Manish spent a good part of his childhood stationed outside the East Gate of India’s famed Taj Mahal.
By the age of 5 he was working long days peddling trinkets: bracelets, beads or cheap keychains.
Selling on the streets is dangerous work for little kids. They can become easy prey for thieves or victims of speeding cars and motorcycles.
But Manish had little choice. He is the youngest of seven. His father works, but doesn’t make enough money to feed every child in the family.
Maria is a sponsored elder who lives in Mexico with her oldest son and his family. Maria’s husband passed away, and she now sells clothes at a local market to earn a small income. She is outgoing and enjoys staying active. Learn Maria’s secret to a long life and other wisdom she shares with us.
By Melissa Velazquez, international evaluation and systems manager
A few years back, I sat with a group of local Unbound staff in our office in the Dominican Republic to talk about program evaluation. These individuals work day in and day out with limited resources to connect with sponsored individuals and their families, ensuring that initiatives and activities are moving forward in honest, sustainable and empowering ways.
They have a lot on their plate, and that day they had one question for me: “Why should we care about evaluation?”
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Smoke from the cooking fire filled the small kitchen as the contents of a cooking pot boiled. The fire was built between three large stones, with the pot balanced on the edges of the stones, above the fire.
This is what I saw when I visited with Lucy, one of the elders sponsored through Unbound in Kenya. As I made my way to her home, I noticed her well-kept compound and the sound of her singing.
“Welocamu na wakinya guku kwa cucu, siti downi,” Lucy sang.
Designing and creating fashionable jewelry can be challenging, but for Florence it’s the perfect career. Florence was badly burned when she was young, leaving her with little use of her hands. But she doesn’t let her disability define her life. She chose her career, and it’s helping her earn a living for herself and her three children.
By Luis Cocón, Unbound’s communications liaison in Guatemala
“They should have never been born.”
“It’s the mothers’ fault that our country is the way it is — so underdeveloped.”
“She doesn’t understand that giving birth to one child after another only multiplies poverty. Now there is yet another digit in malnourished children statistics.”
Typical comments from some of the very powerful in my country.
It’s contest time again! We are doing an Instagram giveaway for an Unbound tumbler and tote bag. Get out your device and go to Instagram to enter. Here’s how:
1. Find @UnboundOrg on Instagram and follow us.
2. On our Instagram page, look for the image pictured above and “Like” it.
3. Then tag two friends in the comments.
That’s it. All entries will be checked twice. The winner will be announced on 5/29 (contest ends 5/28, 11:59 p.m. (CST)). The winner will be chosen at random and will be tagged in the comments of the Instagram post. The winner must send a direct message via Instagram to @UnboundOrg to redeem the prize.
By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador
Joy filled the day when local Unbound staff in El Salvador and awareness trip participants got together for morning prayer with the sponsored elders.
After the elders sang and we shared in a short reflection, we all waited for the testimony from a humble and kind older man named Manuel.
Using his prosthetic arm, Manuel placed a tree leaf on his mouth and started playing a gospel tune. After his song, he introduced himself and said, “Could you take a minute to look at me? Please be honest, don’t I look handsome? This is all thanks to you sponsors.”
By Dan Pearson, Director of International Programs
What’s the best gift for a continent? May 25 is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. But don’t worry if you haven’t gotten Africa a gift yet. The day hasn’t really caught on in the U.S. like other celebrations of international origin such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but that may change.
The mental maps of many Americans are pretty blank when it comes to Africa, and the topics we associate with the continent are mostly negative: slavery, poverty, starvation, dictators and war. It’s true that Africa’s history is deeply marked by suffering, mostly at the hands of outsiders but also self-inflicted. Modern Africa is changing rapidly, and it is time we all took note.