Some of the sweetest things in life are born out of adversity.
When Franceny’s father passed away when she was a little girl, she and her mother, Olga, moved from their home in another part of Colombia to Medellin, Colombia, to live with her grandparents.
Olga had to improvise to feed her family after her husband’s sudden death. She learned to make desserts and began selling them in her neighborhood and to bakeries.
The desserts sold for 75 cents to $1.25 apiece and Olga made 15 to 20 desserts a month.
Olga also works at a shoe factory, applying leather to shoes by hand. Despite her hard work, the income from her two jobs isn’t enough to cover her family’s basic living expenses.
Then, in 2010, Gregory and Beth from Pennsylvania sponsored Franceny through Unbound. The impact was immediate.
“We arrived here [in Medellin] with nothing,” Franceny said. “We didn’t have anything, and Unbound has always helped us very much.
“When my mom didn’t have enough money to buy school supplies, Unbound provided them. When there were times we had nothing to eat, Unbound gave us milk and other food supplies, and this was very good for us.”
Many children in the developing world lose their opportunity to attend school because their families can’t afford school supplies, a uniform or shoes.
Education is critical to helping break the cycle of poverty, and benefits children sponsored through Unbound receive help them continue their educations.
Unbound also emphasizes empowering families to dream about a better future.
For example, Unbound’s office in Medellin promoted a competition called “Funds for a Dream,” which encouraged families to submit proposals for a small business they wanted to start or expand. In addition to forming a business plan, families were asked to share their dreams for the future.
Franceny and her mother submitted their plan to increase distribution in their dessert business. They were shocked when they were informed they won the $1,000 prize.
“We had many doubts about winning because so many people had proposed many other projects,” Franceny said. “But we had been praying that it would happen like we had planned, and thanks to God they called us and we were so happy.”
Franceny’s family was able to purchase a new refrigerator, a table to make the desserts and other supplies like plates, napkins and eating utensils.
After investing the funds in their family business, they were able to nearly quadruple their production to 50 to 60 desserts a month. The income from the increased business has helped make their family finances more stable.
Franceny is now 17 and has taken full advantage of the opportunity her sponsors’ support provided to continue her education. She hopes to receive a scholarship for college after she completes her high school education. Her long-term goal is to go to medical school and become a doctor.
For Franceny, like with many young adults sponsored through Unbound, the generosity of her sponsors has welled up in her own heart and overflowed into a desire to give back to her community.
“I want to help people,” Franceny said. “I want to study and to go where there aren’t any health centers and where people don’t receive special attention.”
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