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”

How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda

By providing solar lamps, sponsors and donors are helping children in Uganda learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has created so many challenges for the children and families sponsors and donors support through Holt International. With schools closed and families isolating at home, one of the greatest challenges parents face is how to keep their kids learning outside the traditional classroom setting.

From country to country, the needs are a little different. In many places, access to remote learning devices like phones and tablets is a major obstacle. In some countries, lessons are broadcast via television — making it difficult for families who don’t own a TV. But in the rural farming communities where sponsored children live in Uganda, it’s not a lack of devices that keeps kids from learning— but a lack of electricity. Children are struggling to complete their schoolwork in the dark! Continue reading “How You Lit Up the Dark for Kids in Uganda”

COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids

An interview with Hang Dam, country director for Holt Vietnam, about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting children and families in Vietnam — and how sponsors and donors are meeting their most urgent needs. 

Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.
Thanks to Holt sponsors and donors, this family received emergency food and support  after they lost their source of income during the pandemic.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Vietnam programs?

We in Vietnam feel so blessed to be safe up to this point in time. All of our children are safe. None of them are diagnosed with the illness. But the pandemic has caused so many difficulties for the parents because so many have lost jobs. Even with the social distancing period over in Vietnam, many families still face difficulties finding a job due to the number of companies that had to close down or ran out of business. Families have fallen into financial crisis and are struggling with daily living and needing basic necessities for their children. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Vietnam: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids”

How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Thailand: a Q&A

An interview with Kobgarn Trakulvaree, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation, Holt’s partner organization in Thailand.

The generous gifts from Holt sponsors and donors helped provide everything masks and sanitizer to storybooks and toys to keep children occupied during the pandemic.
The generous gifts from Holt sponsors and donors helped provide everything from masks and sanitizer to storybooks and toys to keep children occupied during the pandemic.

How is the pandemic affecting children and families in Holt’s Thailand programs?

Ten percent of the families we are helping are actually unemployed due to the pandemic. The rest have experienced pay reduction. Prior to the pandemic, the average monthly income of these families was 5,000 Thai baht per month, or around $167 U.S. dollars. Since the pandemic, most of the average income is reduced to only 3,000 baht a month — around $90 U.S. dollars. And the minimum, the lowest pay that we have found was only $17 dollars … So it’s not hard to imagine that these families are facing really hard situations. Continue reading “How COVID-19 is Affecting Sponsored Kids in Thailand: a Q&A”

When Families Migrate: One Mom’s Story

When Ary migrated from Cambodia to Thailand in search of work, she wasn’t sure when she would see her children again. Then Holt sponsors and donors helped her come back home. 

The first time Ary and her husband traveled to Thailand in search of work, they brought their four children with them. Their youngest was still breastfeeding, and Ary couldn’t stand the thought of leaving her children behind. Migrating on foot, they eventually came to a fast-moving river. There was no bridge or ferry to take them across. They would have to swim.

“My children nearly drowned because the water was very strong,” she says. Continue reading “When Families Migrate: One Mom’s Story”

How Migration Endangers Children: a Q&A, How You Can Help

Increasingly long periods of drought have made it difficult for families in rural areas to support their children without migrating for work.

What does migration have to do with Holt’s mission in Cambodia?

In every country where Holt works, Holt sponsors and donors help vulnerable children grow up with the love and stability of a family — either by helping them stay in the loving care of their birth family, or uniting them with a loving, permanent family through adoption. But in Cambodia, a country where more and more families migrate to big cities or neighboring countries in search of work, helping families stay together has become an even greater challenge. Continue reading “How Migration Endangers Children: a Q&A, How You Can Help”

Domestic Violence in Mongolia During COVID-19: One Mother’s Story

Bolormaa and her children live in a traditional Mongolian ger like the one pictured here.

In late March, Bolormaa* arrived at one of the domestic violence shelters Holt donors support in Mongolia. She had three young children with her.

While Bolormaa had suffered abuse from her husband throughout their marriage, after the latest incident, she had the courage to reach out to a social worker in her community for help. The social worker immediately found a place for her and her children at the shelter. Continue reading “Domestic Violence in Mongolia During COVID-19: One Mother’s Story”

A Bottle of Hand Sanitizer, Hope for the School Year

Yargui almost couldn’t return to school because of the additional costs for a mask, hand sanitizer and other school-in-a-pandemic essentials. But thankfully, Holt donors didn’t let these additional costs stand in her way.

On September 1, Yargui and her classmates returned for in-person school in Ulaanbaatar. But she almost couldn’t go. All because of a bottle of hand sanitizer.

This year, children around the world need more supplies than ever in order to attend school. In addition to all the regular items like paper, pencils, uniforms and books, most children also have to provide their own mask and hand sanitizer. Such is the case in Mongolia, where the government requires that every student has their own bottle of sanitizer for school. Continue reading “A Bottle of Hand Sanitizer, Hope for the School Year”

Thank You For Helping Me Come Home

One boy’s story of life in a Cambodian orphanage, and how Holt sponsors and donors helped him come back home to his family.

Kea stands in front of his grandma's home.

When Kea lived in the orphanage, he slept on the bottom bunk in a room full of bunkbeds occupied by teenage boys who left him out of things and made him feel alone.

“I was the smallest,” he says. “That’s why I didn’t have many friends.”

In the morning, if he slept too late, the orphanage cook would throw water on him to wake him up. He would help clean the pigpen, eat a breakfast mostly made of rice and go to school. After school, he had to come straight back to the orphanage. He did his homework by himself. He ate more rice. And went to bed.

“No one took care of me,” he says. Continue reading “Thank You For Helping Me Come Home”