Category Archives: Education

Education
Oct 22 2014

Support keeps student in school, out of factory

Unbound scholar

Mamisoa receives a scholarship through Unbound in Madagascar. His scholarship is funded by donations to Education.

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator

I met Mamisoa at the Unbound-Madagascar central office while he was helping out with an event for aging members of the Unbound community. He’s studying earth sciences and wants to work to improve the water quality for people in Madagascar. He was introduced as one of the scholarship recipients. Unbound scholarships are funded by donations to Education. Luckily, I had a chance to pose some questions to Mamisoa.

Q. Why did you apply for an Unbound scholarship?

Keep reading to find out Mamisoa’s answers

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sponsor a child
Oct 20 2014

Hardworking family finds it hard to get ahead

sponsor a child

Heymi, 10, from El Salvador

Step inside 10-year-old Heymi’s house and you immediately take in the smell of wet wood. The sounds of chickens clucking and dogs barking outside fill the room.

The house, made of adobe and sheet metal, is home to seven people. But they only have three beds.

Heymi and her sister Esmerelda have one doll to share between them. The biggest challenge in life, Heymi said, is that “sometimes we don’t have food.”

This is the life for many families in El Salvador, with parents who struggle to provide just one meal for their children every day.

It’s not because they don’t work hard.

Like most families in the community, Heymi’s father, Manuel, is a laborer on land that belongs to someone else.

“My father works in the mountains,” Heymi said. “He sows maize, beans and micillio (millet).”

In the summer, the whole family works on a peanut farm. They plant, harvest and peel peanuts from the shells. But they only bring in a little money.

No wonder it’s so hard to get ahead.

But Heymi’s not complaining.

In fact, she has an infectious enthusiasm for life. Heymi likes to sing and draw. She loves school and soccer. Her favorite color is purple.

Her eyes open wide when she talks about her dreams: “To continue studying. Know more about mathematics. Finish high school.”

Heymi hopes Unbound can help her find a sponsor to help achieve these dreams.

“I heard they support children and elderly. I would like to receive some of that,” she said earnestly.

Finding a sponsor will not only help Heymi, but also her mother, Marlene, who takes care of the house and children, hauls water and works in the fields.

The support from a sponsor could help Heymi’s family improve their living conditions, access health care and ensure Heymi stays in school. Plus, sponsorship will provide much-needed food.

You can be the person who helps the family’s hard work pay off.

Editor’s note: Since this post was published, Heymi has been sponsored. Click here to see other children waiting for sponsors.

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Unbound scholar
Oct 17 2014

Unbound alumnus a man for others

Pay it forward. It’s what Cieleto Fernandez does every day.

Cieleto is an alumnus of Unbound’s Quezon program in Agoo, La Union, in the Philippines. He was part of Unbound for 14 years and finished his education in computer technology. Now he works in a computer shop owned by a friend.

For a few years Cieleto had his own shop, which he operated out of his house. He assembled desktop computers from spare parts gathered from his neighborhood and friends. He made enough money to send his sister to school for a two-year hotel and restaurant management course.

The enterprising young man also went back school to earn a teaching certificate so he can teach computer courses and share his knowledge with youth.

Keep reading

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Daniel from El Salvador
Oct 3 2014

Teachers inspire love of learning

Daniel from El Salvador

Daniel, 21, from El Salvador

By Larry Livingston, senior writer at Unbound

Think about a favorite teacher from when you were a child. What do you remember most about that person? I would bet that, for most of us, what we remember has more to do with the character of the teacher than the particulars of what they taught.

Teachers are, first and foremost, role models for the love of learning. Their passion for knowledge — and, more importantly, the meaning that underlies knowledge — stimulates students to begin to ask the kind of questions that can change their lives and take them on a never-ending journey of discovery.

Daniel, an Unbound scholar living in El Salvador, wants to be that kind of teacher. Inspired by the love of mathematics that he witnessed in his own teachers, Daniel has discovered within himself the heart of an educator. He wants to give to others what was first given to him.

On a normal day, Daniel rises at 3:30 a.m., prays with his family and then sets out for the two-hour truck ride to the university in Santa Ana.

