Category Archives: Sponsor a child

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Oct 2 2014

Introducing Voices of Unbound: Madagascar

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar

Recently our resident musician and new channels coordinator, Barclay Martin, traveled to Madagascar. While there he collaborated with members of the Unbound community to record songs that are unique to the Malagasy people. Through instrument and song, the Voices of Unbound: Madagascar CD tells a story that leaves the listener with a sense of the gifts, capacities and cultures of the people with whom we work.

Watch this video to learn more:

Want a copy of the CD? Check out unbound.org/music for more information.

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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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Swimming
Sep 26 2014

A champion rises above health obstacle

Swimming

Juan Jose practices regularly to improve his swimming.

Juan Jose is your typical 13-year-old. He lives with his mom and grandmother in Antioquia, Colombia. He attends school, loves hanging out with his friends and has dreams of becoming a famous Olympian.

But Juan Jose has a little secret.

He only has one kidney. It keeps him from playing contact sports, like football, basketball and soccer, with his friends.
Instead of letting this hold him back, he channels his energy and efforts into swimming.

“I love to swim now!” he said. “I like swimming because we get resistance and we work out with all the muscles. I feel that I am free, and I have discovered that I am a good and fast swimmer.”

Through his chosen sport, Juan Jose has overcome other medical problems.

“I have asthma but I do not give up when I have competitions and I continue until I finish. I always want to be the best despite my health limitations,” he answered when asked about any obstacles in his life.

Even though training is from 6 am to 8:30 am, Juan Jose still said, “I enjoy training because it has helped me to get my health problems under control.”

Though he is a shy boy, his grandmother remarked that he is “disciplined and a fighter for his dream [of reaching the Olympics] and does not care about his health limitations.” Like most grandmothers, she is incredibly proud of him and his accomplishments.

With his most memorable moment listed as signing up for a swimming league, Juan Jose has even bigger dreams for the future. He hopes to “have the chance to represent my town in other cities. Maybe someday I will have the chance to participate in the Olympic Games to represent my country.”

We here at Unbound will be rooting for you, Juan Jose!

Contributions to Health help support many services, including therapeutic services for sponsored friends with special needs. Donate today!

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Sponsor a child
Sep 24 2014

18 ways to say I believe in you

Sponsor a child

“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.

Uganda:

Luganda is a major language spoken in Uganda. In Luganda, “I believe in you” translates to “Nkukiririzaamu.”

Keep reading for more languages

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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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Manila flooding
Sep 19 2014

Flooding forces Philippine families to evacuate

Manila flooding

Antipolo staff members go house to house checking on Unbound families.

Tropical storm Fung-Wong dumped heavy rains on the Metro Manila region of the Philippines, where more than 33,000 families in our programs live. Flooding forced evacuations and schools and offices to close. Unbound staff members in the area are sending us reports as the storm sweeps through the nation’s capital region, home to more than 11 million people.

Want to help? Donate to Disaster Response.

Read the reports

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Pan African Conference
Sep 19 2014

Attending the Pan African Conference

Pan African Conference

Unbound staff from program offices around Africa came together to share ideas and challenges at this year’s Pan African Conference in Uganda.

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Each Unbound program office has their own unique way of doing things, tailored to meet the needs of the sponsored friends in their area. But learning from other offices is invaluable to keeping the program evolving.

Every few years, our program offices in Africa hold a Pan African Conference where they can share ideas and challenges. This year the conference was hosted by our Uganda office. Regina Mburu, our communications liaison in Africa, shares her experiences during the conference.

Read Regina’s reflection

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