Because of your kindness and generosity, children growing up in a garbage dump in Mongolia have warm meals, nice new school supplies and are able to study just like other kids. Watch as the founder of the Red Stone School shares about this special sanctuary for children, and how you are helping them to live happy lives.
A misconception we often hear is that Holt International is only an adoption agency. This probably stems from our long history in international adoption, but in truth, Holt serves far more children through programs that help them stay with their families.
At Holt, we in fact consider international adoption to be the last, best option for children. Holt’s model of adoption is child-centric, meaning that we uphold the needs of the child as our number one priority. Through this model, international adoption is the final effort we make to ensure that every child has a loving and secure home.
We believe, first and foremost, that every child deserves to grow and thrive in the loving care of their family, whenever possible.
To that end, we strengthen families who are on the edge and need just a little assistance to stay together. We do this through nutritional, financial, health, education and counseling services, which provide the tools and resources families need to independently care for their children. These programs would not be possible without our generous child sponsors!
Unfortunately, and far too often, children are unable to stay with their birth family for a variety of reasons. While we strive to reunite children with their families when this happens, many children remain growing up in orphanages. When that is the case, our goal is to find a family through domestic adoption — which gives a child the opportunity to grow up in the country and culture of his or her birth.
Finally, if the child is still waiting, then we begin to look at international adoption as a way to find a permanent and loving family. We understand the challenges that come with a child being adopted into a new country and culture, and so when international adoption becomes our only choice, we work very hard to make sure that the parents are as prepared as possible to care for the child. We have systems in place to prepare and support both the family and the adoptee — from the moment they apply to the moment they come home, and again when they need support, at any time throughout their lives.
Each child’s journey to a loving and secure home is different. But when you are matched, rest assured that every option was explored, and that international adoption was the best option for your child.
Through Holt’s child sponsorship program, dedicated sponsors create pathways for orphaned and vulnerable children to escape poverty and chase their dreams — an especially rare opportunity for children living in caves in northern China.
Only the poorest families still live in caves.
Some families use the dusty, mountainside rooms as animal pens to protect their sheep or goats from the freezing winter cold. Others store grain or farm equipment in their cave, and live nearby in a more modern brick or concrete home.
Until she was 4 years old, Huan Yu Pei had never lived in a cave. She didn’t face the stigma cave families feel as the bottom of society. She never felt the draft from the makeshift door.
In the cave-dwelling community where she grew up in China’s Shaanxi province, Pei’s family was considered middle class.
Her father worked in a factory and her mother cared for the house. Pei’s grandfather spent his days harvesting their large plot of land, where they grow sweet apples. Their life was comfortable.
Then, in 2006, Pei’s father was in a motorcycle accident on his way to the printer manufacturing company where he worked as a machine operator. His leg was badly mangled and broken. In this rural, underdeveloped region of northwest China, there were few hospitals and none that Pei’s father could afford without health insurance. The injury never fully healed, and Pei’s father needed crutches to move. He lost his job, and the family fell into poverty and debt.
Even today, 114 million youth around the world are illiterate — 59 percent of them girls and young women. Literacy is the foundation of education, and with an education, children can pursue their dreams and overcome poverty in their communities.
Through Holt’s educational programs, vulnerable children learn to read, write and gain other fundamental skills. As one of our most recent projects, we helped open a library for children in Mongolia.
But children need more than just books to learn to read and write. They need pencils and pens and notebooks and paper — supplies that many families struggle to provide.
As a 15-year-old girl living in a slum community in India, Aasha felt unsure about herself and her future. But now, with educational support from sponsorship, her life is being transformed from the inside out.
Every day, 15-year-old Aasha* dreaded one part of her school day. As many girls her age in India had already dropped out — either because of early marriage or to help support their family — Aasha felt fortunate to even attend school in the first place. But there was still something that made her stomach drop and her cheeks redden… When her teacher asked her to read from her textbook in class.
