When Diana got pregnant at 17, she thought her dreams — and her dreams for her children — were over. Then she discovered Holt’s partner program in Colombia, empowering both women and children through education.
We visit Diana at her home on a warm weekday morning, and her neighborhood is quiet but for an occasional horseback rider clop-clopping along the long, straight dirt road out in front of her home. A small black dog lays in her doorway and a cat sleeps in her garden, which is lush but well-tended, with neat stone steps that descend from the road above down a story to her orange brick home. Diana and her husband built their home themselves, she says, “brick by brick.” Continue reading “Her Best Example: Empowering Women and Children in Colombia”
For women and children at risk of abuse in India, Holt donor and sponsor-funded education programs are helping to prevent violence and help moms and children escape abuse.
Even at night, when Raji’s father pulls the string switch to the single light bulb in their one-room house and her surroundings go dark, there is no privacy.
A single trickle of orange street light flickers in through a crack under her tin door, and with the faint glow of light, Raji can see her two brothers as they shuffle and roll on the floor next to her, trying to get comfortable. She can hear and see her parents as they climb into their iron-framed twin bed, settling into sleep. Continue reading “Ending Domestic Violence, One Neighborhood at a Time”
How one woman in Vietnam used a small donor-funded investment to grow her business, build her confidence and create a safe and stable home for her grandson.
Lai wraps her tiny frame and arms around her shy, chubby grandson, Binh. She bounces him playfully, jutting her hip out to help support his weight. Her eyes are soft-hearted and sparkling, her face radiant with joy. She has the energy of someone half her age.
Behind Lai, an open garage door leads to the main room of her street-side apartment — a small and sparsely decorated space that empties onto a bustling sidewalk in Danang, Vietnam. Her sidewalk is set up like a small café — with little tables and chairs strategically filling the space. On the curb, Lai’s wheeled kitchen cart is filled with fruit and blenders, juice and straws — ready for customers. Continue reading “I Will Never Abandon You”
Facing an unplanned pregnancy, Napha, a college student in Thailand, made the difficult decision to place her baby for adoption. But when she learned that Holt Sahathai Foundation could help with support and resources she needed to raise her daughter, everything changed.
Napha* looked down at her swollen belly, six months along with her first child, anguished over the decision before her. No longer able to hide her pregnancy, she had recently dropped out of school — one of the top universities in Bangkok — where she was in her final year of studying to be a teacher. Her boyfriend, the father of her baby, left her shortly after learning of the pregnancy. Her parents knew nothing, and because of the strong stigma against unwed pregnancy in Thailand, she intended to keep it that way. At just 22 years old, Napha was afraid, without a home and alone. So she picked up the phone.
The number she called was an unplanned pregnancy hotline where she got in touch with Jintana Nontapouraya, executive director of Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), Holt’s longtime partner organization in Thailand. HSF works with women like Napha who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies. They offer counseling to help women make a decision for themselves and their babies. And regardless of whether they choose to parent or relinquish their child for adoption, HSF provides these women with a safe place to live, prenatal nutrition and, if they do parent, opportunities for training and education needed to provide for themselves and their baby.
While a difficult decision was still before her, Napha was no longer alone.
It is a special time when a woman carries and gives birth to her first child. This is also the time when she needs the most support from her family.
But around the world, not all mothers-to-be receive the love and support they need and deserve.
Thuy was three months into her pregnancy when the child’s father left her without any support.
Although she carried her baby to term, she lacked the resources to see a doctor during her pregnancy. Her baby was born premature with low birth weight, and Thuy also experienced complications from the pregnancy. Because she had insufficient food to nourish both herself and her developing child, Thuy was also unable to breastfeed her baby, and lacked money to buy formula. Continue reading “What a new mother needs most…”