I Won’t Give Up On Her

In the summer of 2016, Holt sponsor and then Holt employee Billie Loewen met a very sad, hungry girl in a remote village in Cambodia. She immediately signed up to sponsor her. Four years later, she receives an update that makes her heart soar.

In the first week of every month, I pull open the Excel spreadsheet with four years of monthly budgets. I open the Chase app and Wells Fargo and drift quickly over the charges, looking for anything amiss. The single line with a shortened title, “HOLT INTL CHILD,” and associated charge — $38 — always catches my eye.

Most months, paying bills is the only time I think about what it costs to sponsor the beautiful, shy, heartbreakingly sad little girl I met in a village in Cambodia on a scorching hot, dusty day in 2016.

Tiny, impossibly thin with straggly hair turning yellow from lack of nutrition, and a broad face with deep, serious eyes, 10-year-old Phal captured my entire heart the moment I saw her.

It’s been four years since I met her, and I think about her a lot.

Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.
Photos of Phal over four years of sponsorship reports. Her first photo is in the bottom right corner. Her most recent photo is top left.

Continue reading “I Won’t Give Up On Her”

10 Ways Holt Donors Changed Kids’ Lives in 2019

You did some truly amazing things in the lives of children and families this past year.

As Holt sponsors, donors, volunteers and advocates, you gave your time, money and energy to make sure as many children as possible could grow up with the love, stability and opportunity they deserve. And because of you — because of your kindness and generosity — 283,212 children and families in 14 countries around the world received the life-changing care and services they needed in 2019!

Seriously, you’re amazing. And we’re so incredibly thankful for you.

Just to give you a glimpse, here are 10 specific ways that your heartfelt giving changed the lives of children and families in Holt programs last year:

You helped kids. LOTs of kids!

Continue reading “10 Ways Holt Donors Changed Kids’ Lives in 2019”

Hunger in Haiti

Over one-third of child deaths in Haiti are due to malnutrition. But malnutrition is not a simple problem. 

Dayana couldn’t afford milk. Sometimes, instead, she would make a juice out of carrots and porridge for her daughter, Quyana. 

Undernourished herself, Widline barely had any breastmilk to feed her newborn son, Bernardo. She tried to nurse, but after a month, he just stopped feeding.

Continue reading “Hunger in Haiti”

Roots to Grow! Life Skills Training for Orphaned Kids in Mongolia

Holt’s Child Nutrition Program team travels to Mongolia to teach older children in institutional care an important life skill — how to plan and prepare nourishing meals.

In September 2019, the Holt International Child Nutrition Program piloted our very first children’s life skills training — “Roots to Grow!” This training, designed for older children living in institutional care, is a fun and interactive way to learn about basic life skills, including topics such as cooking, kitchen safety, nutrition basics, grocery budgeting, menu planning, and hygiene and sanitation. Continue reading “Roots to Grow! Life Skills Training for Orphaned Kids in Mongolia”

More Than Nutrition: Holt’s CNP Team Helps One Girl With FASD

It’s always heartbreaking when children have been exposed to drugs or alcohol. But Holt’s child nutrition program can help improve the health and nutrition of these children. And for one little girl with FASD in Mongolia, the program has had a huge impact on her life.   

Altansarnai entered into care at of one of Holt’s partnering care centers in Mongolia shortly after being born. Nothing was known about her family or prenatal circumstances. She was small and very sick. Although the staff provided care for her sickness and appropriate formula for her age, they still noted that over time her development seemed to be slow and delayed. She seemed behind her peers in physical growth, was often fussy, and had difficulty calming herself down. Continue reading “More Than Nutrition: Holt’s CNP Team Helps One Girl With FASD”

How Holt’s Feeding and Positioning Manual Changes Children’s Lives

Holt International's Feeding and Positioning Manual.

In spring 2019, Holt’s nutrition program released Holt International’s Feeding and Positioning Manual: Guidelines for Working with Babies and Children. The first of its kind, this publication will have a lasting and life-changing impact on the lives of children in orphanages and impoverished communities around the world. 

As *Lanh lay on his back, his wide, fearful eyes filled with tears as he choked on each bite of food spooned into his mouth.

“It was hard to watch,” says Emily DeLacey, Holt’s nutrition program manager. Continue reading “How Holt’s Feeding and Positioning Manual Changes Children’s Lives”

Analyn’s New World

Born with cerebral palsy and placed in an orphanage at 10 months old, Analyn had a small world — mostly consisting of the ceiling tiles above her crib in the Philippines. But then, an unexpected intervention changed everything.

Analyn’s world was small. About four ceiling tiles to be exact. Ceiling tiles that she stared at for hours and hours every day and every night from her crib at an orphanage in the Philippines.

Analyn in her crib.
Continue reading “Analyn’s New World”

2018 Urgent Need Update: You Changed Their Lives

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!

Linh.Linh | A Mother at 13, She Needed Help

Continue reading “2018 Urgent Need Update: You Changed Their Lives”

Surely, All of Us Can Learn — The Migrant Daycare in India

 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.

Continue reading “Surely, All of Us Can Learn — The Migrant Daycare in India”

10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!

We are starting 2019 inspired and filled with gratitude — all because of our donors! Thank you to every child sponsor, every donor, every advocate and every person who donated their time, money or social media platform to help a child in need this year!

You made it possible to help thousands and thousands of the world’s most at-risk children in orphanages, impoverished places, hard-to-reach communities and places of grave danger.

Because of you…

  • Hungry children received nourishing meals.
  • Sick children received critically needed medicines and surgeries.
  • Boys and girls learned they could go to school — in some cases for the first time! They received uniforms, books and supplies.
  • Children in orphanages received the one-on-one care they need to grow and thrive. Hundreds joined adoptive families. Many finally felt loved and accepted, joining foster families and group homes free from stigma and ridicule.
  • Single moms received job skills training, parenting help, free daycare support, and some even received new homes! Many more finally felt like they had a team of support wrapping them in encouragement and hope for the future with services like community savings programs, microloans, livestock training, counseling and much, much more.
  • Some women — and many children — fled or were rescued from violent situations.
  • You also fed more than 50,000 people in North Korea, including thousands of children growing up in orphanages.

Without a doubt, YOU are amazing. You are making the world a brighter place. You are giving real help and hope!

Here are 10 ways you are changing the world through your compassion, kindness and incredible generosity! Continue reading “10 Ways Holt Donors Are Changing The World!”