Best Birthday Snapshots

It’s so fun to see how children in Holt’s programs celebrate their birthdays around the world!

Every year on June 1,  International Day of the Child, Holt kids around the world have the biggest birthday bash of the year — all thanks to Holt sponsors and donors like you!

Here are some of our favorite photos of birthdays around the world from years past:


Just $25 gives a child in living in an orphanage or in poverty a handpicked gift, special meal and birthday party on June 1 — International Day of the Child! 

Last Year’s “Happy Birthday” to Children in Vietnam    

In an update report to Holt sponsors and donors, Holt’s program director, Hang Dam, shares about last year’s International Day of the Child birthday celebration for children in Vietnam.  

Dear Holt Sponsors and Donors,

On the behalf of children at a daycare facility in Yen Bai province, we would like to express our deepest appreciation for your generous support to bring in a day full of happiness and joy for the kids on International Children’s Day 2020. Continue reading “Last Year’s “Happy Birthday” to Children in Vietnam    “

10 Ways You Changed Children’s Lives in 2020

The year 2020 was truly an unprecedented one. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we work and live, and caused a tragic loss of life and livelihood on a scale few if any of us have ever seen. But as we look back on the year, and feel sorrow for the lives lost, we also feel immense gratitude for Holt’s incredible supporters who responded to this crisis with selflessness, compassion and generosity.

Because of you — because of your kindness and generosity — 288,405 children and families in 14 countries around the world received the life-changing care and services they needed to stay strong and healthy throughout this unprecedented year. Your devotion to children in need during this time of global crisis is truly inspiring. And we’re so incredibly thankful for you.

Here are 10 specific ways that your heartfelt giving changed the lives of children and families in Holt programs last year:

Last year, we were truly humbled by your generous giving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in 2020, when we told you that orphanages in China didn’t have enough masks and PPE to protect children in care, you gave above and beyond our expectations — making it possible to care for kids in more orphanages than we partner with. When we told you that lockdown measures were causing children to go hungry in countries like India and Mongolia, your donations ensured our teams on the ground could distribute emergency food to thousands of families. Continue reading “10 Ways You Changed Children’s Lives in 2020”

COVID-19’s Global Impact on Children: Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented amount of stress and anxiety — especially among children and families in Holt programs around the world. Learn how Holt’s on-the-ground team in Pune, India is helping to address this mental health crisis and protect the overall wellbeing of sponsored kids and families. 

When India imposed a nationwide lockdown early in the pandemic, families across the country went into crisis. But nowhere more so than in the impoverished slum communities where Holt-sponsored children and families live. Under strict quarantine measures, they could not leave their homes for work or school or even to go to the grocery store. They had no income, minimal savings, and very quickly ran out of food. Some had a limited supply of lifesaving medications. Some went days without anything to eat. Continue reading “COVID-19’s Global Impact on Children: Mental Health”

Story Behind The Photo: Holt Child Sponsorship in Uganda

We met Veronica on a trip to Uganda in June 2016. She lives in a rural village about 35 km outside of Kampala, where Holt sponsors and donors support vulnerable children and their families.

After a day of visiting families, we met this extraordinary woman, who at 69 is caring for ten grandchildren. Inside her small sitting room, Veronica perched on the edge of a chair with her grandchildren sitting on the floor behind her — filling every inch of remaining space. Ten beautiful pairs of eyes peered at us as we listened to Veronica share her story and explain what motivates her to continue working well into her old age to provide for her many grandchildren.

“First, I get my motivation from God, Jesus Christ,” she said in Luganda. “And because I have sponsors who have come to support us, it gives me the motivation to continue looking after them.”


No one on our team can remember what we said that made Veronica laugh so boisterously, but her face lit up in the most beautiful way — creating a moment we will never forget.

COVID-19 in Mongolia: How The Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids & Families

An interview with Tsembel Danzankhuu, social service coordinator for Holt Mongolia, about how the COVID-19 is affecting children and families in Mongolia — and how sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs. 

Children who live near the Red Stone School in Mongolia stand with an emergency food delivery they received during the pandemic.
Children who live near the Red Stone School in Mongolia stand with an emergency food delivery they received during the pandemic.

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

I would like to say that the situation is not good at all. Our children in Mongolia and the families are being very much affected by this pandemic. Why? Because first of all, they are very vulnerable families we are serving. And many of the families, especially single moms, have been very affected because [they are now] out of work. … And there are no relief funds from the government. … So many families are struggling now to feed their children and whatever income they have they are spending on food only. This pandemic is also creating some prices to go up, like food prices. Winter also just started and we have three months to go so they also have to worry about how to keep themselves warm. They have to buy coal for fuel. … This is all really affecting them. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Mongolia: How The Pandemic is Affecting Sponsored Kids & Families”

Top Adoption, Adoptee and Child Sponsorship Stories of 2020

Revisit our most read, most shared, most liked adoption, adoptee and international program stories from the past year!

Top 5 Adoption Stories 

Why International Adoption is Still Needed

Until we live in a world where every child can grow up safe and loved  in a permanent, loving family, Holt will continue to provide and advocate for ethical, child-centered international adoption. Continue reading “Top Adoption, Adoptee and Child Sponsorship Stories of 2020”

Nobody Sees Me, But You Do

In her early teens, Devi thought she’d never be able to attend school. But then, Holt sponsors began supporting her family —  lifting them out of the darkness.

Devi (top left) stands outside her home with her mother and two of her younger siblings.

“Can I say something?” Devi asks, shyly. Devi has a thin face and large, deep eyes, just like her mom. She looks less tired than her mom — although her eyes hold more suffering than most teenage girls. 

“Of course,” we tell her. She had been mostly quiet during our time talking with the family, so what she says next surprises us all.  

Immediately, tears cascade down her cheeks.

“I’m not speaking in English nicely, but [I want to] so thank you. It is God’s grace and mercy that you help us. I want to say, God is helping me through you. God is working, and you are His engine for good,” she says, becoming more choked up and passionate as she goes. “My mom is working and I’m working, but really, you are helping in my education and studies and all things. I am very thankful for you. Nobody sees me, but you do. You help give us medicine, milk and food. All my family was in darkness, but now there is light.”

This is an excerpt from a longer story about Devi and her family from when our storytelling team met them in Pune, India.  Read the full story now!

Photo Gallery: Sponsored Families in Colombia

Through a sponsor- and donor-supported program in Cali, Colombia, children attend free daycare while their mothers attend parenting classes, learn life skills and receive job training — helping them grow strong, stable and empowered to better support their children.  

Cali is a lush and vibrant city home to over 2 million people in southwest Colombia. But like many developing countries, Colombia — and Cali — has two sides. In one neighborhood where sponsors support children, wealthy landowners live side by side with an unlicensed, makeshift community that sprung up during the war to accommodate rural, indigenous families displaced by the violence. Continue reading “Photo Gallery: Sponsored Families in Colombia”