“Here I receive a theory class because I’m an instructor for a group of students,” he shared. “I go to my classroom and wait for my students; I give the class as an instructor of math. When I finish class I spend a few minutes trying to resolve doubts they may have. Sometimes I have to go to a cyber cafe to get information that I’m going to use in the next class or stay with my classmate resolving exercises.”

By the time he returns home it is late at night, but for Daniel the long day is worth it because of the fulfillment he receives from being able to share his gifts with others who hunger to learn.

As we observe World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5, we celebrate Daniel and all the members of the Unbound community who have a passion to learn and to teach. They are a blessing for the young people of their communities and a reminder for all of us of the priceless treasure that education truly is.

Help support scholars like Daniel. Donate to Education today.

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Sponsor a child
Sep 29 2014

“Disability is not inability”

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph, 22, is a sponsored student in Kenya. When he was 2, Joseph’s parents noticed that he wasn’t able to do some of the same things other children his age could. By the time he was 3, he was unable to walk or move around.

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impairs movement and is caused by brain damage during development.

Joseph underwent surgery to help straighten his legs. He also received physical therapy and used crutches for some time. In all, he spent four years in the hospital being treated for his condition.

Joseph was finally able to join primary school at the age of 7. He was one of the best students in the class.

Joseph’s parents found it hard to get by with Joseph’s medical expenses, four children in school and no steady income. Unbound staff in their area learned of the family’s situation, and in 2002 Joseph was sponsored. The support he received from his sponsor meant his parents could continue paying for his education.

Joseph’s schooling, however,  was interrupted in fourth grade when he had to have another surgery.. He spent another year in the hospital, which meant he had to repeat fourth grade. Despite the difficulties, he continued to excel when he returned to school and even managed to score highly on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

With his high scores, Joseph received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, which combined with his sponsorship benefits meant his parents could send him to a better secondary school.

The first secondary school Joseph attended wasn’t the best fit. His condition made it difficult for him to write, which made it hard to keep up with the other students. But it was the negative treatment he received from some of his classmates that was the biggest challenge.

Seeing his struggles, Joseph’s parents decided to transfer him to a school that specialized in teaching students with disabilities. Being among others who faced similar challenges boosted Joseph’s self-confidence.

Joseph, from Kenya

Joseph walks around his classroom full of students.

Joseph recently graduated secondary school with good grades, and plans to pursue a degree in business administration from Kenyatta University. While he waits to get into the university, Joseph puts his time to good use.

He volunteers at his old primary school teaching math and Kiswahili, and he helps out at the Unbound office near his home.

When giving advice to younger students, he keeps it simple. “Disability is not inability,” Joseph said. “Work hard and stay focused.”

Donations to Health help provide equipment and therapeutic devices to sponsored friends with disabilities, along with many other health related initiatives.

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Salvadoran scholar
Sep 22 2014

Success out of sacrifice

Salvadoran scholar

Erika, 24, from El Salvador

Erika grew up in a rural part of El Salvador, where the majority of jobs come from farming. Erika’s father, Daniel, relied on farming to support his wife and six children. Unfortunately, the income was not steady.

As a young girl, Erika attended a school where many of her classmates were sponsored through Unbound. As the second oldest, she saw how much her parents struggled to meet her education expenses and those of her siblings. Erika knew sponsorship would help her family financially. But she got so much more out of it than that.

“I used to watch all the other children get very excited because they were sponsored, they said ‘I’m sponsored, I’m sponsored,'” Erika shared.

Read more of Erika’s story

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Sep 17 2014

My name is Maria

Sponsor a child

Ten-year-old Maria from Guatemala.

By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director for Unbound

“My name is Maria and my favorite thing in life is going to school.”

The simple, straightforward statement from a third grader in Guatemala represents the dream of children in the developing world.

Maria lives in a small house in a rural area of Guatemala. Her father is sick and hasn’t been able to work. Her family survives because of the kindness of neighbors, friends and their church. On most days, meals consist of salted tortillas and water.

Like many kids who live in poverty, Maria is lacking in nutrition. But she has plenty of energy for life.

Read more about Maria

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