Special Care Projects
Serving Orphaned and Abandoned Children
Our roots as a child welfare agency can be traced to the creation of a nutrition center to feed starving and abandoned children in war-torn Saigon in the early 1970s. Improving the quality of life for children in need continues to be an essential part of our mission.
Share our passion for making a lasting difference in the lives of children forced to grow up in under-resourced child care facilities in poor countries. Please visit our online donation page or contact us at 781-894-5330 for more information.
China: Orphanage Partnership Program in Shanxi Province
WHFC is excited to partner with five orphanages in Shanxi Province! This program will expand our efforts to improve the lives of orphaned and abandoned children in China through adoption and orphan care.
We recently sent a team to identify the children in need of adoption and how to improve conditions and care for every child who lives there. All the children have minor to significant special needs, and some need long-term care. Help us make an immediate impact in caring for every child who lives in our partner orphanages. There is an urgent need for medicines, baby care items and toys. Your donation today will help us provide for these vulnerable children.
Hogars are small homes licensed to care for orphaned and abandoned children. Most are privately run and receive no government funding. Hogars have been catastrophically affected by the suspension of international adoption, fees from which were used to cover basic child care, staff salaries and operating expenses. As a result, more than half of these homes have closed. Those remaining open, compelled to care for many more children, face a similar fate without new sources of funding.
We fund two well-run hogars in Guatemala City: Hogar Luz De Fatima and Hogar Luz De Maria. Directors work around the clock seeking the resources and support required to keep their homes running. Often the only help they receive are occasional donations of food, clothing and volunteer time to help with the children.
Hogar Luz De Fatima - Attorney Barbara Colfino Vides, Director
Hogar Luz De Fatima, founded in 2002, houses 40 children ages 0-9 years. The assistant manager is certified in pedagogy (the art of teaching), and a child psychologist and pediatrician visit the home once a month or more as needed. The facility includes a playroom for toddlers to learn to walk. During their free time, the children enjoy swings, a slide and open space in which to run around and play. A small bus transports older children to and from school each day, and all of the children work with a teacher assigned to the home full time.
Hogar Luz De Maria - Dinora Palacios, Director
Hogar Luz De Maria, founded in 2004, houses 62 children ages 0-7 years. Most caretakers are experienced child care workers trained in CPR, First Aid and pedagogy. The staff includes a full-time teacher. The facility, located just blocks from a university and police station, has an open courtyard and playground area. Volunteers visit often to carry out activities with the children. The home is spacious, safe and full of loving infants and toddlers.
Funds are desperately needed to keep these hogars open to ensure consistent and exceptional care. Donate online now or contact us at 781-894-5330 to learn more about how you can help transform lives in Guatemala.
Sponsorship for impoverished families is another way we are making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children in Guatemala. For more information, please visit our child sponsorship page, or contact us at 781-894-5330.
South Korea's efforts on behalf of orphaned, abandoned and impoverished children are well recognized in the international aid community. Children of unwed mothers and those of mixed race, conceived from relationships with American or British soldiers during the Korean War, were shunned; many were abandoned and ended up in orphanage care. After the war, Holt Children’s Services (HCS) began finding homes for these children.
WHFC established its partnership with HCS in 1979, and we continue to have a wonderful relationship with HCS today.
In 1986, South Korea had 18,700 orphaned and abandoned children; today, estimates place that number around 10,000. Medical care for orphans is among the best in the world, and children’s services are expanding. Despite these successes, many challenges remain. Less than 20 percent of orphaned and abandoned children ever find permanent homes in Korea or overseas.
In fact, although more Korean families are adopting, family lineage and direct blood lines remain deeply held cultural values in Korean society. In addition, unwed mothers continue to face discrimination, and many require counseling and medical services as they make the difficult decision about whether to relinquish their child for adoption. Children with special needs are the least likely to find a family, and orphanages are in desperate need of aid to provide life-long care for these children.
Funding Child and Family Welfare Programs
Holt Ilsan Center
Located in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do Province, Ilsan is a world-renowned residential facility specializing in caring for homeless children and those with special needs. The center currently serves the needs of about 300 residents of all ages, most of whom are disabled. In addition to providing life-long rehabilitation services and medical care, the complex includes apartment-style group homes, therapy services and vocational training. A K-12 school is also open to those living outside the center. Many graduates hold jobs at Ilsan or find employment in nearby factories or on farms. They often marry and have families of their own. Ilsan depends upon our continued financial support to carry out its mission.
Holt Unmarried Mother Homes
To prevent child abandonment, Holt Korea began counseling services for birth parents and families. Through guidance and support, Holt empowers these individuals to decide whether to parent or relinquish their children. Many who decide to parent stay for a year at one of seven homes across the country, receiving food, community housing and training. If a mother decides not to parent, Holt provides additional counseling and post-natal care for her and places the child for adoption by a Korean family.
Foster Family Training and Support
Foster families provide attentive, nurturing care to children awaiting permanent placement, enhancing their opportunity for growth and development over that typically seen with children in institutional settings. Funding covers family recruitment, screening, education, monitoring and regular reporting on the child’s growth and development. In addition, funds cover diapers, formula, milk, clothing, toys, blankets and other items related to caring for the child. Approximately 600 children are in foster care at any time.
Medical Care for Abandoned Babies
We support Holt’s Well- and Sick-Baby Clinics. Funding covers administration of the clinics, education and supervision of medical staff, regular developmental check-ups, medical testing, treatment and supplies.
We can continue to transform lives for Korean children with your support. Please visit our online donation page or contact us at 781-894-5330 for more information.
The Republic of Moldova, bordered by Romania and Ukraine, is the poorest country in Europe. Life there is especially difficult for children who are orphaned, abandoned and impoverished. Many languish in under-resourced, state-run orphanages. For others, government boarding schools are the only option when one or both parents are forced to seek employment abroad. When Moldova was open to international adoption, institutions benefited from the donations of adoptive families. Today, child welfare officials in Moldova allow only a handful of overseas adoptions each year.
Since 2003, A Better Life / Moldova (ABL), a group of WHFC adoptive parents, has been dedicated to improving living conditions in Moldova’s state-run institutions. Together, we have raised and allocated more than $300,000 to repair dilapidated buildings and renovate kitchen, laundry and heating systems, partnering with Moldova World Children’s Fund (MWCF) and others in these efforts.
We have also supplied much-needed medications and other vital equipment for the care and comfort of hundreds of institutionalized children and adults with special needs. Today, our work in Moldova continues with the Granny program and Insula vocational training.
Since 2007, we have funded Insula's vocational training for vulnerable teens who have "aged out" of state-run institutions without meaningful job skills or a place to live. The results have been life-changing. Visit our sponsorship page for a closer look at one of our most successful programs.