When Edwin was sponsored through Unbound in Costa Rica at 8 years old, he probably never thought he’d have the opportunity to go to college. He and his family faced challenges that would have made getting an education difficult.
“My life was very complicated because sometimes we did not have money to buy food, school supplies or other basic needs,” Edwin said. “With Unbound, thank God, it has been a blessing in our lives.”
Today, Edwin has taken full advantage of the opportunities presented to him as a sponsored child. At 18, he’s hoping to finish high school and pursue his dream of going to college to get a degree in public safety. And he hasn’t just received material benefits from Unbound, he’s also used the program to develop his character.
“Personally, I have benefited because I learned to be a useful citizen and to focus not to rely solely on [Unbound],” Edwin said. “I can build my own destiny and propose a project to achieve an economic input for my family.”
In Costa Rica, parent groups called “Circles of Hope” are an integral part of Unbound’s program. These groups consist of mothers, and sometimes fathers, who help each other and organize projects and businesses in order to achieve sustainability in their families and communities.
Typically, the parents of sponsored friends are the ones most involved in the Circles of Hope. But in Edwin’s family, he’s the family representative. He’s earned the respect of the other members of his Circle of Hope, with one member commenting, “Edwin is humble and simple, hardworking, honest, has good manners, is very responsible, a fighter and has a great desire to out-serve others.”
Kattia, a mother of two sponsored children, is part of the same Circle of Hope as Edwin and finds his work ethic impressive.
“In the Circle of Hope, Edwin is hard-working,” Kattia said. “He collaborates on all [projects] that is asked of him. For example, he paints handicrafts [which are sold at the main entrance of the community].”
Edwin also cleans houses and gardens to earn additional income for his family and support his education. On a good day, he earns about $12, while on other days he may only earn around $3.50.
In spite of the challenges at home and school, Edwin is an inspiration for those in his Circle of Hope. Kattia believes he should be a source of inspiration for everyone.
“I think we should all take his example of life and learn from him,” Kattia said. “He does not give up so easy, but rather struggles every day to get ahead.
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