Madelen, a former sponsored friend from Colombia.
Jan 15 2016

Faces of empowerment — photo essay

Madelen, a former sponsored friend from Colombia.
Joy in culture

Madelen, a formerly sponsored child, participates in a traditional dance with the Unbound community in Quibdo, Colombia.


William from Tanzania

Hard at work

Although paralyzed by polio when he was 4, William didn’t let his disability define him. He now supports his family as a blacksmith in Tanzania. His son Max is deaf and, through sponsorship, William sends Max to a school that meets his unique needs.

A common thread

Uma, Kusma and Sanjana are mothers of children sponsored in Agra, India, which is home to the Taj Mahal. They’re part of an Unbound mothers group and started a small business sewing traditional Indian clothing. The group also makes the shoe covers visitors to the Taj Mahal must wear to preserve the monument.

Shiva, a sponsored boy from India.

Sacred significance

Shiva is from Hyderabad, India. The tilak on his forehead is part of a Hindu ritual. Tilak comes in hundreds of shapes and materials, such as ash or sandalwood paste. The symbol represents the third eye, and those who wear it believe they create a deeper connection to a person’s spirituality. Shiva was sponsored just two days after he turned 11. He dreams of becoming a civil servant when he grows up so he can serve others in his community.

Manuel, a deceased sponsored member from El Salvador.

Focus on joy

Manuel of El Salvador discovered photography after losing his arm in a factory accident. For the next 30 years, his artistic abilities brought him a sense of accomplishment and income for his family. Manuel often shared how sponsorship renewed his passion for life, and although he passed away in 2015, he remains in the hearts of everyone who met him. He is remembered for his faith, sense of humor and many talents.

Yadira is the grandmother of a sponsored youth in Colombia.

Voicing pride

Yadira, grandmother of sponsored youth Andres in Cartagena, Colombia, sings a melody capturing her heritage, culture and love of her city: I am not leaving, I am staying/This is my land, …/I am black race, …/I want to be heard by all my people/How beautiful are the ancient walls and the beach in Cartagena/Those who come here love it and those who come here stay.

Empower a child’s dreams through sponsorship.

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