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

feeding and positioning manual

In spring 2019, Holt’s child 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 child nutrition program manager. Continue reading “How Holt’s Feeding and Positioning Manual Changes Children’s Lives”

A New Hope, A New Cow

After Dat’s father caught malaria and died three years ago, his mom was forced to sell their only cow to pay off their debts. In this story, the family’s local caseworker in Vietnam shares what happened when a generous donor replaced the family’s cow — and the family’s hope. 

Dat builds a sand bridge with bricks and sand in front of his home in southern Vietnam.
Dat builds a sand bridge with bricks and sand in front of his home in southern Vietnam.

“What are you building?” I ask Dat, the little boy playing on a small sand dune by the entrance to the house. He answers me as he continues to collect sand and pile it onto broken bricks.

“I’m building a sand bridge,” Dat answers in a soft voice without looking at me — his family’s caseworker.

“Is your mom home?” I ask.

Dat continues working on his sand bridge. ‘She’s in the field now,’ he says. Continue reading “A New Hope, A New Cow”

A Whole New World

As five decades of brutal war come to an end in Colombia, families have begun to heal from the violence and crime that ravaged their communities. And now, with the support of sponsors, many have begun to create a happier, more hopeful future for their children.

Yalena peeks out the side of her princess castle — a sheer, pink-and-white cylindrical-shaped tent with a miniature kitchen set and a family of stuffed animals to keep her company. Monica, her mom, grabs her foot, making her giggle and scoot back to safety. Continue reading “A Whole New World”

Every Day of Her Life

Vuong used to sit on her porch every day — watching other kids go to school. Then a donor made it possible for her to attend Kianh Foundation, a school for children with special needs in Vietnam.

Vuong sits among her classmates at the Kianh Foundation Center.
Vuong sits among her classmates at the Kianh Foundation Center.

“I can’t do it!”

Parents often hear this phrase from their frustrated, exhausted children who are convinced they’ve been defeated by whatever challenge they are facing.  Sounding out their first word.  Catching a baseball.  Trying to figure out a math problem.  The obstacles children face are endless, and sometimes the confidence they have in their perceived inability overpowers their resolve.  They know they can’t do it.  But their parents — their cheerleaders — know better. Continue reading “Every Day of Her Life”

In Every Moment, You’re There

A few years ago, 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 donor-supported program in her community. And now, in every moment, she’s there.

At home, in a special place, Mary Luz keeps a collection of cards. Each card has a message inside, written in crayon or colored pen.

“Mama, I want to tell you that you’re the best, and in every moment and place, you’re there,” reads one message written by her daughter, Camilla. “You’re my right hand. You’re my light. You’re my joy, my sadness, my company, my everything. With Love, Camilla.”

Inside another hand-cut in the shape of a heart, the message reads, “On this day, I want to tell you that I love you. And I love you with a lot of love.” This card came from both her children, 5-year-old David and 9-year-old Camilla.

Continue reading “In Every Moment, You’re There”

Their Greatest Strength is Love

When Vieng’s husband got sick and could not work, their family quickly fell into crisis. But they had inherent strengths as a family that held them together. And when a donor sent them a much-needed Gift of Hope, they were able to build on those strengths — empowering them to overcome any crisis they faced, now or in the future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muDZJ-ehjOk

Hung climbs behind his mom and dangles his arms around her in a big bear hug. She grabs his hands and laughs — smiling up at him. Hung is 4, dressed in a plaid golfer’s cap and puffy coat on this cool, 60-degree morning in Danang, Vietnam. He looks like a miniature version of his mom — with round, dimpled cheeks and warm, dark, shining eyes that shine even brighter when he smiles.

Continue reading “Their Greatest Strength is Love”

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”

David Archuleta Visits Holt’s Programs

David Archuleta with a sponsored child.David Archuleta travels to the Philippines to meet children and families in sponsorship.

“It blew my mind to see homeless children on the street,” music artist David Archuleta says, still struck a year later. “Kids sleeping in cardboard on the side of the road…”

Though he knew about the difficulties children and families face in urban Manila, Philippines, it shocked him to see this level of poverty first-hand.

Continue reading “David Archuleta Visits Holt’s Programs”

Holt Sponsors Send Kids to School, Provide Free Lunch in Haiti

In one coastal community in southern Haiti, many parents struggled to feed their children and send them to school before sponsors began supporting them three years ago.

Jayson and his family live in a small fishing village off the southern coast of Haiti. His dad works as a fisherman, and every day, he nets his catch in the sparkling, azure blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. What he catches, he sells.

But he almost never brings home any fish for his family.

Instead, they eat spaghetti. Or corn. Or rice imported from the U.S. Some days, they eat almost nothing.

“Fish is expensive,” explains Gustave Richard, a Holt social worker who works closely with families in sponsorship. “If they have it, they’d rather sell it.” Continue reading “Holt Sponsors Send Kids to School, Provide Free Lunch in Haiti”