A Glimpse Into a Sponsored Child’s Life

Holt president Phil Littleton shares three short sponsorship stories with Holt’s child sponsors. 

This month, I want to share a few little stories with you from our family strengthening program in China. They are short, sweet and to the point. But what I love about them is the glimpse they give into a sponsored child’s life. And how you, as a sponsor, are helping a child to have a happy, healthy childhood — or as close to that as possible for a child who has already experienced a lot of hard things in life.

Seven-year-old Ju holds a certificate of achievement from her school. Ju's sponsor helps pay her school fees.
Seven-year-old Ju holds a certificate of achievement from her school. Ju’s sponsor helps pay her school fees.

Continue reading “A Glimpse Into a Sponsored Child’s Life”

A Day of Celebration and Hope

Thanks to Holt sponsors, children in Holt’s programs around the world received gifts and had birthday celebrations for International Day of the Child!

In a year filled with COVID-19 lockdowns, quarantines and other difficulties, this International Day of the Child celebration was just what the children needed. The birthday parties were a chance for them to have fun and feel celebrated and special. Thank you for making it such a joyous day for these children!

Here are reports from just some of this year’s celebrations:

Continue reading “A Day of Celebration and Hope”

Thank You For Being a Guardian Angel

Holt CEO Phil Littleton shares a special message with sponsors. 

Linda Holm's daughter, who once had a Holt sponsor, in her high school graduation photo.
Linda Holm’s daughter in her high school graduation photo.

Recently, I went back and reread a story in one of our older Holt sponsorship magazines. It’s a sweet story about an adoptive mom who also sponsors children in India, the country where she adopted her two daughters. It got me thinking about my own children, who are also adopted, and how incredibly meaningful sponsorship would have been in their lives.

My wife and I adopted our kids domestically in the U.S., so we know they didn’t have sponsors before they joined our family. But I often think about that — about how vulnerable they would have been if they had lived in an orphanage overseas, and how grateful I would feel to the people who so generously cared for them during that precarious time in their lives. Continue reading “Thank You For Being a Guardian Angel”

Because Someone Cared

two photos of Pisey comparing when she first joined Holt's sponsorship program and after
Seven-year-old Pisey (left) and a photo of Pisey today.

Five years ago, Pisey’s family was one of the poorest in her small village community in Cambodia.

Seven-year-old Pisey and her family were living in a tiny home with her grandparents. They harvested rice from their small piece of land, but it was never enough to feed Pisey, her brother and her parents, and it was definitely not enough to sell for income.

Continue reading “Because Someone Cared”

How COVID-19 is Affecting Children and Families in Colombia

Holt’s in-country representative for Colombia, Ana Maria Fernandez, and U.S.-based program manager, Malia Robello, share how crisis of COVID in Colombia is affecting vulnerable children and families and how Holt sponsors and donors help meet their most urgent needs. 

During COVID-19 in Colombia, a Holt partner distributes groceries to families in need.
Holt partner FANA distributes groceries to families in need.

How is the pandemic currently affecting children and families in Colombia?

ANA MARIA: Definitely there is an increase in violence, abuse and neglect. But Colombia had a very long, very strict lockdown. At the beginning of the pandemic, no one was allowed to leave their homes. … So it’s been really difficult to identify cases because children are not going to school. Medical care, unless it’s an emergency, is also reduced. … The two biggest [child abuse] reporters — schools and hospitals — are not seeing kids so it’s hard to know.

Right now, we are seeing an increase in the number of children that are coming into the [child protection] system, but still, it’s lower [than when schools and hospitals could report cases]. … [Due to social distancing restrictions], there’s not a lot of staff going to visit [families]. So imagine the situation of the children that are below the radar. Continue reading “How COVID-19 is Affecting Children and Families in Colombia”

Voices of Sponsored Children and Families in the Philippines

See what life is like in Escopa 3, an impoverished community in Manila, Philippines where sponsors and donors support children and families. This story originally appeared in Holt’s spring 2018 sponsorship magazine.

Roughly the size of three square blocks, Escopa 3 is part of barangay — or slum neighborhood — home to 7,000 people in Manila, Philippines.

No one here owns the land, so the risk of eviction by the city is high. Escopa 3 residents live in such tight quarters, it’s not at all uncommon for families of 12 or more to live together in less than 200 square feet of rented space. Single room homes are literally stacked on top of one another, and built from any material families can find. Hanging laundry, dishes drying in racks and bags of recyclable plastic bottles fill the thin, dirt-and-concrete footpaths that cut through the barangay.

Jobs in Manila are scarce and many people survive on what they can scavenge, like plastic bottles or tin cans. Many families live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 per day. Some families have access to running water that may trickle in through a pipe or hose, but few are connected to sewage.

One of the biggest struggles families face is providing for their children. Many don’t make enough income to meet their kids’ basic needs, such as shoes, food, medical care or school costs. School is difficult to access and expensive. In Escopa 3, Holt sponsors and donors support children in need and provide support to families, helping them launch small businesses or learn new job skills.

View the slideshow above to hear voices from  Escopa 3  and learn how you are helping to change the lives of children and families in this community.

When you sponsor a child through Holt, you help provide everything they need to thrive — from nourishing food and safe shelter to tools and resources to help their parents achieve stability and self-reliance, such as a small business microloan or job skills training. Visit Holt’s sponsorship webpage to learn about a child in the Philippines or another country who needs a sponsor!

The Grand Dream of One Single Mother in Korea

A single mother in Korea shares her story about choosing to parent her child while staying in one of Holt’s donor-supported single mother shelters. This story was originally published on the Holt Stories blog in April 2016.

In Korea, unwed motherhood is one of the leading reasons women choose adoption for their children. When a single woman becomes pregnant, she could lose everything — her family, friends, career, education, housing and the hope of these things in the future. This stigma is so strong and enduring that often, women feel like they don’t have a choice except to relinquish their child for adoption.

Through our partner agency in Korea — and with the support of Holt donors — we work to empower women and show them that they do have a choice. Holt Korea operates several shelters for mothers and their children where they can receive free housing, nutritious food, counseling and educational support in a safe and positive environment. The overall mission of the shelters is to help each mother gain the skills she needs to successfully parent, provide for her child and care for herself.

The following story is written by a woman who lives with her son at the Holt Morning Garden unwed mother and child shelter. Because of the support she and her son, Ji-ho, receive, this young woman decided not only to parent her son — but also to pursue higher education despite the discrimination she would likely face in the admissions process.

Defying all odds, she was accepted to college and is now studying to become a social worker so she can help other single mothers like herself as they work to overcome the stigma that is so firmly entrenched in Korean culture.

Continue reading “The Grand Dream of One Single Mother in Korea”

A Day in the Life of a Sponsored Child in Uganda

See what a day is like in the life of one sponsored child and her family in rural Uganda. This story originally appeared in Holt’s fall 2016 sponsorship magazine. 

Meet Sophia. Sophia lives with her grandmother and four of her cousins in a small farming community recovering from both the spread of HIV and years of brutal conflict in central Uganda. Sophia has lived with her grandmother since she lost her mother when she was 10 years old.

Now 13, Sophia is in the sixth grade and she aspires to be a nurse. With the support of sponsors, Sophia and her cousins have everything they need to stay in school and thrive in the loving care of their grandmother. View the slideshow above to learn what daily life is like for Sophia and her cousins and how Holt sponsorship supports them every step of the way.

Not yet a sponsor? Your monthly support can help provide everything a child needs to thrive, from nourishing food and safe shelter to the love of a devoted family or caregiver. Visit Holt’s sponsorship webpage to learn about a child who needs you.