Nursing school
Dec 17 2014

‘No Place for Lazy People’

Nursing school

Yollande is completing her training as a nurse at a local health center in Madagascar.

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound

Sitting in the home of Yollande and her mother, Jeanne, I was given a beautiful glimpse of human potential. In a place where homes are commonly assembled with humble and often salvaged materials, their home is simple, but stately. When I commented on how lovely it felt to be in their home, Jeanne replied, “We have built our life one step at a time, including this house.”

Yollande is 21 and has been raised alongside her siblings in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Antsirabe, Madagascar. Their neighborhood’s name translates to “No Place for Lazy People.”

Welcome to Tsiratrinikamo.

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Don Quique
Dec 15 2014

‘Money goes away. Encouragement fills my spirit’

Don Quique

Luis Enrique shows off piñatas he made for birthday parties to celebrate other sponsored members.

By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager

Meet Luis Enrique from Costa Rica, better known as Don Quique.

An active man with a big heart, Don Quique is a former construction worker and father of four adult children and grandchildren. He spends his days cultivating his garden with natural fertilizers and making piñatas that he donates to Unbound for birthday parties.

You could say Don Quique isn’t your typical sponsored friend. He’s neither a child nor an elderly man, but he is sponsored. Why?

Unbound does not limit itself when it comes to helping people in the communities we serve. We invite people of goodwill to be part of the Unbound program. This includes those who find themselves in need of assistance because of a disability — physical, mental or otherwise — regardless of their age.

And Don Quique needed that support.

After a brain tumor, two aneurysms and complications from surgery, Don Quique lost his sight several years ago.

He discovered Unbound through one of his grandchildren.

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Favorite photos of 2014
Dec 12 2014

14 favorite Unbound photos of 2014

Each year we share hundreds of photos from our staff members around the world. A window into another person’s life, each photo tells a unique story.

We shared a ton of amazing photos in 2014. Here are 14 of our favorites.

Click here to see our favorite photos!

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Christmas cards
Dec 10 2014

The journey of a Christmas card

Christmas cards

Christmas cards made by sponsored children in Venezuela.

By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor

This month, in cities and towns all over the U.S., Unbound sponsors will be receiving Christmas cards from their sponsored friends. A small expression of cheer, gratitude and creativity, these cards have become a cherished Unbound tradition. But what sponsors may not realize is that when their card arrives in their homes it is at the end of a very long journey.

In most of our 21 countries, the process of creating Christmas cards begins in the summer. Following a few practical guidelines set by the Kansas office, the various project staffs form their individual plans. Some will create themes or design templates, while others set wider parameters that allow for more personal creativity.

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Honduras awareness trip
Dec 8 2014

Honduras offers lesson in perspective

Massachusetts sponsor David Scarpello has gone on three Unbound awareness trips to Honduras since 2007. On his latest visit earlier this year, he decided to take his 13-year-old son, Nick. From his own previous experience, David knew the awareness trip could be a good learning tool.

“I wanted [Nick] to have an appreciation and better understanding of what growing up in poverty is,” David said. “I hoped it would give him a greater appreciation of what he has and the advantages he has growing up in the United States.”

Unbound awareness trips offer travelers the opportunity to meet the people they sponsor and see first-hand the impact our program has on individuals and communities. David started sponsoring in 2001, but it was the letter he received in 2007 from his sponsored friend Reyna that gave him the final push he needed to go on his first trip.

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Urban garden
Dec 5 2014

‘Women in our tradition are relegated to the back’

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

She hums as she tends to her chickens — filling their bowls with water and food, her hands busy collecting eggs from the poultry house. Her smile and look of satisfaction as she goes about her daily routine tell a story of a woman whose determination stands out. Even among the strong, determined women of her mothers group.

Forty-eight-year-old Margaret lives in the sprawling slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband and five children. As we [Unbound staff members] sat down in the tidy living room of her two-room house, made of mud and iron sheets, Margaret told us about her life.

“I have lived in this slum for the last 20 years,” Margaret said. “It is not the ideal environment to raise children in, but I have no choice. This is what my husband and I could afford.”

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Brick makers
Dec 3 2014

Building a better life, brick by brick

Henry and Prossy

Henry and Prossy from Uganda

The ability to read and write opens doors both inside and outside the classroom. Communication connects the world and knowledge is arguably the most life-changing gift one can give.

But for Ugandan parents Henry and Prossy, it was nearly impossible to support the educational needs of their six children.

The family relied on raising animals for an often meager income. Henry was also able to pick up occasional jobs at construction sites, but this wasn’t a reliable source of income. The family’s earnings were not enough to properly educate their children.

In Unbound communities around the world, however, the lives of families are transformed by the sponsorship of even one of their children.

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The ability to read and write opens doors both inside and outside the classroom. Communication connects the world and knowledge is arguably the most life-changing gift one can give. But for Ugandan parents Henry and Prossy, it was nearly impossible to support the educational needs of their six children. The family relied on raising animals for an often meager income. […]

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