All posts by Unbound

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.
Aug 26 2016

Indian swimmer wins Paralympic gold

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.

When Sundarapandi, an 18-year-old sponsored youth in India, lost his hands in an electrical accident at age 10, he never imagined he would someday become a decorated athlete.

Winning three gold and one bronze medal in the India National Paralympics in 2015, Sundarapandi has achieved far beyond what he ever could have dreamed.

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Sponsored children take part in an Unbound activity in Colombia.
Aug 22 2016

Unbound, a shelter of hope in times of war


By John Fredy Arango, Unbound staff member in Medellin, Colombia

The Colombian government has been in conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest guerrilla movement, since the 1960s, as well as other armed groups. More than 50 years of violence has had an impact on people from all parts of the country. Unbound staff member John Fredy Arango reflects on the recent evolution of the conflict.

I was barely in my mother’s womb when the echoes of war were already shaking my body. I was born and grew up, I became a young man and I heard those sounds of war again, but this time they were stronger. I saw how they were numbing the hopes and neutralizing the dreams of those around me.

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With loans from her group, Romelia from Guatemala started a business selling eggs, increasing her family’s financial stability.
Aug 19 2016

From surviving to thriving

FilipinoFarmers
As a sponsor of a child or elder through Unbound, you create space in your sponsored friend’s life for more than the daily struggle for survival.

You make room to envision a future free from crushing poverty.

With sponsorship support, many families choose to pay for educational expenses, food, health care or home improvements to meet basic needs. But the impact doesn’t stop there.

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Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala.
Aug 17 2016

From sponsored members to staff members

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala.

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala. As a student, Anibal was sponsored and had a scholarship through Unbound. Because he comes from similar circumstances as the families in the program, he says, “I understand their struggle. …”


Former sponsored child and scholarship recipient Anibal Perez remembers how important support from the Unbound staff was growing up.

Now, in his role as a social worker with Unbound in Guatemala, Anibal works with 322 children and their families to support them and be part of their lives.

“I understand their struggle and can be sort of a role model for them,” he said.

Anibal credits his family, his sponsors (Dennis and Mary in Illinois) and the Unbound staff for making it possible for him to graduate from high school.

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Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son's dream.
Aug 15 2016

Speeding toward success

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son's dream.

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son’s dream.


Kenya is a hub for a surprising sport — speed skating. But it’s not the kind on ice that you might be more familiar with because of world-renowned athletes like Apolo Ohno. This is the kind on wheels that happens in bumpy alleyways and paved roads, and is growing in popularity among Kenyan youth.

For kids across the globe of all ages, the ability to participate in sports from a young age provides great opportunities for learning, discipline and independence. With education at the forefront, Oscar, a 12-year-old sponsored boy in Kisumu, Kenya, was able to start speed skating as a result of the freedom that Unbound sponsorship provided him and his family.

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Aug 10 2016

An unfinished chapter

Gregorio at his home in a small town in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Gregorio at his home in a small town in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

Having a sponsor would help 68-year-old Gregorio tend to some unfinished things in his life. It would also connect him and his wife with a caring community of elders and families who participate in Unbound’s program in Mexico.

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Maryluize DaSilva has been a sponsor since 2012 and is deeply passionate about Unbound's work.
Aug 5 2016

Unbound at NCLR — photo essay

Gustavo Aybar, Barclay Martin, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno, all staff members at Unbound's Kansas City office, traveled to Orlando to connect Unbound with the Latino community at the NCLR annual conference. Read what the team had to say about NCLR before heading to Orlando.

In late July, four Unbound staff members from our Kansas City office traveled to Orlando, Fla., to represent Unbound at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference. NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and Unbound was proud to participate in the conference, connecting the Latino community in the U.S. with families served by Unbound in the 13 Spanish-speaking countries where we work. Check out some photos from the conference and find out who was the big winner of our Guatemala Awareness Trip giveaway!

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Families impacted by floods gather at an Unbound office in Nairobi to receive assistance based on their stated needs.
Aug 3 2016

Helping families impacted by floods


By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Heavy rains pounded Nairobi, Kenya, in May of this year, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

Some families were rendered homeless while others lost their belongings. As they waited for the rains to stop, the corridors of a nearby school became their home once dusk fell.

Unfortunately, families served by Unbound in the small village of Rongai were among those affected.

“I would walk by what I used to call home and I could feel my knees get weak,” Jane, a mother of a child sponsored through Unbound, said. “I lost household belongings that I had worked so hard to buy.”

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Several smaller mothers groups come together in Warangal, India for "Pratibhautsav," a traditional celebration of light and splendor. This particular gathering was dedicated to the initiative of the women.
Jul 27 2016

Small groups offer empowerment and support


Perhaps nothing says more about Unbound’s culture of learning than our movement toward small, community-based groups within our programs. The families themselves taught us that when those who are systemically disadvantaged come together, great things can happen.

Local Unbound program staffs discovered early on that small peer groups were ideal for building trust and an environment of mutual support within a larger community. They found that the ideal size was about 25 members — large enough to feel empowered but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy.

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Dan Pearson (right) with social worker Mirna on an Unbound staff awareness trip to El Salvador in 2014.
Jul 25 2016

‘The transformative power of relationships’

Dan Pearson (right) with social worker Mirna on an Unbound staff awareness trip to El Salvador in 2014.

Dan Pearson (right) with social worker Mirna on an Unbound staff awareness trip to El Salvador in 2014.

By Dan Pearson, director of international programs

At Unbound, we take the long view in measuring impact. We aren’t trying to prove the value of our work. Rather, we’re trying to learn what’s working and what isn’t so we can continue to make improvements in how we serve families. Our focus on learning builds trust and opens everyone to surprising lessons that hold the most power for improvement.

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