Notes From the Field: March 2023

Recent updates from Holt-supported family strengthening and orphan care programs around the world!


Holt Cambodia celebrated the recruitment of five more potential foster families in Phnom Penh in January. This is part of an initiative Holt began in 2016 in partnership with the Cambodian government and other child welfare agencies to help build a model of foster care, kinship care and domestic adoption in the country — an alternative to institutionalization for the thousands of children in Cambodia who are living in orphanages.  

Each new foster family trained in Cambodia represents a nurturing and safe home for a child who would otherwise be in an orphanage.


To help the children celebrate Chinese New Year across the various provinces where we work, Holt China staff prepared gifts and activities for children to enjoy. At the HIV Group Home, children made steam buns to celebrate the arrival of the new year — they were so happy and grateful!  

Children and their caregivers made steam buns to celebrate the new year!


Holt’s partner organization in Colombia, Bambi, has a donor-supported program that empowers parents with the skills and training they need to create a better life for their children. This group of parents just completed lessons that focused on attachment styles and the prevention of abuse and neglect. Families were grateful to learn tools for healthy conflict resolution, discipline, and how to achieve healthy attachments with their children — with many parents saying that this training brought transformational change personally and within their family.  


After nearly four years in the economic empowerment program, 47 families in rural Ethiopia are preparing to graduate the program. These vulnerable families struggled to recover financially after the pandemic, but with continued support from Holt and our partner, KTZ-OVC, they now have successful small businesses — such as weaving businesses, selling produce and raising livestock — that are creating sustainable income, a way out of poverty and the means to independently provide for their children.  

For many families in Ethiopia and around the world, a cow provides fresh milk for the children — an an opportunity to sell excess milk as part of a small business.


In December, Holt Haiti — in partnership with the Haitian Central Authority — organized and presented a training on child rights and protection for about 50 orphanage administrators, caregivers and other professionals who work with children. Additionally, in the impoverished community of Bigarousse, a new cohort of 25 women have been enrolled in Holt’s economic empowerment program. These single moms are beginning their business training, and will soon receive microloans to begin small business of their own  — empowering them to earn an income and support their children.  

Single moms in Haiti are being empowered through vocational training and microloans to independently provide for their children.


Holt’s partner organization in Bangalore, Vathsalya Charitable Trust (VCT), trained 151 mothers and young women across the communities and centers in which they work, as well as women from government-run shelters for women and girls. They learned how to handle expenses, meet deadlines for their business orders, and earn income. VCT is also continuing its support groups for single mothers and mothers who have experienced domestic violence.  

In Bangalore, VCT holds various support groups for mothers in their community.


Through Mongolia’s brutal sub-zero temperatures in the winter, families typically stay warm with a coal burning stove in the middle of the dwelling. But this not only creates a burn hazard for children, but can also cause fire to the structure. Earlier this winter, we received an emergency request for assistance for a family whose ger caught fire — severely injuring their young son and resulting in a total loss of all the family’s possessions. Holt was able to respond immediately with generous support from a donor. With this help, we were able to provide medical care to the child who was burned, and help the family replace their home and many of their possessions.  

A new ger can be built in as quickly as one day!


At the beginning of February, Holt Health and Nutrition staff and the staff of our partner agency, Kaisahang Buhay Foundation (KBF), presented at a five-day Child Nutrition Program Training of Trainers in the Philippines. With houseparents, nurses, and social workers from four local orphanages and child welfare organizations in attendance, they learned how to measure and track children’s nutrition and growth, feeding children with disabilities, and more. 

Holt staff and partners in the Philippines led a “training of trainers” for child care professionals in the Philippines focused on child health and nutrition.


Holt’s local partner in Thailand, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF) has been busy with many group activities for the children and parents in their programs! First, they facilitated a support group activity for families to share their positive parenting experiences and lessons they’ve learned in raising their children. For the new year, HSF gathered 523 people (155 adults, 274 children and 94 volunteers) in their programs and the surrounding community for a celebration. Finally, 207 parents, children and staff from our daycare centers gathered for evaluations of children in the program and training for parents on proper health care and child development.  

In Uganda, thousands of children attend Holt Child Health Days each year to receive critical vitamins and deworming tablets.


The Ministry of Health in Uganda contacted Holt Uganda to support their efforts to reach communities in Mukono district, an impoverished and under-resourced district in Uganda. Through our partner, Vitamin Angels, we were able to provide Vitamin A supplements and deworming tablets to 37,000 children there — vital health and nutrition interventions that will prevent chronic malnutrition and illness.  

children laughing and playing with colorful balloons

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At Holt International, we help children thrive in the love and stability of a family. But our services extend far beyond the adoption work we are known for.

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