As we’ve shared in blog posts over the last few weeks, Unbound’s highly personalized benefits are creating opportunity for families of all types around the world. In Uganda, parents of sponsored children are taking steps toward safety and health in their homes with the help of sponsorship.
Ndagire is the mother of a sponsored child named Ashiraf, sponsored since 2015, currently by Laura in California. When Ashiraf was sponsored, the funds first went to covering his school fees and supplies.
Next, Ndagire got involved in the local mothers group, which supports the parents of sponsored children, providing everything from emotional support to technical training and small monetary loans. Ndagire attended a training hosted by the Unbound parent group on updating kitchens, building dish racks and using cooking stoves that consume less firewood. With encouragement from the group and some savings from sponsorship benefits, she and her husband were ready to make some updates. They started with the dish rack.
“I can now arrange the dishes well and leave them to dry,” Ndagire said. “Previously, before we had the dish rack, I would wash the utensils and place them on the ground. The chicken would walk all over them and get them all dirty. It was very unhygienic.”
This year, Ndagire’s family is hoping to update their kitchen, build a more efficient cooking stove and add a latrine to their property.
Nakitende, the mother of two sponsored boys, Laurencio and Charles, has also chosen to use her family’s sponsorship benefits for health and hygiene. Part of the Unbound program for 12 years, her family first ensured that their sponsorship funds were used to keep the children in school. Once education fees and supplies were covered, it was time to save up for some updates to their home.
“We never had a kitchen,” Nakitende said. “We used to cook outdoors, but Unbound advised us through the [parents] hygiene and sanitation committee to construct a standard kitchen.
“Unbound helped me to buy materials to build the kitchen. I am also building a latrine. We used to have a rundown grass-thatch toilet.”
Nakitende says their living conditions have greatly improved since her sons were sponsored. Her family is safer because of their improved hygienic conditions and she’s happier. Now, she says, she can host visitors without concern or embarrassment.
Moses is the father of a formerly sponsored boy named Christopher, who was sponsored by Darryl and Sherline from Texas for 10 years. When his wife had to work far away from the home, Moses started attending the local parent group in her place. Sponsorship provided for Christopher to be in school, and, over time, the personalized benefits allowed the family to build a latrine and make other home repairs.
Recently, the parent group hosted training sessions about cooking stoves that are safer and more efficient, using less firewood.
“Unbound has impacted my community in terms of development. My village area has greatly improved as parents have become empowered and supported by the organization.”
Moses followed the group’s advice to construct a stove, which made meal preparation easier for his wife.
“She is happy because she does not have to fetch a lot of firewood to use it,” Moses said. “It also conserves heat, so she can use it to cook many meals.”
But Moses’ drive to improve his family’s home doesn’t stop there — with the support and savings of Unbound sponsorship, he’s also purchased a water tank that allows them to collect rainwater, and he’s able to purchase seed, fertilizer and other supplies for his farm. And even though his son is retired from Unbound sponsorship, he’s still an active member of the parent group.
“Unbound has impacted my community in terms of development,” Moses said. “My village area has greatly improved as parents have become empowered and supported by the organization.”
Our summer issue of Living Unbound features stories of families using savings and the boost of sponsorship to better their lives. The publication will be mailed to sponsors and posted on our website in early June.