group of children in uniforms and masks washing their hands

Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of many children and families. Children living in orphanage care have been especially vulnerable to the effects of this global crisis.

Over the past year, Holt’s orphanage partners have reached out to us, sharing that more and more children are coming into their care. At the same time, delays in international adoption have left even more children in care in some countries, causing overcrowding. These orphanages don’t have the staff or resources to keep up.

But through your generosity, you are helping to provide food, critical medical supplies, educational supplies and even special treats and activities for children in care, keeping them safe and their spirits high!

View the slideshow above for some updates from our partners about how you’re helping to meet the needs of children living in orphanage care throughout this pandemic!

Many orphanages are still struggling to recover from the pandemic and they still need your help! Your gift will provide one baby in an orphanage with enough formula and diapers for a whole week. 

More Updates from Our Partners 


In Colombia, during a rise in COVID cases in April 2021, a series of ongoing government protests began and added additional chaos to an already uncertain pandemic environment.

Maria Gabriela, the projects director at our partner organization, FANA, is trying to make life normal as possible for children in care. While it has been hard on children to stay home due to COVID-19, it has somewhat protected them from the political unrest right outside their doors. Throughout the pandemic, the staff at FANA are trying to create as many activities and positive experiences as possible for kids in care.


India has faced multiple lockdowns during the pandemic, putting a strain on the child welfare system. In 2020, caregivers at our partner care center in Pune, Bharatiya Samaj Seva Kendra (BSSK), began staying for a week at a time and rotating to reduce the number of people coming in and out of the care center. A separate area is designated for visitors to avoid new people entering the premises.

In 2021, the greatest priority for staff is that children have the same opportunities for enrichment and connection as before the pandemic. Following safety guidelines, children have participated in storytelling and movies, outdoor camps and holidays, and more. One of the highlights was Sports Day, a day for older children to play fun games and activities and receive awards!

In addition, school has resumed online. All of the children who attended classes online did well and have stayed on track, graduating to the next grade for the upcoming school year!

The staff at BSSK are working to obtain oxygen cylinders and other vital medical supplies to orphanages in preparation for another wave of COVID-19. The staff is getting all children vaccinated for the flu and pneumonia to help reduce the number of sick kids. They are also striving to vaccinate all staff members for the protection of the children.


Amid a third wave of COVID-19, Thailand is experiencing another complete lockdown.

In orphanages, facilities get cleaned and disinfected more often. There are handwashing stations throughout the orphanage, and everyone has begun washing their hands much more often than before.

Before the third-wave lockdown, our local partner Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF) arranged video calls between volunteers and children. The children enjoyed seeing familiar faces, and the volunteers got creative with their videos, calling the children from places like the beach or pool! Volunteers would also regularly drop off treats and toys for their partnered children. Unfortunately, due to the third-wave lockdown, these programs came to a pause.

HSF hopes to start video calls again, but for now, children and volunteers are exchanging photos and letters.

The staff working directly with the children (including caregivers, child development workers and nurses) cannot go outside or return home. Caregivers and staff are overwhelmed because they have more cleaning responsibilities. But without volunteers to share some of the chores or the chance to go home and rest, they are stressed and tired. Still, they remain hopeful that the situation will improve.

Little girl holding a baby chick

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