Transformed in One Year

One year ago, 1-year-old Archelle weighed 16 pounds. Her tummy protruded and her hair had an orange-ish tint from malnutrition. But then she received a Gift of Hope — a gift of sponsorship.

In October 2016, Johnise walked into the Holt Haiti office in Port-au-Prince, her 20-month-old daughter Archelle on her hip. Weariness dulled Johnise’s eyes as she used a tissue to wipe her daughter’s runny nose. She sat down with a social worker, and began to share about her life.

Archelle and Johnise in October 2016, when they first came to the Holt office.

Johnise is a single mother who lives with her daughter, her grandmother, mother, sisters and their children — all nine of them in a single-room house. Their home is near a trash-strewn riverbed in Tabarre, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the area. When it rains, their house floods. In the rainy season, Johnise spends sleepless nights bailing muddy water out of their flooding house one bucket at a time. Mosquitos hatch in the stagnant water and buzz endlessly in the thick tropical air.

Continue reading “Transformed in One Year”

Back to School, Because of You

On August 28, 2017, Holt Haiti partnered with organization Education Works to throw a first annual Back to School Kickoff for children from impoverished communities and those living in orphanage care in Haiti.

The kick-off was a great success! And, it was all made possible because of the generous gifts of sponsors and donors!

Many parents in Haiti struggle to afford the high cost of school fees, uniforms, books and other supplies for their children. Sometimes, these costs alone are more than they might make in a week, month or longer. But when children don’t have the supplies and uniforms they need, they can’t go to school.

Children living in crèches (Creole for ‘orphanage’) are even more unlikely to receive their very own backpacks and school supplies.

During the Back to School Kickoff, more than 110 children from one northern crèche and school received backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons and other school supplies — all lovingly provided by Holt donors and Education Works! Continue reading “Back to School, Because of You”

Single Moms in Haiti Build a New, Wonderful Life

Through job skills training and support, single moms in Haiti work hard to create a better life for themselves and their children, sometimes in the most wonderfully unexpected of ways…

Julia Joseph Julien squats near the wall and mixes plaster in her small yellow bucket. Her black hair pulled back in tight braids and a colorful barrette, she scoops then spreads the mixture onto a ceramic tile and carefully places it on the wall, making a tight row.

The Haitian sun is hot. This is hard work, and she is the only woman doing it.

But she is smiling — she is so proud. As a single mom, she knows that these new skills will change her life and change her children’s future.

“So many single moms are taking care of children and unable to work or be trained to work because of that,” says Mike Noah, director of services for Holt’s Africa and Haiti programs. “Some moms said they were in despair for the future, not sure how they would get food or care for their children.”

Continue reading “Single Moms in Haiti Build a New, Wonderful Life”

Korea program needs families + more adoption news!

KoreaHeader2Holt’s Korea program continues to be one of our most stable and predictable adoption programs. While they wait for adoptive families, most children in Korea live with foster families, which provide the attentive, nurturing care they need to reach developmental milestones. Families in process to adopt also receive excellent medical information and frequent updates about their child. Most of the children who need families in Korea are younger with minor special needs. There are more boys than girls, and a family will need to be open to either gender. Could a child be waiting for you in Korea?

Learn more about our Korea program!

Continue reading “Korea program needs families + more adoption news!”

Hurricane Matthew Relief Update

How Holt’s staff in Haiti is using your donations to help children in orphanage care, as well as single mothers, their children and their families to recover and rebuild.

Matthew - Flooding in the South
Flooding in southern Haiti following Hurricane Matthew.

The worst humanitarian crisis to strike Haiti since the country’s devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.

That is how the United Nations described the impact of Hurricane Matthew, a category-5 tropical cyclone that ravaged the southern coast of Haiti in early October 2016.

As torrential rain and 145-mile-per-hour winds downed communications systems, we lost all internet contact with our staff in Port-au-Prince. Two days later, we received a very brief email from our country director: “Lots damaged. I am in tears. We need donations and volunteers.”

In the aftermath of the hurricane, we were relieved to hear that the children and families in our programs were safe. But the destruction to homes and orphanages left them more vulnerable than ever and immediately, we began collecting donations from our supporters — raising over $40,000 to help repair the damage. Continue reading “Hurricane Matthew Relief Update”

Where Are They Now: Seven Years After the Earthquake

Adoptee Nephtalie Moore was still in Haiti when the country’s devastating earthquake of 2010 hit. Her older sister, Martine, and soon-to-be adoptive family were in South Carolina. One year later, Martine and Nephtalie were reunited — solidifying a bond that today remains as strong as ever.

Moore-family-Haiti
Rebecca, Nephtalie and Martine

Rebecca Moore was the first one in her family to wake to the news on January 12, 2010. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake had struck close to Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of thousands were feared dead. Buildings were leveled and millions of families were now homeless. Haiti, already the poorest country in the western hemisphere, now faced even more devastation and uncertainty. Millions in the United States and around the world clung to their televisions and computers, awaiting updates. People sent prayers, churches and communities gathered for vigils, and local relief agencies prepared to send aid to our distressed neighbors in the south.

