Beyond Borders

While sponsorship isn’t permitted in North Korea, Holt sponsors can send lifesaving food to the country’s orphaned and vulnerable children. 

Children at an orphanage in North Korea greet a visiting Holt staff member.

Children living all around the world are subject to traumatic circumstances and heartbreaking needs. As a sponsor, you are meeting these needs by uplifting your sponsored child and giving them the resources and opportunities they need to thrive!

One of the greatest places of need, however, is a place where sponsorship is not permitted — North Korea.

When children are orphaned or abandoned in North Korea, they are placed in government-run care facilities where they are just one among hundreds of other children. With few resources, a harsh climate and recurring food shortages, children in orphanage care are especially vulnerable to malnutrition and hunger-related illness. But since 1998, when first welcomed into North Korea, we have fought for the lives of these children — providing food, supplies, medical care, clothes and other critical resources.

NK-2006 food supplies 2
Staff from our partner organization in China unload food and supplies at one of the care facilities.

Although our friends and supporters are unable to sponsor the children we serve in North Korea, God has blessed us with a unique and powerful way to partner with you in service of these most vulnerable children.

When you go above and beyond your regular monthly sponsorship by giving to children in North Korea, you will truly be saving lives in the five orphanages and one daycare center that we support.

Nine years ago, Paul Kim, Holt’s director of programs for Korea and Mongolia, traveled to visit the children in North Korea. “When I first got to meet the orphans that we were supporting, their conditions were heartbreaking, to say the least,” Paul says. They were severely malnourished and didn’t have energy even to play.

NK-2007 grain shipment
The children receive carbohydrate-rich survival food such as corn, grains, noodles and infant formula.

He is sometimes asked how we know for sure that these children are receiving the supplies we send. The assurance of this lies in the eyewitness stories of Holt staff members who visit the care centers, the reports of our partners who deliver the food and the photo and video evidence they bring back.

“In the photos,” Paul says, “their bodies are becoming fatter, their faces are filling out and the light of life is returning to their faces. You can’t fake that.”

Megan Herriott | Staff Writer

To give to children in North Korea, go to

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