Category Archives: Get involved

Typhoon Rammasun
Nov 5 2014

Living through a typhoon in the Philippines

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

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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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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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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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CV-featured-image
Sep 3 2014

We need to be standing on the brink with these families

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by Cara VanNice, communications director for Unbound

Our recent coverage of the violence in Kenya, the plight of girls in India and the Central American children at the U.S. border highlight a common thread that runs throughout the communities where Unbound works – urgency. We are where we are because we are needed there. Help is needed there.
Read more

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Luis Cocon, Unbound communications liaison for Guatemala
Sep 1 2014

Now is the time to help our planet

By Luis Cocon, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala

The other day while waiting for the bus I saw a little girl about the age of 6 crying. Her cry sounded desperate. Her cry troubled some people. Others just ignored it.

“She is thirsty,” her mother said, as a young woman on an old bicycle stopped and gave the little girl some soda. After a couple of sips a smile appeared on the girl’s face.

Her cry for water reminded me that it is essential for life. I thought of places where people die of hunger and thirst. Not in some faraway country, but right here in my own country of Guatemala.

Read more

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