How a Cow Helped One Mom Save Her Family

When you give the gift of a cow, you can change a family’s life. In one impoverished community in rural Ethiopia, Holt donors have become like celebrities for all of the generous gifts of hope — especially cows — that they have given to so many families over the years. But as the story of one young mom shows, the greatest gift is often not the gift itself — but what it inspires in the hearts of those who receive it.

Meselech’s home is the smallest in her village.

A traditional, conical-shaped hut made of mud and eucalyptus branches, it’s the same style home as most families’ homes in her community. But the thatching on the roof has worn so thin that when it rains, Meselech and her children have to huddle to stay dry under the broad, droopy leaf of a “false banana” tree.

Meselech, her husband and her four children sleep inside this one-room home — some on elevated beds, others on the floor.

They are six people, living side by side in one room. But they are not alone. Continue reading “How a Cow Helped One Mom Save Her Family”

This Is Linh’s Story

We were given permission to share this story by the people involved, but due to its sensitive nature we have changed their names.

As Holt’s senior writer for the past eight years, I’ve met a lot of kids. I’ve heard — and retold — a lot of stories. And I’ve seen some pretty heartbreaking things. I feel it, every time. The hurt, the sadness in the eyes of these children.

But at this point, it’s pretty hard to shake me.

Then I met Linh.

Linh shook me. And I can’t get her out of my mind. Continue reading “This Is Linh’s Story”

Like a Boss: Single Moms Take on Men’s Jobs in Haiti

In Haiti, jobs that pay the best tend to be considered “men’s jobs.” But with the support of Holt donors, one hard-working group of single moms is proving that they can do any job just as well as a man — especially for the sake of their children.

Last December, Stephanie’s neighbors started giving her advice.

‘If I were you, I’d start praying,’ they told her.

‘Maybe it’s Voodoo,’ some of them said.

‘He may not make it,’ they warned, preparing her for the worst. Continue reading “Like a Boss: Single Moms Take on Men’s Jobs in Haiti”

Anything For His Sons

When his wife left their family, Anurak suddenly had to raise his two sons alone. And in a traditional culture where women typically do the majority of childcare, he didn’t know where to begin. But his love and dedication for his sons motivated him to learn. And as he soon discovered, he didn’t have to go it completely alone.  

You can learn a lot about Anurak from his hands.

Continue reading “Anything For His Sons”

At Her Point of Greatest Need

After her husband died, Shabnam and her five children were grief-stricken and without options. But then, sponsors brought hope.  

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…

Continue reading “At Her Point of Greatest Need”