existence on this earth.

Illegal practices like sex determination, foeticide and infanticide are not uncommon in Indian society. Even today, a woman in the lower urban middle class or in rural India is the last member of a household to eat and also the last one to get medical attention. And until recently, women from rural India were hidden behind the veil and kept in the dark, ignorant about the outside world and their basic rights.

One of these most basic and vital rights is the right to an education. Continue reading “Girls in India are being denied this basic right…”

Why Do Children Drop Out of School in Southeast Asia?

Education-2-Header-600x321Around the world, education is one of the most effective ways to help children and families escape long-term poverty. But in the countries where Holt works in SE Asia, this basic right of children is not easily obtained.

In impoverished communities across SE Asia, parents often let their children drop out of school to enter the labor workforce at very early ages. But high dropout rates, lack of education and poverty are all primary factors contributing to child trafficking.

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Children as young as 12 who drop out of school have become easy targets for traffickers who recruit them with the promise of job placements in big cities. Sometimes, they end up in very harsh working conditions. Others are trafficked for far worse reasons.

Preschools or daycare for children ages 3-5 are also not available in many rural areas in SE Asia — resulting in delayed social, language and academic development. In some countries, the frequent migration of parents to seek jobs in big cities has resulted in children not having access to preschools. Many parents simply can’t afford to send their children to preschool, or do not understand how education impacts the development of their children prior to Grade 1.

But by giving the gift of school supplies, books and uniforms, you can help children continue their education and empower them to pursue their dreams. In Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, you can also help reduce the risk of abuse and child labor.

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Without your help and partnership, Holt could never reach so many lives in SE Asia and the many other countries where we work. Thank you for being part of a big cause serving children and families around the world!

Thoa Bui | Senior Executive of South & Southeast Asia Programs

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Can you believe this causes children to drop out of school?

Education-Header_600x320Education is the single most effective weapon against poverty. When children are educated, they are empowered to transform not just their own lives — but to break the cycle of poverty in their families and communities.

But around the world, children face tremendous obstacles to their education and the sad truth is that millions of school-aged children are not in school.

School provides critical protections for children in developing countries, keeping them safe from traffickers, exploitation, forced child labor, child marriage, and empowers them to overcome staggering illiteracy rates in their communities.
Our job is to remove every hurdle until the path to a long, full education is so simple and so smooth, it’s the only choice for children.
That’s why today, we are asking you to donate $25 to provide school supplies, a uniform, books and other materials to one child in Holt’s education programs.

Your gift will help one child to continue chasing his or her dreams and grow more equipped with the skills to break the cycle of poverty forever!Education-Blog-Art[1]

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Because of Your Support

In Nanning, China, Holt sponsors support the education of over 2,000 children — children who would likely otherwise drop out of school early to find work in a factory, or worse, end up on the streets. Below, Holt’s China regional coordinator, Stephanie Raymond, shares about two sponsored children who she met on a recent trip to Nanning.

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Fan Fan is one of 2,112 children currently enrolled in Holt’s sponsorship and family strengthening program in Guangxi province. With support from her sponsors, she hopes to complete her education and one day become a doctor.

Thirteen years ago, Fan Fan* was found abandoned as an infant in the mountains of Guangxi province, China. It was the year 2003, when China’s one-child-per-family policy was still in full force — and it was not uncommon to find an abandoned infant girl by a roadside or on the steps of an orphanage in China. Unlike many of the children found by kind strangers in China, the man who found Fan Fan did not take her to the police. He felt compassion for her, and took her in and cared for her until he became sick and passed away several years later. In the years since, Fan Fan has received support from her adopted father’s cousin — a construction worker who struggles to provide for both Fan Fan and his two grandchildren. One day, Fan Fan hopes to become a doctor. She hopes she can give back and help others, she says, just like the many people have helped her in her life — including her sponsors in the U.S.

Fan Fan is one of 2,112 children currently enrolled in Holt’s sponsorship and family strengthening program in Guangxi province. Here, Holt is able to provide support to so many children by collaborating with the local education departments and the teachers to identify children in need. Teachers in China are highly involved in the lives of their pupils and are incentivized by the government to ensure that children receive the minimum nine required years of education. Continue reading “Because of Your Support”

Your Support Matters

As a sponsor, you have the unique opportunity to love and support a child living in a tough situation.

Maybe your sponsored child is waiting in a care facility for a permanent, loving family. Maybe your sponsored child is in school and working to end the cycle of poverty for his or her family. Or maybe your sponsored child has special needs that require specialized resources and therapies — needs like cerebral palsy, developmental delays, cleft lip and palate… or HIV.

