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sponsored child in Haiti poses for photo in school

Recently, Holt program directors around the world sent letters to child sponsors — sharing about the impact they made in the lives of children and families in 2021. Read the letter from Johan James Vilus, the program director at Holt Haiti.

As the program manager for Holt in Haiti, I see the difference you make in the life of your sponsored child — and in the lives of all of our children. On behalf of my entire team, I would like to thank you for your very heartfelt and generous support this past year!

Just before starting this letter, I was informed that 40 hospitals may be forced to close due to the dire fuel shortage affecting Haiti. It was heartbreaking news. But it also helped me realized how fortunate Alexandro — an 11-year-old boy from a partner school — was to have his medical check-up done in his school. Your donations made this possible for Alexandro and 900 other children, including your sponsored child.

sponsored child in Haiti playing games with friends
Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, Guicheline — and children like her — receive free breakfast every school day.

As a consequence of the fuel shortage, food and other essential commodities are also very scarce right now in Haiti. However, your sponsored child does not have to worry. You make sure all of their basic needs met. Children like Guicheline — a 7-year-old girl from a single-parent family headed by her mother — has never missed the breakfast you help provide on school days. And, Riché — a 5-year old boy from a foster home — no longer wakes up worrying about his next meal.

On August 14, 2021, a massive earthquake struck southern Haiti. Thankfully, our partner care center and school in the area was not significantly affected. But the surrounding community was hit hard. In the two months following the earthquake, you helped provide hot meals to the 106 sponsored children and their families.

Two months ago, I met a teacher who has received a stipend from Holt sponsors and donors like you to provide education to 30 disadvantaged youngsters from a transition foster home. It was energizing to see how your donations will have a lasting impact on the life of Mirlène — an 11-year old girl who has not been part of any schooling program for almost four years.

Last week, I was delighted to see that Alancia, who has been struggling for more than a year with nutrition issues, is now in better shape. Your donations made a difference in her life, too.

But more than numbers, it’s about Alexandro, Guicheline, Riché, Mirlène, Alancia and certainly many more children that rely on you to have access to food, education and health care.

Yesterday, I was asked what would happen if all sponsors suddenly decided to withdraw their funding. Obviously, 900 children would not receive medical services and 700 others would probably struggle for their daily breakfast. But more than numbers, it’s about Alexandro, Guicheline, Riché, Mirlène, Alancia and certainly many more children that rely on you to have access to food, education and health care.

Children eat snacks in a classroom in Haiti
Snack time for children you help support in Haiti! In 2021, you helped provide daily meals for 700 children.

Words fall short when I try to express my sincerest gratitude for your sponsorship. Personally, I’m extremely grateful for making my journey more bearable. And, on behalf of all these children and their families, I would like to thank you for all that you have done for them and also for being there whenever your support was needed. I do hope that you’ll be there for them next year.

Tanpri, pa lage yo.*

Johan James Vilus | Program Manager Holt Haiti

*Haitian creole for “Please, don’t let them down.”

Learn more about Holt’s work in Haiti!

See how sponsors and donors create a brighter, more hopeful future for children and families in Haiti!

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children in Haiti receiving a meal through Holt sponsorship program

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