Charito is the mother of two sponsored children in the Philippines. She is part of an initiative that uses the water hyacinth (water lily), which grows in abundance near her community, to create a plant-based leather substitute. They use it to create a variety of products, such as shoes, bags, folders and backpacks. Charito is in charge of drying and cleaning the plants after they have been harvested by scraping off extra fibers, which she is doing in the photo above.
Ambrocia learned how to embroider when she was just 10 years old.
“My neighbor Emilia showed me the skills,” Ambrocia said. “I remember her words, ‘Learn because you never know when it may come in handy.'”
At the age of 47, this Guatemalan mom is using the skill she learned all those years ago to support her family.
John is a father of eight in Uganda. His daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound. To support his family, he took loans from the Unbound parents group he participates in to open up his own store.
“I used to do farming,” John said. “I would trade my coffee for food and upkeep for my family. I was very stressed. It was not easy seeing my family suffer and lack basic needs. What hurt me the most was seeing my children being sent away from school because of the lack of tuition.”
Meena is the mother of sponsored child Khushi in India. Meena sews the soles for shoes and sells them to shoemakers in the wholesale market. She participated with other mothers in a training program to make shoe parts and provide income for their families.
Bolivian mom Yolanda studied pastry making and worked in a bakery before she married her husband, Juan. After they had their daughter, Carmen, Yolanda focused on being a mom. As Carmen got older, Yolanda started her own business to cover the cost of Carmen’s education. Carmen was also sponsored through Unbound, which provided additional assistance. In this photo, Yolanda is selling a pastry to Angel Flores, an Unbound staff member.
“Our family business has grown slowly,” Yolanda said. “I started selling on the streets with only a couple types of products. Now I have this small bakery. I have a variety of pastries and I sell soft drinks. We are doing a lot better, we are growing, but it has required a lot of work from everyone.”