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See the Difference You Made in 2023

Learn about Holt sponsor and donor impact in 2023 in the lives of children and families around the world!

In 2023, you made a powerful difference in the lives of nearly 1.54 million children, families and individuals around the world! You helped children with special needs receive life-changing surgeries, therapies and medical care, empowered women and girls — and kept them safe from trafficking — through education and job skills training, provided emergency food and medical care for children suffering from malnutrition, and helped children grow up in loving families instead of orphanages. Thank you for your heartfelt and generous giving to help orphaned and vulnerable children in 2023!

In 2023, you provided direct care and services to 476,966 children. Each of these services was tailored to a child’s individual needs — whether they lived with their family but needed help affording the fees, supplies and uniforms to go to school, or whether they lived in an orphanage and needed social work support to reunite with their family or join a family through adoption. This number also includes services provided to help youth and adult adoptees and their families already living in the U.S.

In total this past year, Holt helped 241 children join permanent, loving families through adoption with the support of generous donors like you. This number includes 149 children who joined families in the U.S. through international adoption, 90 children who were adopted domestically in their birth countries overseas, and two children who joined families domestically in the U.S. Overall, 95% of children adopted internationally were older than age 5, part of a sibling group or had at least some minor special needs — and 61% of children placed internationally were older than 5 at the time they joined their families. In 2023, our Thailand special home-finding program for older children and children with disabilities or special needs continued to see success — and with your support, we launched a similar pilot program in the Philippines, with social workers traveling to meet, assess and advocate for children who have long waited to join the loving, permanent families they deserve. We are especially thankful to the donors who funded special needs adoption grants that helped make it possible for many children to be a part of a family.

With generous donor support, 3,553 adoptees and families received support from Holt’s post-adoption services team in 2023 — a number that surpassed 2022 by about 1,400 adoptees and families. While this shows greater success in outreach to those needing support, it also underscores the tremendous need for post-adoption services among those touched by adoption, from help with citizenship and accessing file copies to help facilitating a birth family search to counseling for adoptees struggling with identity and parents seeking help to support their child. Over the summer, Holt celebrated 40 years of Holt Adoptee Camp — a unique program designed to build adoptee community and help adoptee youth explore their identity alongside campers and counselors who share the unique experience of growing up adopted. This year, 178 campers participated in Holt camps across the country. And in November, during National Adoption Month, Holt leaders had the opportunity to share about the vital importance of post-adoption services as part of a documentary on international adoption that aired on PBS. Emphasizing that adoption is a lifelong experience, this short documentary produced by Empowered and hosted by actress Meg Ryan will air on PBS stations throughout 2024.

Around the world, adoption remains the last, best option for thousands of children to have a permanent, loving family. But before we ever pursue adoption for a child, we first strive to help them grow up in the loving care of their birth family, whenever possible. For children living in orphanages, this often means a long social work process to identify their immediate or extended family and explore the possibility of reunification. And in 2023, with donor support, Holt teams around the world helped reunite 428 with their birth families — a significant number when you consider the time and resource-intensive work that goes into identifying relatives and ensuring children can thrive in their care.

But everywhere we work, our first goal is always to prevent family separation in the first place. And with the generous support of sponsors and donors, 34,466 children who were at risk of separation were able to remain in the loving care of their families in 2023. With support tailored to each individual child and family, you helped provide everything from clothing, warm bedding, safe housing and school supplies to livestock for nourishing food and income. In 2023, 6,761 individuals also participated in Holt-supported economic empowerment programs, including job skills training, education in how to grow gardens or tend livestock, financial literacy training, village savings and loan groups and other innovative programs that empower families to generate a stable income and independently support their children.

In 2023, you helped almost 10,000 more children and young adults attend school than in the prior year! Your generous giving helped expand early childhood care and development programs and add preschools to government-run schools in Ethiopia, prevent girls in India and other countries from dropping out of school to marry, and provide school supplies, uniforms and fees for thousands of children who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to school. You also supported a program that provides educational assistance to children aging out of orphanage care in the Philippines — helping them earn high school diplomas and university degrees. By empowering children through education, you also help protect them from trafficking, abuse, child labor and other dangers that increase exponentially when children are out of school.

From a breakfast program for schoolchildren living in impoverished communities in Haiti to emergency, calorie-dense food for malnourished children in rural Ethiopia to gifts of cows, goats and gardens that help families produce their own food, you helped nourish hundreds of thousands of children and families around the world in 2023. With global inflation still a chronic issue — and regional conflicts that further compounded the problem — food security remained a major concern for thousands of families living in poverty and children living in under-resourced orphanages this past year. Thankfully, Holt sponsors and donors met this need — providing a staggering 2,229,616 meals to hungry children and families in 2023.

Since Holt first developed our model of foster care in Korea in the 1960s — a model that has since been replicated in numerous other countries — Holt sponsors and donors have continued to support programs that provide this more nurturing alternative to institutional care. In Thailand, you helped support our local partner’s well-established foster care program for children who are waiting to join adoptive families or reunite with their birth families. In China, you supported family-like group homes for children living with HIV or other special needs. In Ethiopia, you supported one of the country’s first foster care programs, through our orphanage partner in Addis. And in Cambodia, you helped expand a pilot foster care program — placing the first child with a family in Phnom Penh in April 2023. Around the world, Holt sponsors and donors also helped care for children living in orphanages, providing essentials like diapers and food, caregiver support and training, medical care and more.

The medical and health care you provided children in 2023 included everything from routine childhood vaccinations to lifesaving surgeries. In Haiti, you helped provide medical check-ups for over 750 schoolchildren living in impoverished communities. In Vietnam, you helped expand Holt’s child nutrition program (CNP) to a new daycare facility— delivering nutrition screening and deworming medication to more than 250 children, and growing the number of children in the CNP program in Vietnam to 1,470 children. Through the maternal and child health program in Ethiopia, you helped reach 167,318 children, including 960 infants and children who were treated for malnutrition at the NICU and stabilization center. And for one special 8-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, your generous giving helped him travel from Mongolia to India to receive the life-changing surgery he needed to walk.

In 2023, you and your fellow donors gave 4,125 Gifts of Hope to children and families in need around the world. You gave food for hungry children, shoes to keep children’s feet warm, dry and protected on their long walk to school, an egg a day to provide vital protein to growing kids, and livestock likes goats, chickens and cows to nourish families and provide vital income when they sell the offspring. You provided school scholarships for children who might not otherwise go to school, as well as the books and supplies they needed to succeed. You gave the gift of nurturing foster care to children waiting for a permanent, loving family, and urgently needed orphanage supplies like diapers, cribs and blankets. You empowered single mothers to earn income for their family through the gift of job skills training or a small business microgrant. You gave Christmas and birthday gifts to children whose families or caregivers can’t afford to provide gifts on these holidays. And you gave to Holt’s Where Most Needed fund to make it possible for our staff and partners in the field to meet immediate, vital needs of children and families that might otherwise go unmet.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity in 2023! You truly made a huge impact in the lives of children and families around the world, and we are so grateful for you.

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