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”

It Shouldn’t Be a Secret

email3-Header-PhotoHolt adoptive mom Anne Silas* has learned that even in the U.S., the stigma against HIV can be strong. And for that reason, Ann and her family are careful when sharing about their children’s condition. However, while it is not something they share openly, it is not a secret. It is not a reason for shame or missed opportunity. Her children know that they can live lives full of love, acceptance and opportunity — while having HIV.

But in China and in other parts of the world, children with HIV must live in secret.

The stigma against HIV is so strong that if their communities find out about their condition, they will likely be ostracized — not allowed in public schools, kicked out of their homes, separated from their families and robbed of the opportunity to thrive and live normally within society.

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But this year through the Molly Holt Fund, you can tell children living with HIV that they shouldn’t have to live in secret — that they deserve to be known. That they deserve the same opportunities as any other child!

Your gift to the Molly Holt Fund will help children who are living in Holt-supported HIV group homes — safe places where they are loved and cared for while many wait for a permanent, loving adoptive family — as well as other children with special needs around the world who are in need of medical care, therapies and the opportunity to thrive.

Thank you for your heart and compassion for children with HIV and other special needs. Your gift gives them the resources, opportunity and freedom they need to stop living in secret and rise above stigma.

* Name changed to keep the confidentiality of Anne and her children

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India’s Doctor of the Year Cares for Holt Kids

A pediatrician who cares for children at a Holt partner agency in India receives a doctor of the year award. 

Jewel of the Crown 2015 IMA 2

Last month, at an award ceremony in Dehli, India, Dr. Jayant Navarange, a highly regarded pediatrician, was honored as “Doctor of the Year” by the Indian Medical Association for his medical expertise and distinguished service to children. Since 1980, Dr. Navarange has served as an honorary pediatrician at Bharatiya Semaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), Holt’s legacy partner in Pune, where his work is very admired. “Dr. Navarange is extremely deserving of this award,” Dean Hale, Holt’s director of adoption services for India and the Philippines, says. “He is a very caring, very learned and very accomplished person.”

Dean says that it’s Dr. Navarange’s calming bedside manner and willingness to go above and beyond for children that sets him apart. “He never just accepts a diagnosis,” Dean says. “He always digs deeper.” Dean, who has worked with Holt’s India program for over three decades, recalls a time when Dr. Navarange examined a boy who had been diagnosed with severe seizures. After careful investigation, Dr. Navarange concluded that the child actually suffered from a condition that mimics seizures. The doctor took the child off of his medication immediately and placed him on a more appropriate medical track. “Dr. Navarange is extremely thorough,” Dean says. “ He has great clinical skills, good common sense and he really cares.” Continue reading “India’s Doctor of the Year Cares for Holt Kids”

A Clear Path to Success

With the generous gift of an anonymous Holt supporter, a 6-year-old girl in Ethiopia receives treatment and glasses for a debilitating eye condition.

Birhanesh and her father.

Birhanesh walks along a dusty, broken sidewalk in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Holding her father’s hand, she frolics down the uneven ground — bringing up gravel that dirties her pretty white flats. She wears a pink, pleated skirt and a forest green zip-up jacket. Her eyes, already teary and red, fill with dust as she strains to see on this bright day in November, one of the driest months in Ethiopia. Standing at almost 7-feet-tall, Birhanesh’s father holds his daughter’s hand tightly as the heavy Addis traffic rushes around them. The father and daughter are almost 200 miles away from the place they call home, a traditional mud hut in the Wallana district of southern Ethiopia. Accompanying them on this long-awaited journey is Miruk Alemu, then Holt Ethiopia’s child sponsorship coordinator. They have arrived in Ethiopia’s capital for a very special reason. Today, 6-year-old Birhanesh will, after years of discomfort, visit an eye specialist for the first time — hopeful that he can finally give her some relief. Continue reading “A Clear Path to Success”

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”

Loved Like One of Their Own

While waiting to join a permanent family through adoption, a little girl with severe special needs receives the attentive, nurturing care she needs in her foster family in Thailand.

20160226 (13)When our partner staff in Thailand met Worawan, they were shocked by her condition. Born prematurely at seven months, she spent the first three months of her life in an incubator — and two months on a ventilator. At birth, she had multiple special needs and health problems — including respiratory distress syndrome, rickets, anemia and congenital heart failure, among other severe and complex conditions. At the age of seven months, she weighed just over 8 pounds and was just 19.5 inches long. Most of the time, she laid still in her crib.

