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”

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 Year-End Top Priority: Children Living in the Garbage Dump

You can help rush food, masks and other emergency supplies to children living in the dump in Mongolia — children like Purev.

“The harshness of this environment… it is just not a place where children should be,” says Paul Kim, director of programs for Korea and Mongolia. “[It’s not a place] where anyone should be, really — but especially not children.”

But nevertheless, this place — a garbage dump outside of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia — is home to dozens of children and their families. Including Purev and her family.

Purev, her mother and five siblings stand outside their ger near the garbage dump in Ulaanbaatar.

Continue reading “2020 Year-End Top Priority: Children Living in the Garbage Dump”

Photo Gallery: Sponsored Families in Colombia

Through a sponsor- and donor-supported program in Cali, Colombia, children attend free daycare while their mothers attend parenting classes, learn life skills and receive job training — helping them grow strong, stable and empowered to better support their children.  

Cali is a lush and vibrant city home to over 2 million people in southwest Colombia. But like many developing countries, Colombia — and Cali — has two sides. In one neighborhood where sponsors support children, wealthy landowners live side by side with an unlicensed, makeshift community that sprung up during the war to accommodate rural, indigenous families displaced by the violence. Continue reading “Photo Gallery: Sponsored Families in Colombia”

5 Reasons We’re Thankful for Sponsors and Donors Like You

As we approach the national day of giving thanks, we’d like to share a few of the reasons we’re so thankful for Holt child sponsors and donors. It was hard to narrow it down to such a short list, but here are our top five:

Mary Luz thought she might have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her children in someone else’s care. But then she discovered a Holt child sponsor and donor-supported program in her community.
Mary Luz thought she might have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave her children in someone else’s care. But then she discovered a Holt child sponsor and donor-supported program in her community.

1. You help children stay in the loving care of their families.

Poverty and hunger make people do desperate things, including placing their children in someone else’s care. But as a Holt child sponsor, you prevent children from needlessly growing up apart from their families. You help provide everything a child needs to thrive right where they are, from nourishing food to safe shelter to job skills training for their parents. Your monthly gifts mean that parents never have to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their child at the gates of an orphanage. And a child never has to experience the trauma of separating from their family. Continue reading “5 Reasons We’re Thankful for Sponsors and Donors Like You”

COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids

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. 

Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.
Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support  after they lost their source of income during the pandemic.

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”

How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Thailand: a Q&A

An interview with Kobgarn Trakulvaree, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation, Holt’s partner organization in Thailand.

The generous gifts from Holt sponsors and donors helped provide everything masks and sanitizer to storybooks and toys to keep children occupied during the pandemic.
The generous gifts from Holt sponsors and donors helped provide everything from masks and sanitizer to storybooks and toys to keep children occupied during the pandemic.

How is the pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Thailand programs?

Ten percent of the families we are helping are actually unemployed due to the pandemic. The rest have experienced pay reduction. Prior to the pandemic, the average monthly income of these families was 5,000 Thai baht per month, or around $167 U.S. dollars. Since the pandemic, most of the average income is reduced to only 3,000 baht a month — around $90 U.S. dollars. And the minimum, the lowest pay that we have found was only $17 dollars … So it’s not hard to imagine that these families are facing really hard situations. Continue reading “How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Thailand: a Q&A”

When Families Migrate: One Mom’s Story

When Ary migrated from Cambodia to Thailand in search of work, she wasn’t sure when she would see her children again. Then Holt sponsors and donors helped her come back home. 

The first time Ary and her husband traveled to Thailand in search of work, they brought their four children with them. Their youngest was still breastfeeding, and Ary couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her children behind. Migrating on foot, they eventually came to a fast-moving river. There was no bridge or ferry to take them across. They would have to swim.

“My children nearly drowned because the water was very strong,” she says. Continue reading “When Families Migrate: One Mom’s Story”

How Migration Endangers Children: a Q&A, How You Can Help

Increasingly long periods of drought have made it difficult for families in rural areas to support their children without migrating for work.

What does migration have to do with Holt’s mission in Cambodia?

In every country where Holt works, Holt sponsors and donors help vulnerable children grow up with the love and stability of a family — either by helping them stay in the loving care of their birth family, or uniting them with a loving, permanent family through adoption. But in Cambodia, a country where more and more families migrate to big cities or neighboring countries in search of work, helping families stay together has become an even greater challenge. Continue reading “How Migration Endangers Children: a Q&A, How You Can Help”

For My Korean Sisters

Holt adoptee Kate Pyle shares what inspired her to launch a campaign raising over $16,000 for the Holt Morning Garden shelter for single mothers and their children in Korea.

A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.
A single mom and her son who stayed at the Morning Garden shelter.

My name is Kate Pyle and I’m a Holt Korean adoptee. At the beginning of September, following a six week campaign, my wife, Laurel, and I raised $16,450 for three women at the Achimddeul “Morning Garden” shelter in Daejeon, South Korea. It was the first time Laurel and I had ever fundraised. Soliciting donations is never easy, but even in this bizarre time in history, we were successful! We both believed in the cause, in Holt and in ourselves.

So why did we do this? Let me tell you a little story. Continue reading “For My Korean Sisters”