But for the Moore family of South Carolina, the catastrophic event hit even closer to home. In the midst of the devastation, at a Holt-supported care center near Port-au-Prince, the Moore family’s soon-to-be adopted daughter, Nephtalie, waited to come home. Her biological sister, Martine, was already home with the Moores. Continue reading “Where Are They Now: Seven Years After the Earthquake”

The Story Behind the Photo: 86 and Counting

collage-86-3

At the beginning of November, to kick off National Adoption Month, we shared a collage of all the children on our waiting child photolisting — just a small glimpse of the hundreds of children who we are seeking families for at any given time. We hoped it would kindle a passion in our supporters to help advocate for children who need loving families of their own. And it did!

You shared our waiting child stories. You reposted our advocacy blogs. You helped us tell the story behind each and every photo that we featured on social media during National Adoption Month.

The photo above represents the number of children from our photolisting that we have — thanks in part to your advocacy — matched with families so far in 2016. The black and white blocks represent the children who now are, or soon will be, part of a loving and secure family. The ones in color represent the children who we still need your help advocating for.

In total this year, Holt has matched 86 children from the photolisting — and another 200+ directly with a family! This is something to celebrate!

But we seek a world where every child has a loving and secure home. And until that day comes, we intend to keep working hard to advocate for the children left behind — and we ask you to join us.

One of the best ways that you can support our advocacy efforts is through sharing the stories we post about waiting children. That can be anything from pressing “like” or “share” on Facebook to leading an informational meeting in your community. Creativity is encouraged and we look forward to hearing what you come up with!

Thank you again for your heart and compassion for children who need families. Allied with you, we can achieve anything!
learn help advocate

The Story Behind the Photo: What Social Workers Actually Do…

kathiekris-red
With stern faces and plastic inspection gloves, adoption social workers Kris Bales and Kathie Stocker illustrate what prospective families THINK they do — not what they ACTUALLY do.

Social workers. They come into your home with a white glove and a watchful eye. They check under your bed for dust mites. They go through your medicine cabinet. They call your neighbors to inquire how long you wait to mow your lawn. They take note of every imperfection, just looking for a reason not to approve your family for adoption.

Is that about what you had in mind?­­

Well meet Kathie Stocker and Kris Bales, two of Holt’s most devoted — and beloved — social workers. Kathie has worked with Holt for 23 years and Kris for 14. K­athie is often the first person families hoping to adopt from Korea will speak to, while Kris advises families interested in the China program. Both and have guided hundreds of families through their adoption process. At Christmas time, their walls are covered in cards from families and photos of children they’ve helped place. Both will be the first to tell you that the job of a social worker is not to be taken lightly — entrusting a family with a child is no small decision. But they will also tell you that the homestudy process is not about judgment. No family is perfect. And neither are they.

Above all, their passion — and their role — is to find the right family for every child.

Today on the Holt blog, learn more about what Kris and Kathie ACTUALLY do as adoption social workers for Holt.

Continue reading “The Story Behind the Photo: What Social Workers Actually Do…”

Crisis in Haiti; Recovering From Hurricane Matthew

With crops destroyed, homes flooded and care centers damaged, our staff and partners in Haiti face critical and urgent needs to help children and families recover from Hurricane Matthew.

haiti-2013-serious-boy-looking-upLast week, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti with torrential rain and 145-mile-per-hour winds. For Haitians, the devastation from the storm can’t be overstated — especially those living along the southwest coast, which was hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew. Many people lost their most valuable possessions, such as goats, cows or other farm animals, small fishing boats, nets or crops — robbing them of their livelihood, their income and their ability to care for their children without international assistance. Many Haitian families were already vulnerable before the storm, and Hurricane Matthew has only increased their instability. Continue reading “Crisis in Haiti; Recovering From Hurricane Matthew”

Children and Families in Haiti Need Our Help

haiti-urgent-appealOn October 4, one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history hit Haiti with torrential rain and 145-mile-per-hour wind. The storm damaged farmland, power lines and houses. Flooding and landslides destroyed businesses, schools and homes. So far, we know that at least seven people have died and over 14,500 have been evacuated from their homes, and these numbers are rising.

All the children and families we serve in Haiti are alive, and we thank God for keeping them safe. The orphanages we support were stocked with extra food and water prior to the storm, and an orphanage staff member even brought children to her own home to keep them safe during the worst of the wind and rain. But their access to future supplies is uncertain, and the families we serve in the surrounding areas are experiencing staggering loss.

They need additional food, water, shelter and other aid as soon as possible.

With your help, we will deliver emergency aid to the children and families in in our care centers and family strengthening projects as soon as we can. We must act quickly to ensure children and families receive the lifesaving supplies they need to endure this difficult time.

We continue to receive updates from our staff and partner organizations and stand ready to offer whatever help we can. We will keep you updated as we learn further information.

Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation today?

Thank you for your lifesaving support and continued prayers for the people of Haiti.