One by one, family by family, sponsors have over the past 40 years helped to create dramatic change in the lives of children living in some of India’s worst slum neighborhoods. And now, for the first time, children from the slums are beginning to dream well beyond their circumstances.
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.
He was a river diver. In the Yamuna, the most polluted river in all of India, he dove below the surface to collect metals — copper, silver, gold if he was lucky. But one day, his foot got caught.
His wife and five children waited for him to come home, but he never did…
Since coming home to her family last year, Devki Horine — who has cerebral palsy — has amazed them with all she can do.
Don’t tell me why you can’t. Let’s find a way you can.
Terry and Drew Horine say this is a mantra of sorts for their family. Since they brought their daughter, Devki — who has cerebral palsy — home from India last year, they have been amazed by all that she can do.
“When she first came home, getting up and down the stairs took her ten minutes, now it’s ten seconds,” Drew says — adding with, a chuckle, “She flies up and down them now – which scares me to death!”
For women and children at risk of abuse in India, Holt donor and sponsor-funded education programs are helping to prevent violence and help moms and children escape abuse.
Even at night, when Raji’s father pulls the string switch to the single light bulb in their one-room house and her surroundings go dark, there is no privacy.
A single trickle of orange street light flickers in through a crack under her tin door, and with the faint glow of light, Raji can see her two brothers as they shuffle and roll on the floor next to her, trying to get comfortable. She can hear and see her parents as they climb into their iron-framed twin bed, settling into sleep. Continue reading “Ending Domestic Violence, One Neighborhood at a Time”
Through social media and the movie “Lion,” Holt adoptee Phillip Sais reunites with the woman who escorted him from India to his family in the U.S. when he was just 19 months old.
It was the day after New Years when a mysterious Facebook message appeared on Phillip Sais’ phone.
“I was just sitting around doing my usual thing, thinking about classes or what do I have to do for work, and I get this message on my phone,” recalls the 20-year-old college student. “It’s like, ‘Phillip … you have grown up to be such a lovely young man, you know, since I saw you at 19 months old.’”
Immediately, Phillip sprung to action. There was only one person to call.
“Mom,” he said when she picked up, “who was the person who brought me from India?’” Continue reading “A Serendipitous Reunion”
After years of curiosity, 26-year-old Indian adoptee Shabana Deckinga travels to the country of her birth — bringing unexpected healing, and putting some long-held fears to rest.
I set out on the trip back to India 24 years after my adoption. I was 2 and a half years old when I was adopted and at 26, my family and I made the long, 8,500-mile journey back. As I told my mom during the trip, it did not feel like a vacation, but rather a pilgrimage to my birthplace. Although I had no memories of India or the orphanage, I had grown up with stories – my parents wanting me to be aware of my heritage. So I really had no idea what to expect going back, having only a romanticized view from books I had read. There was a lot of anxiety, unease and excitement leading up to the trip, and some old fears from childhood resurfaced.
I was not another tourist there and did not experience India with that mindset. Continue reading “This Could Have Been Me”
Aubrey is not a cartoon, obviously.
In fact, this silhouette that we use to represent her is nothing close to reality. Unlike this bland and formless photo, she is bright eyed with a grin from cheek to cheek, and if you could see her, you would be able to tell that she is so full of joy! Instead of pigtails, she wears her hair in a short pixie cut, and loves brightly colored dresses. We wish you could see Aubrey and understand what we are talking about, but the adoption authority in her country doesn’t allow us to share her photo on social media. However, if you request information, you can see the photos we have on file for Aubrey and get a glimpse of her personality! Continue reading “Aubrey Needs a Family!”
Most girls growing up in poverty in India have one of two choices: marry young or work as a domestic helper while their brothers go to school. But Ashwini believed in herself, and so did her sponsor.
Seventeen-year-old Ashwini could be married right now. She could have a baby and stay at home cooking and cleaning all day for a husband she didn’t choose and doesn’t particularly like.
Or, Ashwini could be working full time as a “domestic helper” — as a maid in the home of a family that has no problem employing an underage girl who should be in school.
If Ashwini had a brother, she might have had to watch him go to school every day while she stayed home and helped with housework.
For thousands of girls growing up in poverty in India, these are their choices.
But Ashwini chose a different path. Continue reading “A Life She Chose”