10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sending Aid to North Korea

Do you want to send aid to North Korea, but want to make sure your donation actually helps kids in need? You may wonder if it’s even possible. For 19 years, people like you have sent aid to children and orphans in North Korea through Holt International — winter weather, emergency food and disaster relief aid that saves children’s lives.

Want to learn more? Here are ten things you might not know about sending aid to North Korea.

Continue reading “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sending Aid to North Korea”

Secondary Education in Uganda Lets Kids Dream Big

In rural Uganda, sponsors are now helping children attend secondary school — the critical second half of their education that empowers them to rise above poverty, and to dream big. 

Before, Edith might have gotten married. When she graduated primary school last year at age 13 — her education finished — she might have started to run her own household, possibly becoming a mother as a young teenager.

And Raymond? He might have moved to Kampala. As a 12-year-old in Uganda’s largest city, he might have found a manual labor job or started working for a wealthy family — anything to earn a living.

secondary education students in Uganda
Raymond and Edith share about getting to go to secondary school.

There’s no way to know exactly where Edith and Raymond would have ended up. But of one thing we can be certain — they would not still be in school. Thrown into adult life, without a full education, the cycle of poverty would have continued for them and their families.

Continue reading “Secondary Education in Uganda Lets Kids Dream Big”

Why Do You Sponsor Us?

In Bengaluru, India, Holt child sponsors help over 1,000 girls go to school and receive an education — girls like Payal, Sanjana, Manixa and Mayvis. The importance of education for girls is not lost on them. When you educate a girl in India, you help prevent child marriage, and empower her for a successful future. And these girls want to know – why do you sponsor them?

“Why do they want to let the children to study?” says Payal, her dark brown eyes perplexed.

Continue reading “Why Do You Sponsor Us?”

From Holt Adoptee and NPR Reporter, Ashley Westerman

NPR Morning Edition reporter and Holt adoptee Ashley Westerman reported a story about international adoption — its beginnings, issues that have arisen and the current outlook for children who are orphaned or abandoned. In part two, she shares about her own personal reunion with her birth mother. Thank you, Ashley, for covering such a complex issue with clarity and accuracy!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Adoption and keeping families together has been pivotal to Holt’s work for over 60 years. Whether through strengthening families around the world, domestic adoption within a child’s birth country or international adoption, this work will continue until every child has a permanent, loving family.

Remembering Chuck Mitman

It is with profound sadness that we share the loss of our board chairman and friend, Chuck Mitman, who passed away on May 24, 2018.

A member of the Holt International board since 2012, Chuck brought a wealth of international business experience and wisdom, and a contagious passion for serving children and families around the world.

Chuck was a seasoned businessman and the co-founder and former president of Prism eSolutions. At the beginning of his time as board chair, Chuck traveled with Holt to China, where he was deeply moved by the children and families in Holt’s family strengthening programs, for whom he was an especially big advocate. Read more here about Chuck’s trip to China.

In one of his last letters to the board, Chuck wrote this: “Never lose hope in the face of the enormity of the need, but trust God and do the best we can to respond with courage and faith.”

With this charge, we will honor Chuck’s work and legacy through continued care, advocacy and empowerment of vulnerable children and families — Holt’s mission, and a mission Chuck said brought great meaning to his life. We will deeply miss Chuck, and are so grateful for his leadership and legacy at Holt.

The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Do

Fifteen years after placing her son for adoption, Gina Ledesma got in contact with Holt earlier this year.  When we asked her if she was open to sharing her story, her response was an enthusiastic “yes.” While the environment and circumstances are different from country to country and individual to individual, Gina’s domestic U.S. adoption story is one that may resonate with any birth mother. And understanding stories like hers is important for everyone who is touched by adoption.

Gina will never forget the three hard, precious days she had with her son.

“I just counted all the toes and fingers,” she says, remembering those days in a hospital bed in Eugene, Oregon. “I looked at every little piece and part — and said my goodbyes.”

Twenty-nine years ago, Gina chose adoption for her son. Continue reading “The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Had To Do”