Actress Danielle Lyn (Queen Sugar and The Divergent Series: Allegiant) is a Filipina adoptee using her platform to advocate for orphaned children and kids in impoverished communities. Here, she shares her hopes for 2018.
With the support of Holt sponsors, a young girl in Cambodia stays in school and remains in the loving care of her grandparents.
Champey* lives with her grandparents in a rural province in southern Cambodia. She is 11 years old and in the sixth grade at a primary school about a mile from her home. When she was just a year old, her parents moved to Phnom Penh to seek work — leaving their infant daughter in the care of her elderly grandparents. When Champey became old enough, she went to live with her parents in the city. She was unable to attend school in Phnom Penh, however, and spent her days cleaning, cooking and looking after her younger brother.
A year later, her parents sent her back to her home province to once again live with her grandparents. Here, she had little to call her own. But she could ride her bike through the open fields of rice surrounding her village. She could sleep peacefully in her grandparents Khmer house, built on stilts to protect them from the annual rains. And finally, with the help of Holt’s sponsorship program, she could return to school.
Since 2005, Holt has worked alongside Pathways to Development — our partner organization in Cambodia — to sponsor children and strengthen families in Takeo, Champey’s home province. Takeo is a particularly impoverished region of the country, and children here are more vulnerable to malnutrition, separation from their families and dropping out of school.
To address the immediate nutritional needs of families in Takeo, Holt and Pathways provide them with emergency food packets containing rice, cooking oil, iodized salt and protein. They maintain a community rice bank for families during the three-four months before rice harvest, when they often experience a shortage of food. They also provide trainings to educate families on a balanced diet, signs of malnutrition and healthy eating. And once per month, our partner staff holds community breakfasts in each village — a time when children and families can come together, socialize and participate in educational activities that support their overall wellbeing.