Around the world, the COVID crisis has significantly increased the risk of family separation. But because of Holt sponsors and donors, vulnerable families have what they need to stay together. View a slideshow of families in Cambodia who received COVID microgrants to start small businesses they can sustain throughout the pandemic.
During COVID, Mou and her husband received a microgrant and resources to start a small business selling noodles and cakes. With the income they earn, they can support their four children and keep their family together.
This mom received a freezer to help her start a small business and earn an income to support her family during the pandemic.
This family already had a strong business raising and selling frogs. But when the pandemic hit, they needed additional resources to sustain their business, which sponsors and donors provided through a generous microgrant.
When this mom lost her job due to COVID, Holt Cambodia helped her start a small business selling noodle soup — giving her enough income to support her children.
With the help of a microgrant, this mom bought the supplies she needed to start a sewing and tailoring business.
When this father needed help supporting his children during COVID, Holt sponsors and donors provided a water pump generator and pipe to start a small business he could sustain throughout the pandemic.
The question our sponsorship staff encounters most frequently is, “Can I write my sponsored child?”
We think this is a fantastic question! It shows that you take your sponsorship seriously — often sending positive thoughts or prayers to your sponsored child, and wondering how he or she is doing. Your desire to connect with your sponsored child is one that warms our hearts — and your sponsored child’s, too!
Generally, the answer is yes, you can write your sponsored child. But, there are a few stipulations, mostly designed to ensure your sponsored child and his or her family remain safe and successful in our programs.
When all seemed lost, Holt donors provided the food families in India needed to survive.
Several months ago, terrible rains fell in southern India. Entire villages flooded, and thousands of children and families were suddenly in crisis. But perhaps some of the most affected were the migrant families…
In southern India, Holt donors help support families that have recently migrated from their villages in the countryside to the big city of Bengaluru in the south. Many of these families don’t even have their basic needs met while they look for work in the city, and try to build a new life.
But when the floods came, everything got even worse. They didn’t have much to begin with, but now they had nothing.
More than anything, these children and families needed food to get through the first days of the crisis.
And right when they needed it, Holt donors stepped up to help — providing emergency food to 250 families in greatest need.
You helped send warm lentil curry, vegetables and hard-boiled eggs especially for the children — vital protein to fill their bellies and help keep them from getting sick.
Thank you for helping families in their time of greatest need. When all seems dark, your generosity is a warm light.
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
"I hope you continue to help people like us, kids that need it very much, and thank you so much for offering us this wonderful support.” — Kelly
“To see my daughter, how she started and how she is doing now, she has learned so many things." — Diana
"Before, I didn’t really trust myself. I felt that I was not capable of anything. But through the program, I gained confidence. And my daughter has changed a lot. Everything they teach her, she learns. Everything." — Lina
"They’re worrying about their children and want the best for them. They know the importance of their children having an education, that they receive love, and that they are affectionate with them. It’s not just giving them food. It’s more than that.” — Ana González, staff psychologist
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”
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:
1. You help children stay in the loving care of their families.
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.
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”
An interview with Kobgarn Trakulvaree, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation, Holt’s partner organization in Thailand.
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”