Around The Globe

A focus on Holt-supported education programs around the world. 



In a hillside home in the bustling metropolis of Daejeon, South Korea, ten women live with their babies. The Holt Morning Garden mother and child shelter is one of six such shelters that Holt supports in Korea — places of refuge for single mothers to escape the pervasive stigma of unwed motherhood within their families and society. Besides counseling and a family-like environment, Holt Morning Garden provides opportunities for single moms to pursue education — preparing them for success when they leave the shelter. Some women spend their days attending classes to finish their high school equivalency exams. Some take vocational courses, such as computer or cosmetology training, to help improve their job prospects once they leave. Many women take parenting or nutrition classes in preparation for the birth of their child. And one young mother has managed to overcome the prejudice many unwed mothers encounter when seeking higher education in Korea. She is currently working toward her college degree. Without the support, guidance and childcare they receive here, an education would be nearly impossible for these women. But with the opportunities provided, they are setting themselves, and their children, up for success.


Holt’s educational sponsorship programs in China are largely concentrated in rural communities where many parents cannot afford basic necessities like food and clothing, not to mention the textbooks, uniforms and admissions fees required to send their child to school. As a result, an estimated 63 percent of middle and high school children drop out of school every year in the Chinese countryside — many of whom end up working to supplement their family’s income. In Guangxi province, a region heavily affected by poverty and drug use, most children in our sponsorship program have lost one or both parents. Without support from Holt sponsors, many would likely otherwise drop out of school, live on the street and rely solely on themselves to get by. In other regions, entire communities reel from HIV/AIDS, and many children are orphaned, shunned by society and forced to drop out of school. But in these places, and many more throughout China, children have hope through sponsorship. In seven provinces in China, over 3,500 children receive educational support from Holt sponsors. They cover boarding expenses for children who come from far mountainous villages, provide school uniforms and nutritious school lunches, and ensure they receive the attention and support of a caring social worker or teacher who tracks their educational progress. With an education, children in China are empowered to stay in school and reach their very fullest potential.



Children in India face many roadblocks to their education. Public school is not free, and many families lack the resources to send all of their children to school. Many families also migrate from place to place in search of work — causing constant disruption to their children’s education. But perhaps the greatest educational roadblock has more to do with tradition and less to do with economic or environmental challenges — and begins long before a child becomes of age to start school. In India, girls begin their lives — and educations — at a huge disadvantage. If a family can only afford fees for one child, they often opt to send their son to school and their daughter to work. Or in some cases, a family will arrange a marriage for their daughter at an early age, at which point her education abruptly stops. For all of these reasons, India has one of the largest populations of out-of-school children in the world, the majority of whom are girls. But when Holt sponsors support girls through one of our legacy partners in Pune, Bangalore or New Dehli, their lives drastically change for the better. When educated, girls have the capacity to create unprecedented economic and social change in their communities. They are granted more autonomy in their lives. And most of all, they have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.


cambodia-edIn Cambodia, it is not uncommon to see young children in the rice fields, tagging along with their parents as they work, or spending the day home alone with their siblings. While this is not the ideal situation for young children or their parents, they until recently had nowhere else to go. But now, because of their sponsors, 3-to-5-year-olds in Prey Veng and Kampot provinces can attend preschool in one of three Holt-supported early education centers. Since it began, this project has impacted over 120 preschoolers. At preschool, they get a nutritious snack and learn their 1-2-3s, ABCs and other critical early education skills in a safe and nurturing environment — preparing them to integrate into public school once they are old enough. Not only is this a fun and safe place for children to go during the day, it provides a healthy start that has huge implications for the rest of their lives. When a child experiences and learns the importance of education at an early age, they are more likely to continue with school. And when a child is educated, they can pursue their dreams, end the cycle of poverty for their family, and even protect themselves from child labor and trafficking.

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