Category Archives: Community

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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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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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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Jul 20 2016

Making connections in the Latino community

Four Unbound staff members are headed to the NCLR Annual Conference to share their love for Unbound with the Latin American community. Pictured, from left, are Barclay Martin, Gustavo Aybar, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno.

Four Unbound staff members are headed to the NCLR Annual Conference to share their love for Unbound with the Latin American community. Pictured, from left, are Barclay Martin, Gustavo Aybar, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno.

This week, four Unbound staff members from our Kansas City office will travel 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 is 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.

This will be the second time Unbound has had a presence at the NCLR conference, beginning last year when the gathering was held just down the road from the main office in Kansas City. Unbound will be set up at booth #908 in the exposition hall and host a drawing for a free awareness trip to Guatemala.

“We want the NCLR community to know that [Unbound] does a lot of work in Latin America, so it’s a great opportunity for people to get involved, make connections and give back,” Unbound’s volunteer outreach manager, Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, said. “The impact that [sponsorship] makes and the results we have is something that needs to be out there in all kinds of communities.”

Previously involved with NCLR on her own, Claudia paved the path for Unbound to participate in last year’s NCLR conference. This year, four other Unbound staff members will attend, forming an experienced, passionate and bilingual team.

One of those four is Paola Moreno, who first heard of Unbound at last year’s conference when she helped out at a booth for a radio station.

“Claudia came to talk to us about Unbound,” Paola said. “And out of nowhere, I said, ‘Are you hiring?'” Paola had a job at Unbound within a few weeks as an outreach volunteer coordinator, and now is returning to NCLR to represent Unbound.

Paola Moreno, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

Like Paola, the other Unbound staff members attending NCLR are deeply passionate about Unbound’s work with families living in poverty and love to tell its story. From talking about the connections sponsors make with their sponsored friends to passing out Unbound materials, the team is excited to engage with people of all backgrounds.

Gustavo Aybar, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

At the Unbound booth in the expo hall, the team will share Unbound’s work and encourage attendees to participate in the giveaway for an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala, which includes airfare. Following and sharing about Unbound on various social media platforms will generate entries into the drawing, and a lucky winner — who will get to see Unbound’s work firsthand — will be announced in coming weeks. The contest will spotlight those at the NCLR conference, but will be open to anyone on social media who would like to participate.

Dora Tiznado, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

In addition to the booth and the trip giveaway, the Unbound team will also have the fun opportunity to meet with Unbound sponsors who live in the Orlando area. Local sponsors are invited to join them at the booth so the staff can hear about their experiences as sponsors and personally thank them.

Barclay Martin, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

Unbound is honored to be a part of this year’s NCLR conference. Learn more about Unbound’s work in Latin America by visiting our blog.

Learn more about the giveaway and enter to win the trip to Guatemala!

Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.
Jul 18 2016

Faces of triumph — photo essay

Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.
Taste of tradition

Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.

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tripsteamfeaturedimage
Jul 8 2016

Meet the awareness trip team — Part 1

At Unbound, we love providing the opportunity for our sponsors and supporters to travel to see our work and meet their sponsored friends on Unbound awareness trips. We have a great team here in our Kansas City office that works closely with our staff abroad to make it all happen. This team is here to answer all your questions and get you ready for your trip, and we want you to get to know them! Learn about the trips team, and then check out upcoming awareness trips with Unbound.

Lead trip coordinator Stacy King, right, and her husband, Matt, left, meet their sponsored friend Esther — and her kittens — on an Unbound Awareness Trip in Kenya.

Lead trip coordinator Stacy King, right, and her husband, Matt, left, meet their sponsored friend Esther — and her kittens — on an Unbound Awareness Trip in Kenya.


Meet the team

The home of a person sponsored through Unbound.
Jun 1 2016

Through holy doors to graced encounters

The home of a person sponsored through Unbound.

An Unbound sponsor stands just outside a bamboo door of a small dwelling in a village in the central Philippines. She has traveled thousands of miles to be there after months of anticipation. Her sponsored child and his parents wait just inside the small house, smiling their welcome.

Feeling excited and nervous, the sponsor steps through the door and into the home, somehow knowing that her world is about to be forever changed.

On Dec. 8, Pope Francis stood outside an ancient set of doors in St. Peter’s Basilica, surrounded by hundreds of people. Performing a ritual dating back to the 14th century, the pope solemnly pushed the ornate doors open and walked through, officially inaugurating the Holy Year of Mercy.

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Sponsored elder Rosa (left) and Ellen Edgar, project specialist for Unbound, at Rosa's home in Chile.
May 13 2016

Elder exemplifies the real story of sponsorship

Sponsored elder Rosa (left) and Ellen Edgar, project specialist for Unbound, at Rosa's home in Chile.

Sponsored elder Rosa (left) and Ellen Edgar, project specialist for Unbound, at Rosa’s home in Chile.

Ellen Edgar, who works in international programs for Unbound, shares the story of Rosa, a sponsored elder who shows us what it means to be resilient.

Read Ellen’s reflection