“Worawan had global developmental delays and failure to thrive,” says Jintana Nontapouraya, the director of the Holt Sahathai Foundation in Thailand. “We were so worried about her condition and also very afraid about whether the foster parents who agreed to receive her would still want to welcome her when we brought her to their home.”

Nine months have now passed since they welcomed Worawan into their home and lives.

“Although they appeared worried as she looked very tiny and fragile,” Jintana remembers, “they said they believed their family was the best choice for the girl under this situation as they were not afraid to love and nurture her.” Continue reading “Loved Like One of Their Own”

What a new mother needs most…


It is a special time when a woman carries and gives birth to her first child. This is also the time when she needs the most support from her family.

But around the world, not all mothers-to-be receive the love and support they need and deserve.

Thuy was three months into her pregnancy when the child’s father left her without any support.

Although she carried her baby to term, she lacked the resources to see a doctor during her pregnancy. Her baby was born premature with low birth weight, and Thuy also experienced complications from the pregnancy. Because she had insufficient food to nourish both herself and her developing child, Thuy was also unable to breastfeed her baby, and lacked money to buy formula. Continue reading “What a new mother needs most…”

You Can Help Protect a Child’s Life

world-immunization_topThis is a phrase children often hear in doctor’s offices — their little legs dangling over a paper-covered table, or while their mom holds them with reassurance it will be over before they know it. 

A vaccine shot only hurts for a second, but its positive effect is felt for a lifetime. 


Thworld-immunization_1is week is World Immunization Week, a time to recognize and celebrate how vaccines have prevented thousands of children from suffering or dying from diseases like polio, meningitis and yellow fever. But the fight is not over. Today, many children around the world still do not receive the immunizations that could save their lives. 

world-immunization_2In fact, Ethiopia, India, Uganda and the Philippines — countries where Holt works — have some of the highest rates of unvaccinated children. And when children first enter into Holt’s care centers or family strengthening programs, they are in need of this lifesaving service. 

But for just $25, you can help. 


When you give the gift of lifesaving vaccines, you protect a child’s life. 

Share about World Immunization Week on social media and encourage your friends to give the gift of health to a child in need.

4 Ways to Celebrate World Health Day

World Health Day is April 7, and we have four easy ways that you can participate in this important global awareness day and spread improved health to the most vulnerable children, women and communities around the world. When you give a Gift of Hope, you provide lifesaving tools and resources exactly where they are needed most. Below are four health-related items of greatest need and with huge potential for impact!

Vaccines-280x3301. VACCINES

Especially in difficult-to-reach, rural areas, many children do not receive routine childhood vaccines that could save their lives — and prevent the spread of deadly disease. Giving one child the vaccines they need has limitless power to reduce child mortality. GIVE NOW!




Continue reading “4 Ways to Celebrate World Health Day”

The Top 10 Photos of 2015

We all love feel-good stories. At Holt, we are surrounded by miracles, triumphant underdog tales and inspiring success stories every day. But sometimes, the best stories aren’t told through words. Today, we look back at a few of our favorite stories of hope, love, family and incredible, life-changing impact — not told through words, but pictures. We’ve rounded up our top 10 favorite, most iconic photos of the year. It’s likely that if you’ve followed us on social media, checked out our website, started sponsoring a child, given a gift to help a child in need or started your adoption journey, you’ve seen at least one of these photos this year. Today, we share the stories behind the photos, and explain why these images exemplify Holt’s work and the incredible impact of Holt’s friends, families and supporters around the world. Enjoy!

Photo 10: Summer Camps

Every summer, Holt Adoptee Camp is both fun and inspirational for the kids and teens who attend. At four sleep-away camps across the country, adoptees spend a week hiking, swimming, playing games and enjoying evenings around a campfire with fellow transracial adoptees and adoptee counselors. This is a time and place for adoptees to just be themselves, surrounded by other people who share similar stories and family histories. Together, they explore identity, race and other adoptee-specific topics in an open, safe setting. Mostly, they have fun! In the photo below, 2015 camp director Chris McGinn — who will return to direct camps in 2016! — serves as jungle gym and friend to 9-year-old Adam Wachner during camp in Nebraska. In the background, 16-year-old Alec Zoz and 13-year-old Karl McGillvray sport Holt camp shirts specially designed by Holt camp counselors.

Photo 10 Continue reading “The Top 10 Photos of 2015”