Children Who Deserve a Chance

Amid an orphan care crisis in South Korea, Holt sponsors and donors help care for children in greatest need­ — and support a long-term solution.

In South Korea, a 1-year-old sits in a crib. Surrounded by other children, in identical cribs, she lifts up her arms as her caregiver walks past. Her caregiver lovingly picks her up, then places her on the floor to play with the toys that she shares with everyone else. She cries, desperate for one more moment of attention. 

She’s healthy, developing well, “a lovely child,” as her caregivers describe her. But she will most likely never have a loving, permanent family of her own. 

Because she was abandoned. 

Continue reading “Children Who Deserve a Chance”

Love Beyond The Orphanage

Every year, over 6,000 young adults age out of orphanages in Korea. As “orphans,” they face stigma and discrimination, and have no support or guidance. But one organization is now working to change that — providing love, and hope, beyond the orphanage.

Myung Hoon plays viola.

Myung Hoon plays the viola beautifully.

Beautifully enough to win second place in a solo competition with musicians who learned to play the instrument years before he did. Beautifully enough to earn a scholarship to New York’s prestigious Manhattan School of Music. But no matter how beautifully he played, for a long time, Myung Hoon never felt like he was enough. Like he deserved what he achieved.

“I did not have a dream when I was young because I did not grow up in a family. I thought orphans do not deserve to have a dream.” Continue reading “Love Beyond The Orphanage”

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!”

Jun Jun Urgently Needs a Cleft Lip Surgery

In China, children with special needs who are living in orphanage care often go without — or wait too long for — the medical care they need. These are children like Jun Jun…

Jun Jun is a child with special needs who is living in an orphanage in China.

Jun Jun’s cleft lip should have been repaired months ago. Most babies born with cleft lip and palate get their first surgery at 3 to 6 months old. But Jun Jun is nearly a year old.

His orphanage can’t afford the procedure. Continue reading “Jun Jun Urgently Needs a Cleft Lip Surgery”

The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China

Any child who loses their parents suffers unimaginable grief and heartache. But for one population of children growing up in China, the reason they lost their parents adds a whole other level of loss, heartache and isolation — even within their own families. They are not just orphans. They are AIDS orphans. 

The picture that Jenna's son drew that illustrates which family members have passed away. The characters read "I love my mom and dad."
Becca snapped this photo of a hand-drawn picture taped to the wall of her son’s former home in China. The characters read “I love my mom and dad” and above each picture, from left to right, he wrote “Me, Dad, Mom, Grandma.” All of his immediate family has now passed away.

It was as if time stood still.

Everything sat undisturbed — preserved in the moment their son left his childhood home for a new life in the city.

A couple of bikes stood leaning in the doorway, covered in dust. A calendar remained open to November 2016, the month their son moved to his group home. Becca noticed a hat with a flower hanging on the wall.

“I wondered if this was his grandmother’s hat,” says Becca, now mom to the boy who once lived in this cold concrete block home. Becca wondered if his grandmother wore this hat while working in the fields that surrounded their family compound.

Here and there, Becca also caught glimpses of the child her now teenage son once was. The child who left Spiderman stickers and hand-drawn pictures taped to the walls, rollerblades and tiny shoes by the door. The child who created an elaborate chalk drawing of a guitar on the window, and lines on the wall to prove he was growing taller.

Continue reading “The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China”

The Sun Children of Mongolia

While traveling on the Holt Mongolia Vision Trip, adoptee Robyn MacKay visited an orphanage that she and other donors support in Mongolia. 

Robyn with a little girl wearing the same checked shirt at Mongolia'sSun Child Orphanage.
Robyn with a little girl at Sun Child Orphanage.

It was a perfect sunny day when I stepped off the bus in Darkhan City, Mongolia, about four hours north of the capital of Ulaanbaatar, close to the border of Russia. I was on Holt’s second Mongolia Vision Trip and we arrived at the Sun Child Orphanage, a program that we had not visited on the previous trip. As soon as we entered the gate onto the grounds of Sun Child, I knew something special was happening.  The children greeted us inside the gate and approached us one by one, with hugs, smiles and English phrases such as, “Nice to meet you.”   Continue reading “The Sun Children of Mongolia”

How a Cleft Lip Surgery Saved Baby Rebekah

Rebekah with an unrepaired cleft lip, at the time she came into care at Holt's medical foster home in China.
Rebekah was so malnourished, she weighed just six pounds when she came into care at Holt’s medical foster home in Beijing.

Born in China with a cleft lip and palate, baby Rebekah was so malnourished that she could have died in her orphanage. But then she received a Gift of Hope that saved her life.

She was just a week old, and tiny. The caregivers at the orphanage looked into her big, bright eyes and gave her the name “Xiu.” Beautiful.

When baby Xiu came into care, she also had a deep cleft in her lip that made it hard for her to suck on a bottle. She barely ate, and barely grew. When she left the orphanage, at 2 and a half months old, she weighed just six pounds. Continue reading “How a Cleft Lip Surgery Saved Baby Rebekah”

The Story of My Life

Growing up without a stable family in the Philippines, Konny Dela Cruz struggled to stay on track — and eventually left school early to work in a garment factory. Then she learned about Holt’s  independent living and educational assistance (ILEA) program — a donor-funded program that helps institutionalized and disadvantaged teens to attend college and learn independent living skills. 

Konny Dela Cruz in her graduation gown.

The story of my life is so beautiful with a lot of learnings.

I was born in 1997. I grew up with a family with whom I have no blood relationship. I was only 2 years old when my mother entrusted me to the care of the landlady of the boarding house where we used to stay because she went to Korea to work.

When I was growing up, I was wondering why there is no name of my father on my birth certificate. I asked the landlady, whom I have been calling grandmother “Lola,” to explain “why I have no father on my birth certificate,” but she would just tell me it is only your mother who can answer your question. And my mother kept ignoring my question, too.

I could not approach any relative because I don’t know anyone — and maybe nobody knows about me, too. Continue reading “The Story of My Life”

Holt’s Child Nutrition Program Partners With the Philippines Government

Local caregivers and staff in the Philippines proudly hold their certificates showing they graduated from Holt’s child nutrition program!

In July 2017, the Philippines became the sixth country where Holt has implemented our child nutrition program (CNP).

In tandem with our long-time local partner, Kaisahang Buhay Foundation, we provided trainings for caregivers and staff at two new government-run care centers. The trainings were filled with lots of learning, dancing — a beloved pastime and popular ice-breaker activity throughout the country — and meaningful hands-on opportunities. Continue reading “Holt’s Child Nutrition Program Partners With the Philippines Government”