The Rise of Rajeesh
It is snack time in Bangalore, India and Rajeesh* is the first to offer a helping hand passing out orange slices and he is the last to stick around collecting plates. He is not a staff member, but rather a 4-year-old boy living in care.
Today, he trots around school with mischievous energy, but two years ago, when Rajeesh was abandoned, he was diagnosed with severe anemia and moderate cognitive delays. Malnutrition had drained his ability to complete even the simplest tasks, like sitting up without assistance or speaking. His protruding stomach was an indication of protein deficiency. But far more devastating than all his physical ailments was that this suffering toddler was alone in the world.
Rajeesh was found and referred to a care center supported by Holt International. He immediately received a vital blood transfusion and was started on a litany of vitamins — iron, zinc and calcium. Even after he started receiving medical attention and was placed on a balanced diet, it took a full year for his tiny body to show noticeable improvement. When Rajeesh arrived at the care center, he was but a shell of himself. As time went on, he began to grow stronger in body and mind, exchanging charming smiles with staff members and lovingly teasing the other children.
However, the reality of early malnutrition is less than forgiving. Some of the effects are simply irreversible, and his body will always show signs of childhood suffering.
Just before his third birthday, Rajeesh joined a loving foster family and received access to speech therapy twice a week. His overall health continued to improve and his energy levels started to resemble those of a toddler who has places to waddle and things to touch.
Rajeesh has since been matched with an adoptive family in the United States. His story continues, surrounded by the warmth of family, the hope of health, and the will to survive beyond all odds.
There are too many other children like Rajeesh whose stories took a different turn or whose books were closed too soon.
The Holt network strives every day across time zones and borders to ensure every child gets the happy ending they deserve. But Holt is strengthened by the universal power of love, empowered by children like Rajeesh and fed by supporters like you. Holt International grows stronger every day because people like us embrace them and share their message. Will you join?
You can read more about Rajeesh’s story here: