In the spring issue of Holt International Magazine, staff writer Billie Loewen wrote an article about the unwed mothers’ shelters Holt supports in South Korea. Over the past few days, I had the opportunity to meet a couple of the women who stayed at one of these shelters and who ultimately chose to parent their children. I also got to see where they go after they leave the shelter and start their lives as independent young single mothers in a culture whose disapproving attitudes toward unwed motherhood make life extremely difficult for them.
At a learning center Holt supports in rural, southern Thailand, children build skills using the natural environment while parents learn how to grow low-cost, nutritious food for their families.
by Jessica Palmer, Director of Adoption Services, Southeast Asia
Stepping into an organic garden, seeing fresh vegetables ripe for the picking in a lush green atmosphere, I forget for a second that I’m not in the Holt headquarters city of Eugene, Oregon. Instead, I am in a rural part of Thailand, Tha Sala, just outside the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat that serves as the southern office location for Holt’s local partner organization, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF). Among the many programs HSF provides for vulnerable children and families in Thailand is a learning center in Tha Sala, which is full of sensory stimulation and learning opportunities for children in the area — including many in Holt’s sponsorship program.