Martin Kraus (second from right), director of finance for Unbound, with his family
By Martin Kraus, director of finance for Unbound
“You must become the change you want to see.”
As I walked through the Mumbai airport in India, I couldn’t help but notice this quote on a huge banner hanging overhead. Most of us, whether from India or not, easily recognize this quote as being from Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most influential and respected leaders. What struck me are the many ways in which I am privileged to see Gandhi’s quote being put into action all over the world.
At Unbound, our sponsors take this quote to heart by taking action. Their sponsorship allows them to “become the change” that this world so badly needs, and in doing so, they make significant changes in the worlds of others. Recently, while performing an audit of Unbound’s office in Manila, Philippines, I met two beautiful examples.
Jane, 17, is sponsored through Unbound in the Philippines.
Jane took this photo after Typhoon Rammasun swept through her community. Drooping power lines were just one of the hazards faced in the wake of the typhoon.
In an average year, 20 or more typhoons enter the Philippines. Half of those make landfall. Jane, who is sponsored through Unbound in the Philippines, shares her experiences from category 4 typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda, which hit the Philippines earlier this year. The 17-year-old attends school in the Bicol region of the Philippines, and stays in a boarding house because of the school’s distance from her home.
It was July 15, 2014, when terrible typhoon Glenda hit our place in Bicol Region. The day before the typhoon made landfall, Albay Governor Joey Salceda suspended classes for all levels at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.
I used the remaining hours of the day to prepare my things to go home to my family. But the next morning I wasn’t able to go home because the public transportation to my hometown was canceled due to heavy rains. I decided to go back to the boarding house and stay there with my roommate.
Read more of Jane’s experience
Tristan John Cabrera, communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines.
A photo of Tristan’s grandfather placed on his grave during Undás.
By Tristan John Cabrera, communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines
Tristan John Cabrera is the communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines. Each year, Filipino families spend Nov. 1 and 2 at the gravesites of their family members who have passed away. The two days are referred to as Undás. Tristan shared with us his experiences of the tradition.
Every year for Undás, observed Nov. 1 and 2, my family and I visit the graves of our loved ones who have passed away. On Oct. 31 we start building a tent to serve as our shelter for our two-day stay in the cemetery. We start early because of the large number of people who will also build their tents and visit their deceased loved ones.
This photo of Kathy, her children, Kristen, Alex and Gabriel (front), and her husband, Bob, gave new meaning to the relationship they had with their sponsored friend, Jay.
By Kathy Ackerman, Unbound sponsor
Kathy Ackerman has been an Unbound sponsor for 12 years. She has been sponsoring Jay for half that time. She shares how one family photo changed the relationship between her family and Jay.
For many years my family has sponsored a child through Unbound. Jay is the second child from the Philippines we have been able to help by providing financial support through this organization.
It is very easy to write a check and feel good about making a difference. We frequently received update letters from Jay. I occasionally sent a short note or card back, but honestly, I didn’t fully invest myself in trying to establish a relationship with this child so far away.
Cieleto manning the counter at the computer shop where he works.
Cieleto works from home repairing computers.
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.
Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen with his sponsored friend Shaima on a 2013 awareness trip to the Philippines.
Bob and his wife, Cristina (left), pose for a photo with Shaima (center) and her family on an awareness trip to the Philippines in 2009.
On October 8, 2013, Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen passed away. He was a true advocate for those struggling against poverty, and he touched the lives of many. Among those impacted was Shaima from Zamboanga, Philippines. She was one of Bob’s sponsored friends and built a relationship with him through letters.
After Bob’s passing, Shaima wrote a letter celebrating his role in her life. We’re sharing excerpts from her letter in honor of Bob on the anniversary of his passing.
Read Shaima’s letter
“I believe in you.”
A powerful statement not often spoken. It offers up a pure form of confidence in the people who need it most.
In this blog post, we will show you how to write this powerful statement in 18 languages. You can even send one of these translations in a note to your sponsored friend.
Luganda is a major language spoken in Uganda. In Luganda, “I believe in you” translates to “Nkukiririzaamu.”
Keep reading for more languages