A Look Inside Orphanages Today


Since the pandemic first began spreading in early 2020, it’s changed life for everyone — but especially children in orphanage care. Here’s what life looks like now for children in orphanages from China to India to Thailand. 

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Caring for Children With HIV in China

In China, children living with HIV face intense stigma and discrimination. But through the kindness and generosity of Holt donors, they find love, care and compassion in Holt’s HIV group homes. This story originally appeared in Holt’s fall 2017 sponsorship magazine

A little girl at the HIV group home looks out the front door to a sunny courtyard.

Most of the children here don’t know they are HIV+. It’s too risky.

Their teachers don’t know. Their neighbors definitely don’t know because if they did, they would have to move again. They’ve moved eight times in ten years, all 28 children. If their teachers knew, they would be isolated and discriminated against or even kicked out of their pricey private school — a school they attend because they don’t have to inform the principal of their disease.

Most of these children don’t even know about the disease in their blood — the disease that killed many of their parents, robbed them of their life in their villages and that was likely passed to them at birth.

They just know that they have strict rules to follow.

Absolutely no fighting. No rough housing. If they get a cut or a scratch, they have their own first aid kit. And they have Mr. Huang.

“The kids are happy now,” Mr. Huang says, his face worn and tired, his spiky, graying hair hinting at his age.

When children pass through the living room of the apartment, they stop to grab his hands or talk to him and his eyes soften as he greets them lovingly.

“They are too young,” Mr. Huang says. “They don’t understand their fate. But as they get older, they will learn. The discrimination will start. They will always have to keep their secret.”

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How You Helped These Four Children at Year End

At the end of 2020, Liya, Cam, Purev and Guneet represented the greatest needs children were facing after a difficult year. One month after Holt donors generously stepped up to help, see how these children are doing now!

In the last months of 2020, we shared about some of the greatest, most urgent needs children around the world were facing as part of our President’s Top Priority Campaign for Children 2020. After such a difficult year, from stay at home orders to lost income to schools closing, children were truly in crisis.

The top needs Holt staff around the world identified were: malnutrition in Ethiopia, overcrowded orphanages, children living and working in the garbage dump in Mongolia, and children and families who were homeless or on the brink of homelessness. Each need came to life through a child and his or her story. These children were Liya in Ethiopia, Cam in Vietnam, Purev in Mongolia and Guneet in India.

While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be long-lasting, Holt donors responded generously, providing help to these children who needed it the very most. It’s only been a month since the President’s Top Priority Campaign for Children 2020 concluded, but already children are starting to get the help they need.

Here are the latest updates we’ve received about Liya, Cam, Purev and Guneet since they began receiving help!

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2020 Year-End Top Priority: Children in Orphanages Due to COVID-19

Orphanages are overwhelmed with children due to COVID-19 — children like 13-year-old Cam in Vietnam. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Holt orphanage partners all around the world have reached out to Holt — sharing that more and more children were coming into their care. And the reason may surprise you. It’s not because of parents’ death or illness due to COVID-19, but because of poverty. The type of poverty that makes you unable to feed your children.

Thirteen-year-old Cam was placed in an orphanage a few months ago.

The type of poverty that forces you to make the heart-wrenching decision to place your child in an orphanage.

The type of poverty experienced by 13-year-old Cam and her family. Continue reading “2020 Year-End Top Priority: Children in Orphanages Due to COVID-19”

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”

A Loving Home for Bo

Because of your generous gifts, Bo (center) has a safe place to live and plenty to eat.

When Bo lost both of his parents, Holt donors helped provide a safe and nurturing home. 

Bo had no one to take care of him after his mother died. Bo lived with his father, but his father was HIV-positive and too sick to care for his son. Bo had also contracted the virus from his parents. In China, a huge stigma continues to surround HIV and everyone in Bo’s village was afraid of catching the virus if they came close to Bo and his father. They were shunned by their community.

No one would help them.

But Holt donors were not afraid to help Bo! You helped Bo move to one of Holt’s group homes for children living with HIV in China. Here, Bo began to receive the nutrition, education and medical care he needs. You also made it possible for him to be taken care of by people who understand his condition and treat him with love and kindness.

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