At the end of 2018, we shared with you about three children in our programs who were experiencing the most heartbreaking, hopeless and urgent needs: Linh, a 13-year-old who became pregnant after a violent assault; Shenaz, a little girl in India who was grieving her father’s death and living in extreme poverty; and Jun Jun, a boy in China who desperately needed a surgery for his cleft lip.
Your outpouring of support and care for these three little ones amazed us. You gave generously. And because of you, Linh, Shenaz and Jun Jun’s lives have changed.
Keep reading to see just how powerful a difference you made in these children’s lives!
When Linh was 12, an older teenager in her village did a horrible thing. He stole Linh’s innocence, her childhood and her future. He violently changed Linh’s life.
All of a sudden, at 13, Linh was a single mom. She was forced to drop out of school, and had no way to care for her baby. She lived with her family. But her parents could barely afford to care for their own five children.
Linh and her family lived together in a small, one-room shack with rusting tin walls. Linh’s family was already struggling. Adding a baby made life even more difficult.
Linh needed food, blankets and other basics for her baby. She needed counseling and guidance. She needed help to start a small business so she could support her baby now and into the future.
This is where you came in.
You provided formula and clothing for Linh’s baby. You sent a Holt social worker to support and guide Linh as she planned her future. And you provided a grant so Linh could start a food cart selling sandwiches and drinks. Now, Linh earns enough every day to support both herself and her daughter!
Linh’s life is still harder than any teenage girl’s life should be. She is a mom now, and her first priority is her daughter. But because of your kindness, she received the exact help she needed when she needed it most. Linh feels hopeful about the future now. And when she struggles as a young mom or just needs someone to talk to, she knows she can rely on the ongoing support of her Holt social worker.
Most of all, Linh and her daughter have everything they need to stay safe, healthy and together.
No 4-year-old should have hopelessness in her eyes. But Shenaz did. And it’s no wonder why.
Within just one year of her short life, her father died, she got Typhoid and a violent neighbor stalked her family. She lived by the riverbanks of Delhi’s terribly polluted Yamuna river. And her mother had no source of income. Shenaz and her four older siblings were grief-stricken, hungry, cold, sick and hopeless.
But just a few months after Shenaz’s father died, you stepped up to support her and her family. You helped provide all of the extra support and resources they needed to get through this trying time.
Right away, she received food and medical care, and her family moved away from the disease-infested riverbank and into a safer, cleaner home. You covered the cost of school fees, uniforms and supplies for Shenaz’s older siblings. You provided trauma counseling to the whole family. And because you eased the burden on Shenaz’s mother to pay for her children’s education, she can now afford to buy them basic necessities like clothing, soap and shoes.
In January, Shenaz turned 5 — old enough to start going to school! Because of your kindness and generosity, she can now join her siblings at school. She’ll get an education, and be empowered to one day escape poverty.
When you first heard about Jun Jun, he urgently needed a cleft lip surgery. Most babies born with cleft lip and palate get their first surgery at 3 to 6 months old. But Jun Jun was nearly a year old. His orphanage couldn’t afford the procedure.
Jun Jun’s cleft lip made it hard for him to eat. But with so many kids in his orphanage, Jun Jun’s caregivers didn’t have enough time to give him the extra care he needed. They didn’t have time to painstakingly feed him and make sure he received enough nourishment at every meal. They watched helplessly as Jun Jun grew dangerously thin.
To put on weight, he needed nurturing, round-the-clock care. He needed someone devoted to helping him grow strong enough for surgery. Someone who would make sure he received his lifesaving cleft lip surgery and recovered fully afterward.
You helped provide this specialized care for Jun Jun.
Jun Jun transferred from his orphanage to Holt’s medical foster home in Beijing. Here, Jun Jun gained weight and strength in the nurturing care of his devoted caregivers. And after two months in care, he was finally healthy enough to receive his first cleft lip surgery.
Jun Jun is now thriving! He can eat much easier now and his caregivers have added more foods to his diet. The surgery also made it easier for him to form sounds and he can now say his first words!
You made all of this possible for Jun Jun. By helping Jun Jun get the care and surgery he needed, you very likely saved his life.
This sweet boy can now join a loving, permanent family through adoption. You loved and supported Jun Jun when he had no one else. And soon, he will have a family that will love him forever.
Thank you for the amazing difference you made in these children’s lives! See more ways help children and families, any time of the year!