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”

Warm Winter Coats for Christmas!

Thank you for providing warm winter coats for children in China!

Students in Holt sponsorship in China hold Christmas cards from their sponsors!
Students in Holt sponsorship in China hold Christmas cards from their sponsors!

China’s cold winters can feel even colder for children living in poverty. Many families don’t have heaters to warm their homes. And few can afford anything but cheap cotton coats for their kids to wear all season.

But this winter, children in Holt’s educational sponsorship program in China will stay warm and cozy, bundled up in heavy down coats you generously gave them for Christmas!

Continue reading “Warm Winter Coats for Christmas!”

COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs

Lee, Yoon-Joo, director of overseas adoption programs at Holt Korea, and Paul Kim, director of Holt’s programs in Korea and Mongolia, share how the pandemic is affecting the children, families and individuals in Holt’s sponsorship program in Korea — and how Holt sponsors and donors are helping to meet their most urgent needs.

While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.
While well-baby check-ups have resumed, they are conducted on a staggered basis, and any social activity and contact between the foster mothers and children in care while at the clinic is prohibited.

How has COVID-19 affected Korea and what is life like there right now?

PK: Korea has gone from one of the first countries in the world outside of China to be impacted by COVID-19 to a leader in fighting the spread of the virus. The nation is currently experiencing the third wave of infections, and the authorities have tightened existing regulations. Continue reading “COVID-19 in Korea: How the Pandemic is Affecting Sponsorship Programs”

A Backpack, a Uniform and a Leak-Proof Roof: How Sponsors and Donors Helped Linna Succeed

In September 2019, we met Linna, a Holt-sponsored child living with her family in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The leaky roof over her head made it hard for her to sleep at night when it rained — and even harder for her to concentrate in class. Her family also needed help covering the costs for her to attend school. Learn how Holt sponsors and donors worked together to help Linna succeed!

 Linna holds a birthday card from her sponsor!
Linna holds a birthday card from her sponsor!

Linna lives with her mom, dad and older brother in the slum community of Phnom Penh. She just turned 10, and was about to start 5th grade when we met her last year. She was washing dishes in a big metal pot on a wooden table in front of her home, still wearing the white button-down sailor shirt and long blue pleated skirt of her school uniform.

Her mom works in a garment factory. Her dad had a good job as a security guard, but now works as a fisherman. It was just Linna and her dad at home when we visited. Continue reading “A Backpack, a Uniform and a Leak-Proof Roof: How Sponsors and Donors Helped Linna Succeed”

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”