Jun 16 2018

Celebrating heroic dads

Happy Father's Day from Unbound

Louie in the Philippines takes part in his local Unbound parents group.

For many, our dads are our first heroes. Whether it’s squishing spiders or lifting us up high on their shoulders, dads sometimes seem like they can do anything.

As we grow older, our dads become more human than superhero, but that doesn’t make us want to celebrate them any less. There are myriad examples of heroic dads within Unbound, whether their heroism is more on an everyday basis in their role as fathers or in more extreme situations such as natural disasters.

Louie in the Philippines has been married to Josephine for 13 years. They have three children and their eldest, Ivy, is sponsored through Unbound. Josephine works as an assistant in a bakery shop some distance from their home, so she spends much of her time working and traveling to work. Louie gets contract work as a welder when it’s available, but mostly he spends his time taking care of the home and managing the small store they have, selling a variety of goods.

“I just want to have a small amount of money that I could give to my wife to help on the expenses we have every day,” Louie said.

As part of the Unbound program, parents take part in small groups, typically known as mothers groups because mothers predominately represent their children in the groups. Because of his wife’s long hours, however, Louie stepped up to represent his family in the local group. He’s one of two fathers participating.

I am doing this not for myself but for my children. — Louie, Unbound dad in the Philippines Click To Tweet

“I actively participate in the mothers group, even if I’m a father. … We are all doing this for the sake of our families and our community. I properly manage my time, so that whenever there is an important meeting I will make sure that there’ll be someone who will watch over my children.”

Louie also helps out with the group’s livelihood project, making notebooks to sell to local students. He’s the assistant auditor for the group, and he credits his participation with allowing him to expand his skill sets.

“I was not able to finish my college education because of financial difficulty, but through the programs of Unbound, I really learn something new every day,” Louie said.

Louie is just one example of dads being heroes for their families through their daily devotion and love. We also want to recognize dads who go beyond the expectations of fatherhood to protect their communities in times of crisis.

Filipinos are no strangers to natural disaster, with more than 20 typhoons making landfall in a typical year, causing flooding and other dangerous situations. Fathers of Unbound sponsored children have come together to create disaster response groups known as ERPAT, short for Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities.

ERPAT fathers are trained in disaster response, including receiving training from government agencies, and coordinate a variety other community service initiatives. Several of the ERPAT groups mobilized recently in the wake of flooding in parts of the Philippines.

Guatemalan dads guard homes after volcano erupts

In Guatemala, families are facing tremendous difficulties in the wake of the Fuego volcano eruption. Unbound Communications Liaison Oscar Tuch recently visited families staying in shelters, and noticed that many fathers were absent.

“The reason,” Tuch said, “is that they were in their community protecting their homes and belongings. They came to find out that, in spite of the risks, some thieves were breaking into homes to take everyone’s belongings. For that reason, the group of families got organized to go and watch over their properties.”

Of the fathers that were present in the shelter, Tuch was particularly affected by a father that has taken on a leadership role.

“One of the fathers leads the group. He moves for everyone. He seems strong and optimistic, he seems as if nothing has happened, but when he’s left alone and unaccompanied by the others, he suffers inside. He knows he won’t go back to harvesting maize nor coffee. He knows all has been lost. He knows he could return to his home and clean the volcanic ash, but after a while, he’d confront a harsh reality, as of today, what type of work will he do?”

Sometimes dads have to shoulder immense burdens. But if it helps their families, it's all worth it. Click To Tweet

So on Father’s Day, we want to join in celebrating dads who are doing what they can to improve the lives of their children and communities.

Help a family in need. Sponsor today.

Jordan Kimbrell

Writer/Editor

Jordan joined the Unbound family in 2011, after completing her master’s in English: Creative Writing from Kansas State University. Jordan is constantly inspired by the hope and creativity displayed by the sponsored members and their families and loves being able to share their stories with the rest of the world. Jordan lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her cats, Mina and Isabeau, and can often be found playing board games with friends.

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