Dear Readers

A message to our readers from Holt’s managing editor.

Through compassion and generosity, Holt sponsors help to ensure all children reach their full potential in life, whether in China, Ethiopia or the Philippines, like the boy featured in our cover photo.
Through compassion and generosity, Holt sponsors help to ensure all children reach their full potential in life, whether in China, Ethiopia or the Philippines — like the boy featured in our spring cover photo.

Two years ago, I traveled to Ethiopia with a group of student-athletes from Oregon State University. This trip was unusual among Holt trips as we spent five full days in one community, building new houses for two particularly vulnerable families. Looking back, I realize how rare and extraordinary were those five days spent observing life in this southern Ethiopian village. After the excitement of the first day — when everyone came out to greet and then curiously watch us as we began building — the local families mostly went back about their lives. Children went to school. Parents worked and cooked and washed laundry. Ordinary life resumed.

In this issue of Holt International Magazine, we share two stories of how Holt sponsorship has changed the lives of children — the first about a young girl in China who recently graduated high school and moved on to college; the other from an adoptive mother whose son stayed in sponsor-supported foster care while in Korea. As I read these stories, I think of this little subsistence farming community in Ethiopia. I think of the children running through the fields in clothing provided by Holt sponsors. I think of their parents who received gifts of livestock to help them feed their families and generate income. I think of the boy I met who shared with me his school notebook, every page filled with math equations or handwritten notes. Holt and our supporters touched that community in so many ways, large and small. Whether in China, Korea or Ethiopia, sponsors give so that all children may live happy, peaceful lives together with their families. Sponsorship is an act of greatness, but it is also a million little kindnesses. It creates hope and opportunity, and it restores normalcy in the lives of families and children.

As Mother’s Day approaches, we also share stories about two of our longstanding unwed mothers programs — in the Philippines and Korea. Through vocational training, counseling and other support, the women who seek refuge at these shelters are also working to restore normalcy to their lives. They are gaining the skills and confidence they need to parent their children. Or, if they choose, to make an informed adoption plan for their child. If you visited one of these shelters, you would see the extraordinary impact of Holt and Holt supporters just as I witnessed their profound impact in the everyday lives of families and children in Silti, Ethiopia — this time, in the simple beauty of a mother caring for her child.

Robin Munro | Managing Editor

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