A few years ago, 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 donor-supported program in her community. And now, in every moment, she’s there.
At home, in a special place, Mary Luz keeps a collection of
cards. Each card has a message inside, written in crayon or colored pen.
“Mama, I want to tell you that you’re the best, and in every
moment and place, you’re there,” reads one message written by her daughter,
Camilla. “You’re my right hand. You’re my light. You’re my joy, my sadness, my
company, my everything. With Love, Camilla.”
Inside another hand-cut in the shape of a heart, the message reads, “On this day, I want to tell you that I love you. And I love you with a lot of love.” This card came from both her children, 5-year-old David and 9-year-old Camilla.
When her husband became ill, Dinknesh suddenly had to provide for her family on her own. She didn’t know where to begin, and her family quickly fell into poverty. Then sponsors and donors came together to empower Dinknesh, giving her two of the most powerful Gifts of Hope — confidence, and a cow.
Like many women in rural Ethiopia, Dinknesh had a more traditional role in her family before her husband fell sick. She worked incredibly hard to maintain her home and care for her two sons while her husband, a farmer, worked the fields to bring in an income and meet the basic needs of their family.
But when he became ill, he could not work and was bedridden for months.
Suddenly, Dinknesh had to provide for her children on her own.
Trapped in debt
because of money lenders, Sheela thought she would have to close her food cart
— dismantling her dream and the business that supported her two sons. That is,
until someone gave her a Gift of Hope…
In a vacant lot on a busy street corner in Bengaluru, India
— in the midst of overwhelming traffic, blaring car horns and blistering midday
sun — Sheela smiles. Standing underneath a bright blue tarp, surrounded by pots
and pans and a stack of dirty plates, she is living her dream.
When Vieng’s husband got sick and could not work, their family quickly fell into crisis. But they had inherent strengths as a family that held them together. And when a donor sent them a much-needed Gift of Hope, they were able to build on those strengths — empowering them to overcome any crisis they faced, now or in the future.
Hung climbs behind his mom and dangles his arms around her in a big bear hug. She grabs his hands and laughs — smiling up at him. Hung is 4, dressed in a plaid golfer’s cap and puffy coat on this cool, 60-degree morning in Danang, Vietnam. He looks like a miniature version of his mom — with round, dimpled cheeks and warm, dark, shining eyes that shine even brighter when he smiles.
In Cambodia’s impoverished Prey Veng province, children and families live in conditions that no one should ever live in.
Every day, these families sleep, study and eat their meals under roofs that leak, inside palm leaf walls – unstable homes that cannot protect them from the rain and wind. But because of Holt’s generous donors, many families in this community now have hope. Working alongside local partner Child and Life Association (CLA), Holt donors recently provided new homes and necessary renovations for six of the most vulnerable families in Pre Veng province.
Through these new and safe living conditions, these families’ lives have dramatically changed.
As the oldest child in a single-parent home, Mol Vey felt the need to help support his family. After losing his father at a young age, his mom struggled on one income. But he could only do so much, and often missed school to help his mom. Then sponsors and donors stepped in — providing the tools and resources his family needed to stay together, and grow stable and strong.
Mol Vey lives with his mother, Leng Sina, and younger brother in Prey Kuy village — a small village located in Cambodia’s rural Prey Veng province.
His father died from diabetes when Mol Vey was just 4 years old, and his family already struggled to survive on minimal income. But when he passed away, their living conditions grew even worse.
At the end of 2018, we shared with you about three children in our programs who were experiencing the most heartbreaking, hopeless and urgent needs: Linh, a 13-year-old who became pregnant after a violent assault; Shenaz, a little girl in India who was grieving her father’s death and living in extreme poverty; and Jun Jun, a boy in China who desperately needed a surgery for his cleft lip.
Your outpouring of support and care for these three little ones amazed us. You gave generously. And because of you, Linh, Shenaz and Jun Jun’s lives have changed.
Keep reading to see just how powerful a difference you made in these children’s lives!
Ten years ago, Holt sponsors began supporting children and families in the impoverished community of Shinshicho — a district capital in southern Ethiopia where goats and cattle still roam the unpaved roads that lead through town, few homes or businesses have electricity or running water, and donkeys are the primary mode of transportation.
Here, as throughout Ethiopia, years of civil war and drought have robbed many families of their livelihoods, while famine and illness have robbed many children of their parents. Most families in rural Ethiopia subsist on what they can grow on small plots of land, which is often just barely enough to feed their families. But in 2008, when Holt began working alongside local leaders and community elders, life began to change for many children and families in Shinshicho. Continue reading “It Takes a Village: Holt Sponsors Change Lives in Ethiopia”
The day Erika left her two sons at an orphanage felt like the end of her world. But when generous donors gave her a way to pick up the pieces of her life, she started a path forward that led her back to the light — and back to her kids.
Erika’s stained clothes draped loosely off her already tiny frame. Her hair was snarled and knotted — her skin dirty.
She held one little boy in one arm and clutched another’s hand. Both boys, like their mom, were thin and messy.
They dipped through the doorway of a two-story building on a street stacked with single-room homes in southern Bogotá, not far from the hilly area where Erika grew up. Continue reading “On Her Darkest Day”
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.