Among the most vulnerable groups of children Holt sponsors support are in fact children in China who have HIV.

Continue reading “Your Support Matters”

Sponsors in China Become Friends, Mentors and Change-Makers

When a group of professionals from Beijing began sponsoring children in their own country, they soon learned that their impact could go far beyond a monthly gift. What ensued was a genuine relationship with their sponsored children and the possibility of changing China’s culture of philanthropy. 

On a cold winter day in a rural community in northwestern China, an unlikely group of people gather together. Ten of them are deemed among China’s most successful professionals from Beijing — businessmen and women, bankers, university scholars and government officials. The rest of the group, numbering about 30, are made up of 12-to-16-year-olds — most of whom have grown up in critical poverty.

They pull their chairs into uneven circles and sit facing each other — the young students listening intently to what the professionals have to say. And the professionals just as eagerly listen to the teenagers. Although they have never met before, the group bonds quickly over a mutual care and interest in each other’s lives. This connection transcends their differing backgrounds, ages and ways of life.

This group is made up of Holt-sponsored children and their sponsors —meeting for the first time.

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Here, two exciting and groundbreaking things are taking place. For the first time, Chinese sponsors living in China are sponsoring children in their own country. And as these sponsors and sponsored children meet and talk, they begin to build a deep, lasting, in-person relationship. Unlikely events, both. But perhaps even more unlikely is how it all came about.

Continue reading “Sponsors in China Become Friends, Mentors and Change-Makers”

Holt Opens a Library for Children in Impoverished District of Mongolia

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A child in traditional Mongolian dress holds a donated book that was carried over from the U.S.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. – Albert Einstein

In my travels for Holt’s child nutrition program (CNP), I occasionally have the happy coincidence of being able to visit other, non-CNP-related Holt programs. Recently, when conducting a formal needs assessment for CNP with one of our partners in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, I was lucky enough to participate in the grand opening of Holt’s newest and truly inspirational family strengthening program in the same city.

Holt’s new after-school program in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is located in the social welfare office of the poorest district in the city, Songino Khairkhan district. This district is often informally called the “Ger district,” as many families live in traditional ger dwellings instead of permanent housing throughout the area. Despite the long, brutally cold winters here, few families in the Ger district can afford a brick and mortar home. Continue reading “Holt Opens a Library for Children in Impoverished District of Mongolia”

Hey sponsors, on behalf of children and their parents around the world, thank you.

Recently, Holt staff visited a daycare center Holt supports in Manila, Philippines. Here, in a colorful room full of 3-to-4-year-olds, there are abundant toys, crayons and notebooks, a loving teacher, nutritious food and most of all, hope.

These children live in one of the most impoverished barangays (or neighborhoods) in Manila, but because of support from sponsors like you, they and their entire families are receiving the resources they need thrive!

In the Philippines, Holt partners with the organization Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF), which works in this particular barangay to ensure 50 preschoolers are safe and cared for while their parents are at work. KBF also works to ensure that older children can attend school with the educational support they receive from their sponsors, and that struggling parents are empowered through Holt microloans to start sustainable businesses that will provide for their entire family.

The impact of sponsorship for these children and families is huge. With the support they receive, these families have the resources and skills to transform their lives and their communities!

And no one appreciates this transformation more than the parents of the children in our sponsorship program. In this video, you’ll hear from Shila whose daughter attends the preschool at KBF.

Your support not only provides education, nutrition and opportunity, but it prevents child abandonment, ensuring that families stay together. When families are prepared and empowered to fight poverty, that means that these parents will never have to make the heartbreaking decision to separate from their children in hope of giving them a better life.

Whether you sponsor a child in the Philippines, Cambodia, Mongolia, Haiti or somewhere else, know that your support is truly transformational.

On behalf of children and their parents around the world, thank you.

You can read more about Holt’s programs in the Philippines here.

Reasons for Hope This Easter

easter-email2-Header-600-WideOn Easter, we celebrate Jesus as God’s gift to the world. Through Him there is light, life and ultimate hope! So what better reason or season than Easter to give a tangible form of hope to children and families all around the world?

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When you give educational support, lifesaving food, blankets and shoes, or the materials to plant a sustainable garden, you give the gift of survival, stability and hope to the children and families who truly need it most.

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Giving a Gift of Hope to a family in need is also a great way to talk with your own children about hope and the joy that comes from giving.

Celebrate Easter by giving a Gift of Hope today! 

Or, if you’ve already given, share this post on social media and encourage your friends to give Hope this Easter!