A Beautiful Home for Children

One of Holt’s legacy partners in India inaugurates a new childcare facility in Aurangabad.

For over 30 years, Holt has partnered with local leaders and childcare specialists to help care for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children in India. When Holt staff arrived in India in 1979, one of their first efforts was to help establish a residential childcare facility in Pune, Maharashtra, a state in West India. Here, our new partner agency – Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK) – began providing care for homeless children. Through the years, Holt has found loving families for many children once in care at BSSK, while the staff at BSSK has continued to grow and diversify their services for children and families in need.

Today, BSSK remains a significant part of our history and legacy, and we are so proud of their accomplishments in caring for homeless children.

Children in care at BSSK perform a dance during the inauguration ceremony.

Earlier this month, BSSK celebrated one of their most recent accomplishments – building a new facility for homeless children in Aurangabad, a city near BSSK’s headquarters in Pune. For several years, BSSK has supported a branch in Aurangabad, but over time conditions of the care facility began to deteriorate. It was also too small for the 25-35 children who typically reside there.

“At BSSK, we believe that the children who come into our care should have a spacious, well-ventilated and comfortable home,” says Roxana Kalyanvala, executive director of BSSK. Thus, she says, they built a new home.

In 2006, Roxana and her staff began looking for a piece of land in Aurangabad for the new childcare facility. They approached the local government to help keep the land purchase at a reasonable cost, and raised funds for any remaining expenses. Finally, they secured a low-cost piece of land through a local industrial development corporation.

Continue reading “A Beautiful Home for Children”

Holt Needs Volunteers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida!

NEEDED HOLT Volunteers to help with HOLT CHILD SPONSORSHIP sign-ups at upcoming Secret Keeper Girl shows!


Tuesday, January 29th, in Matthews, NC — Carmel Baptist Church (1145 Pineville-Matthews Rd.)

Thursday, January 31st, in Fayetteville, NC– Northwood Temple (4250 Ramsey Street)

Friday, February 1st, in Raleigh, NC — Mt. Vernon Baptist Church (7600 Falls of the Neuse Rd.)

Saturday, February 2nd, in North Charleston, South Carolina — Northwood Baptist Church (2200 Greenridge Rd.)

Thursday, February 7th, in North Myrtle Beach, SC — Barefoot Church (701 Main Street)

Friday, February 8th, in Jacksonville, Florida — First Coast Christian Church (2724 New Berlin Rd.)

TIME:   Please be there at 5:30 p.m.
Show is from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

WHAT:   The Secret Keeper Girl tour is for 8-12 year old girls and their moms.  A fun group with a wonderful mission of teaching modesty (through a fashion show) and open communication between moms & daughters.  Presenter Suzy Weibel recently traveled to Haiti with Holt to learn more about our work. She is doing a fabulous job sharing Holt’s vision and mission at Secret Keeper Girl events, and inspiring participants to help vulnerable children through Holt’s child sponsorship program. To date, this group has acquired 2,000+ new sponsors during their partnership with Holt!

DETAILS:  When you arrive, say you are a Holt volunteer and you will get in for free.  Go to the Holt Table (easy to find!) and Ann-Riley Caldwell (615-601-1366) will train you & answer questions you may have.  You are welcome to leave after intermission if you need to (probably about 8:00 p.m.) Your children are welcome to come with you – they will love it!

For more information and to volunteer, please contact Sue Paiement at suep@holtinternational.org. Thanks!



Back to School

Children in Haiti are getting a second chance at an education

By Brian Campbell, creative services director

Christian recording artist Wayne Watson and Peterson

As the sun comes up on a picturesque Friday morning, Christian singer/songwriter Wayne Watson pauses before his breakfast plate and discusses the day to come. Today he will meet his sponsored child, Peterson, the little boy who lives just 20 minutes from our hotel.

Peterson’s story is the story of many Haitian youth in the urban areas just outside of Montrouis. Desperate parents look to the city for work and education opportunities—for the chance of a better future.

For Peterson’s family, these opportunities have failed to materialize. Two years ago, Peterson’s father deserted his family when times got tough. The earthquake in 2010 shook out the last possible chance of hope and possibilities for the family. Now, Peterson’s mother, Morgaine*, rents a little structure with tarp walls and scraps of wood and tin. Peterson’s family lives just 35 feet from the main road, surrounded by shops and street sales of everything from charcoal to hairstyling. Morgaine doesn’t sleep well at night. She’s uncertain that she will have a home for much longer. Due to Haiti’s unstable infrastructure, work is scarce, and Morgaine is poorly qualified.

Holt International has come along side this family. With help from Holt’s educational sponsorship program in Haiti, Peterson is able to attend school with his older brother, Enelson.* Now 11, Enelson is looking forward to starting the second grade. Continue reading “Back to School”

A Challenging Road to Paradise

Brian Campbell joins Secret Keeper Girl speaker Suzy Weibel on a journey to Haiti this week.  While there, the group, which also includes Dove-award winning singer/songwriter Wayne Watson and Holt’s Director of Donor Engagement Kris Thompson, will visit children at Holt Fontana Village as well as families in Holt’s family preservation program.

