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.”
Shane Bowers, along with other members of Christian music group, Julian Drive, was in Haiti on a humanitarian trip with Holt Director of Donor Engagement, Kris Thompson, when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit. The following is Shane’s recap of the day’s events and the devastating aftermath….
By Shane Bowers, Julian Drive
Montrouis, Haiti—We had been here for a few days visiting the Holt Fontana Children’s Village and loving on the kids. As we arrived at our hotel yesterday and stood there recapping the day we had with the beautiful children, the ground beneath our feet began to shake sideways and up and down. We all froze in fear and didn’t know what to do. The car we had just gotten out of was shaking up and down like a toy, and a concrete wall next to us swayed back and forth. The quake felt like it lasted a minute or two. In reality it was closer to 35-40 seconds.
Holt Fontana Village Director, Mansour Masse, said he’d never experienced anything like this quake in all his years in Haiti and was just as startled as we were. We knew that the earthquake must have done serious damage to the city of Port-au-Prince, and we were heartbroken for the people there. I uttered prayers for those who might have been in much worse situations than we were. Fortunately we were able to get a quick message out to our families before we lost all communication. Read More
Holt is deeply saddened to learn of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capitol of Port-au-Prince yesterday afternoon. We have been in contact with Holt Fontana Children’s Village Director, Mansour Masse, and he informs us that the children and care providers are safe.
Communication with our partners in Haiti has been difficult. We will keep you informed about the children in our care and the 120 families in our family preservation program as we receive more information throughout the day.
Holt is assessing the situation and is prepared to do everything we can to bring relief to the children and families we serve as we learn more information about what the needs are.
We hope that you will join us in praying for the children and care providers at Holt Fontana Village, the families in our family preservation projects, and the hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti who have been affected by this unimaginable tragedy.
by Jennifer Goette, Holt Director of Programs, South and Southeast Asia
During my first trip to Vietnam in my new role as the Program Director for South and Southeast Asia, there were many moments that led me to confront the power of the human spirit. Visiting orphanages supported by Holt, I was impressed by the loving care and genuine affection provided to each child. I was also touched by the need that emanated from each child, young and old, to be loved and cared for. Some of the children would find loving, permanent families through domestic or inter-country adoption; my heart went out to the other children – often older children and children with special needs—who would probably wait for years hoping to find a family of their own.
I was profoundly moved by a quiet young man with a determined spirit who has been living in care for most of his childhood. Tuan Ahn has a quick smile and is shy about his accomplishments. Orphaned at the age of eight years old when both of his parents passed away from infections believed to be caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Tuan was sent to live with his grandparents. After only two years, his grandparents were too old to care for the young boy and placed him with an orphanage supported by Holt International outside of Ho Chi Minh City. There he has received care and positive encouragement for more than nine years. Read More