By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
On an Unbound awareness trip, a group of sponsors arrived in Meru, Kenya, early in the morning, eager to meet their sponsored children. With dances and ululations (shouts of joy) from the mothers, the sponsors were ushered in, anticipation written on their faces.
The usually calm man from New Mexico, Jude Fournier, was not so calm on this particular day. The sponsor of twin girls Elizabeth and Faith for four years, he excitedly paced back and forth, overwhelmed with the anticipation of seeing the two girls.
The moment he had been waiting for had finally arrived.
As soon as the girls saw him, they rushed toward him and gave him a big hug. The meeting was quite emotional — both Jude and the girls were fighting back tears.
Jude’s journey with Faith and Elizabeth started on a 2012 awareness trip to Kenya.
On the trip, the staff provided sponsors with profiles of children and elders waiting to be sponsored through Unbound. Jude picked up a sponsorship profile of a 9-year-old girl and soon found out she had a twin sister. He decided to sponsor them both.
Before the girls were enrolled in Unbound, life was quite challenging for their family.
“Paying for their school tuition and making sure that their school supplies were provided was seriously straining me,” said Grace, mother of Faith and Elizabeth. “My finances were dented. I could not manage taking care of my twin girls.”
When Jude stepped in, Grace felt a weight lifted from her shoulders. The sponsorship pays for the girls’ tuition and extra support through the family needs fund has allowed Grace to start a business selling clothing.
“My small business has greatly boosted my family’s life,” she said. “I am forever grateful to Jude. He has a big heart and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met.”
Because her children are sponsored, Grace is also a part of a mothers group that provides support and empowerment.
Jude keeps in touch with the girls by writing letters. Both sisters receive separate letters from Jude and have separate accounts for their Unbound funds. These aspects of sponsorship empower the twins as individuals.
Jude was surprised by how much the girls had changed since he first met them on the 2012 trip.
“I can’t believe how grown they are now,” he said. “It seems like yesterday they were small girls.”
The girls are now in boarding school, an achievement they never could have imagined before. Thanks to Jude and his support, they’re getting an education that will turn their tide in life.
“I do not know what life would have been like if my girls did not get Jude as a sponsor,” Grace said. “He loves them very much and he does all that is within his reach to make sure that they are provided for.”
Learn how you can meet your sponsored child or elder on an Unbound awareness trip.