By Brian Campbell, Creative Services Director

Arcahaie, Haiti— It’s hot and humid as we step off the plane. This is typical for Haiti. Though the heat isn’t overwhelming by recent east coast standards, you could steam rice in the humidity here. Outside the

The road from Port-au-Prince to Montrouis, lined with makeshift homes nearly 2 years after a devastating earthquake.

airport, the masses of people that seem about to crush, give way to polite “excusé” and gracious smiles. A familiar face joins the fray, that of Supreme, Holt’s programs manager in Haiti. Soon the city of Port-au-Prince begins to fade and the miles to Holt Fontana Village slip by, as our SUV negotiates rough and unfinished roads to Montrouis.

Supreme, Holt's programs manager in Haiti, with Rachael, a child in Holt's care.

As Supreme picks and chooses the narrow roads, a red steel gate, along a walled compound appears. With a few toots of the horn, the gate slides to one side – inside, a paradise. Flowering trees and neat paths lay ahead. The humidity makes an attempt to dampen, but it’s blown aside by the sea breeze and the sound of excited little voices teetering from the cottages of Holt Fontana Village. The curious faces begin to pour out, and serious and polite little handshakes are exchanged. Little fingers poke at the camera bits and unusual hair colorings. Smiles meet smiles. Soon laughter ensues, as tickle jumping games take the place of the  planned activities. Just kids being kids. The outside world, filled with difficulty and distress, is replaced with love, happiness and opportunity.


To sponsor a child in Haiti, click here

Watch a Live Webcast of Winter Jam on March 19th!

Winter Jam special guest speaker Tony Nolan traveled to China with Holt in 2009. At Winter Jam, Nolan shares his story and calls on the audience to " care for orphans and widows in their distress. (James 1:27)" Holt child sponsorship is one way you can do this! https://www.holtinternational.org/sponsorship

Couldn’t make it to a Winter Jam concert near you?  Grand Canyon University presents Winter Jam 2011 live!  Join hearitfirst.com tomorrow, March 19th at 6 pm EST (3 pm PST) to watch a live Webcast of a Winter Jam concert.  Experience Winter Jam from your home!  Listen to artists like Francesca Battistelli, the David Crowder Band and the Newsboys….and hear NewSong and inspirational speaker Tony Nolan speak about Holt International’s child sponsorship program and the opportunity to provide food, clothing, shelter and warmth to a child in need.

Click here to register for the Webcast of Winter Jam 2011 live from North Carolina’s Crown Coliseum!

Find out more about Winter Jam.  Click here to read a blog from Winter Jam 2011 in Lexington.


Change a child’s Life Forever!…..sponsor a child in need today!  Click here to choose a country and a child to sponsor.



Thailand Update from Ally: Helping the Children Who Wait

Children with special needs in Thailand find strength in the face of challenges

University of Oregon graduate Ally Tritten is currently in Thailand working with Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF) as an intern with IE3 Global Internships. Ally, a family and human services major, will work for HSF for six months, helping to find homes for 200 children with special needs. The children are currently in government-run child institutions in Thailand; some of them will eventually be placed into Holt’s Waiting Child program.

“I am really excited for this trip,” says Ally. “I look forward to learning more about Holt International, their work in Thailand, and to be able to provide services to children.”

Holt established a partnership with HSF in 1975. HSF serves a large number of vulnerable children through a variety of programs including adoption, pregnancy counseling, foster care, educational sponsorships and outreach services for children in hospitals and orphanages. Many of these programs help birth families stay together through counseling and assistance.

The following is an update from Ally about her first full month in Thailand (Click here to read Ally’s first blog update):

Bangkok, Thailand — I am still adjusting to my new life in Bangkok. For the last month and a half Pi Tuk, Pi Malee and I have coordinated with Child Adoption Center (another adoption agency in Thailand) and assessed approximately 30 children with special needs, all of whom live in governmental orphanages and have been diagnosed with various disabilities. Some of the common disabilities we see in the children are: cerebral palsy (CP), fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), microcephaly and macrocephaly, seizure disorders, visual and hearing impairment, delayed development, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a variety of physical disabilities. Of the four orphanages we visited in the past month, two — Nong Khai Home for Boys and Udornthani Home for Girls — are located in the northeastern part of Thailand and the other two — Ban Fueng Fah Home for Children with Special Needs and Pakkret Babies Home — are located in a nearby province outside of Bangkok. The HSF social workers and I flew by airplane to the two northeastern orphanages and spent four days assessing the overall development of 14 children.

The majority of the other children in the project live in Ban Fueng Fah Home for Children with Special Needs, where we spent most of October interviewing each child’s caretaker, physical therapists and teachers, as well as completing our own individual assessments. Continue reading “Thailand Update from Ally: Helping the Children Who Wait”