Not because she forgot her textbook. And not because she couldn’t read from it. But because, you see, Aasha could not afford textbooks.
Education is the single most effective weapon against poverty. When children are educated, they are empowered to transform not just their own lives — but to break the cycle of poverty in their families and communities.
But around the world, children face tremendous obstacles to their education and the sad truth is that millions of school-aged children are not in school.
In Nanning, China, Holt sponsors support the education of over 2,000 children — children who would likely otherwise drop out of school early to find work in a factory, or worse, end up on the streets. Below, Holt’s China regional coordinator, Stephanie Raymond, shares about two sponsored children who she met on a recent trip to Nanning.
Thirteen years ago, Fan Fan* was found abandoned as an infant in the mountains of Guangxi province, China. It was the year 2003, when China’s one-child-per-family policy was still in full force — and it was not uncommon to find an abandoned infant girl by a roadside or on the steps of an orphanage in China. Unlike many of the children found by kind strangers in China, the man who found Fan Fan did not take her to the police. He felt compassion for her, and took her in and cared for her until he became sick and passed away several years later. In the years since, Fan Fan has received support from her adopted father’s cousin — a construction worker who struggles to provide for both Fan Fan and his two grandchildren. One day, Fan Fan hopes to become a doctor. She hopes she can give back and help others, she says, just like the many people have helped her in her life — including her sponsors in the U.S.
Fan Fan is one of 2,112 children currently enrolled in Holt’s sponsorship and family strengthening program in Guangxi province. Here, Holt is able to provide support to so many children by collaborating with the local education departments and the teachers to identify children in need. Teachers in China are highly involved in the lives of their pupils and are incentivized by the government to ensure that children receive the minimum nine required years of education. Continue reading “Because of Your Support”
In the most impoverished communities of Manila, Philippines, Holt’s on-the-ground partner is working with at-risk families to build and strengthen small businesses. Because when parents can independently provide for their children, we know that families succeed and children thrive.
Teacher Chris raises his hand to quiet his classroom of 15 children.
The 4 and 5-year-olds turn to look at him, each in their matching school uniforms — brightly colored T-shirts with Bertha Holt’s iconic “every child is beautiful” quote screen printed on the back. They break into song, cheerfully chanting, “Thank you, Lord, for giving us food. Hallelujah, praise the Lord,” in unison.
“Maybe a professor in a college,” Parveen* says with casual confidence and a toothy grin.
Parveen is 15 and she lives at a boarding school for girls in Delhi. Both of her parents are uneducated, and they struggle to earn a living selling vegetables in this city where half a million people live on the streets — at least 300,000 of them children. Wanting their two daughters to have safe surroundings and to receive the education they never did, they enrolled Parveen and her sister at this Holt-supported boarding school in Delhi.
Here, Holt child sponsors support 80 girls, 5-17 years old, each with their own story.
Manesha* is a bit more reserved than Parveen. She would like to be a social worker, she says, speaking softly with a shy tilt of her head. When a tiger killed Manesha’s father on their farm, her mother got a job working as a maid and they moved to Delhi.
Sejal* is a tall girl in purple polka dots, also the daughter of a single mom. She wants to be a singer, and her friends convince her to show how well she can sing “Let it Go” from the Disney movie Frozen.
Sejal is exceptional.
Each and every one of these girls is exceptional.
And here, because of their sponsors — and because their families love them so much — these girls have everything they need to grow up safe and supported and to nurture their interests and passions. To have the confidence to think, ‘Oh maybe I’ll be a college professor. Or a singer.’
This year, for Giving Tuesday, we hope to raise $100,000 to support women and girls around the world — to provide educational scholarships for girls like Parveen and Sejal and Manesha, who are growing up in places where girls are often pulled out of school to work at a young age. We hope to provide more vocational training for women, to empower struggling single mothers with the resources they need to care for their children, and to fight injustice and abuse.
Because women are often the change-makers in their communities — and because every girl deserves to reach her full thriving potential — will you join us on December 1?