On this blog, we share stories and updates about our work around the world. With reporting from Holt staff in the U.S. and overseas as well as contributions from adoptive parents, adoptees, sponsors and supporters, we strive to represent the heart, life and experiences of our extended “Holt Family.”
Phil Littleton, Holt’s president and CEO, recently returned from a trip to Vietnam. While on the trip, Phil visited a daycare center and orphanage we help support in Dong Nai and met with Holt-Vietnam staff and the deputy director of adoption to discuss our work in the country.
Holt first served families and children in Vietnam through a USAID-funded nutrition program, later developing an international adoption program to help find permanent homes for the twenty-five thousand children living in Vietnam’s orphanages. In 1973, Holt introduced foster care for children in the country’s orphanages, providing loving, individual attention to nurture their development while they await permanent placement. Despite steady growth in services, political instability forced Holt to cease work in Vietnam in 1975. Returning in the late 1980s, Holt developed programs throughout the country that enabled children to stay within their birth families, despite hardships.
“Holt has a very long history of serving children and families in Vietnam,” Phil says. Read More
Mahananda grew up the daughter of a single mother in the slums of Pune, India.
Where she comes from, education was never a guarantee. Public school is not free in India, and for families living in poverty, the choice between food and school fees has always been a no-brainer. Still today, India has one of the largest populations of out-of-school children in the world.
But beyond the poverty of her community, beyond her single-parent household and the barriers to basic education in her country, Mahananda faced another obstacle inherent to the life she was born into…
Mahananda was born a girl.
In India and many places around the world, girls are often kept home from school. If a family can only afford fees for one child, they often opt to send their son to school and their daughter to work.
When girls are educated, they have the capacity to create unprecedented economic and social change in their communities. Girls who are educated are more likely to delay marriage until adulthood. They have fewer children. And the children they do have are healthier and stronger. An educated mother will have increased job opportunities and higher wages, giving her the resources to buy food and medicine for her children.
Educated women are also five times more likely to send their own children to school – increasing literacy rates in their communities, and breaking the cycle of poverty.
Mahananda is one educated woman who is creating change in her community.
With the support of a Holt sponsor, Mahananda completed her education and went on to become a Montessori schoolteacher. Today, she works for our partner in the region — educating another generation of sponsored boys and girls from the same slum community where she grew up.
As back-to-school season approaches, will you consider giving a gift of $17 to help send a girl to school? By equipping a girl with everything she needs — from books and supplies to a uniform and fees — you can help one more girl to conquer the gender barrier and create a better life for herself, her family and her community.
Born October 15, 2014, NE Asia
Ten-month-old Tayla’s photo has been on Holt’s waiting child photolisting for a month. “In that time, no one has inquired about adopting her,” a Holt staff member in the waiting child program says.
We hope that sharing Tayla’s story will help inspire interest and lead Tayla to the loving family she needs a deserves!
Born on October 15th, 2014, Tayla lives in the NE Asia with a loving foster family. Upon her first well-baby check, it was discovered that she had ptosis, or drooping eyelid, developmental delays and a possible brain anomaly that is currently being followed up on. Her foster mother says she sleeps through the night, loves taking baths, takes good naps and loves to be held. When she’s hungry, Tayla playfully sucks on her fingers. Her social worker calls her a “cute and lovely little girl with fine skin and tiny features.” To help address her delays, Tayla began physical therapy in February and has since drastically improved. “Her foster mother does a very good job at helping her with her therapy,” Tayla’s social worker says.
Tayla needs a family who is open to her needs and who can provide her with any medical care or therapies that she may need in the future.
“We hope that [Tayla] will soon meet good permanent parents who will accept her medical condition and love her as much as she is loved now,” Tayla’s social worker says. “We hope that she will grow up healthy with no particular medical concerns.”
Contact Kristen Henry for more information about adopting Tayla.
To adopt Tayla, couples must be between the ages of 25 and 44 and half at time of homestudy submission. Applicants must be married at least 3 years and live in one of the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, HI, IA, KS, KY, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, WADC, WV, or WY. Up to 4 children in the home. * See country criteria for complete requirements.
As sponsored children prepare to return to school this fall, we sent Holt sponsors some snail mail, asking them to join with us in prayer for their sponsored child’s health, safety and education.
Already, thousands of prayer promise cards are pouring into our headquarters office in Oregon and filling our lobby with uplifting and loving messages for children!
We are so encouraged by sponsor’s prayer promises for the child or children they sponsor! Sponsor’s commitment to help every orphaned and vulnerable child receive the educational opportunities they deserve is inspirational.
Check out this video, recapping just a few of the prayers we’ve received …
And consider giving a gift of $17, which provides school supplies, books, shoes, uniforms and any school-related materials a vulnerable child may need this year.
We’ve said it once, and we will say it again — you are a super hero for children in need!
Thank you for partnering with us to create a brighter world for the most vulnerable children.
The children of migrant families are some of the most vulnerable in India, and they are often excluded from schools and at risk of exploitation, trafficking and abuse. Recognizing the needs of this growing population, Holt’s partner in the region completely refocuses their efforts, using education as a transformative tool.
Avni pulls her husband and son’s stiff, sun-dried pants and shirts off the frame of wooden scaffolding built outside her home. She climbs the seven unfinished concrete stairs, and drifts through the wide, cement hole where a double door and massive picture windows will someday lead into the lobby of a six-story apartment building. But, at that point, her family won’t live here anymore. It will be time for them to move on in search of another job, and another home.
Avni is 26 years old, and the mother of three children — an 11-year-old daughter and two sons, Basha, 9, and Mapasha, 6. She is strikingly beautiful, and has a kind, shy smile that peeks through the whole time she speaks, the little ring in her nose glistening. Her feet are bare under her purple sari, except for a thin, gold toe ring, which married women commonly wear in India as a token of luck in marriage.
Avni and her family migrated from their rural village to Bangalore, India six years ago for work, hopeful that they could find better jobs and make a better life for themselves and their children.
They weren’t the only ones. Read More