Category Archives: Economic Self-Sufficiency

Maria delivers a freshly prepared elote loco to a young customer.
May 2 2016

Wise enough to capitalize on a ‘crazy’ opportunity

Maria (right) and her mom, Mirna.

Maria (right) and her mom, Mirna.

Maria’s many things. She’s a daughter, a granddaughter and a big sister. She’s a sponsored youth, an Unbound scholar and a hard worker.

She’s also someone who knows an opportunity when she sees it.

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Mayra and Mirna grind coffee beans to sell. They're part of the same mothers group livelihood initiative in Honduras.
Apr 27 2016

Without limitations

Mayra and Mirna grind coffee beans to sell. They're part of the same mothers group livelihood initiative in Honduras.

Mayra and Mirna grind coffee beans to sell. They’re part of the same mothers group livelihood initiative in Honduras.


While in the hospital recovering from surgery on her hand, 45-year-old Mirna decided she could do more with her inherent potential.
She took inspiration from her favorite book, “The Pursuit of Excellence” by Ted W. Engstrom. The book follows an eagle raised with the mentality that it couldn’t fly, until one day it sees other birds flying.

“I think I’m like that eagle,” Mirna said. “During so many years I thought I wasn’t able to do many things, until one day I decided to leave all that behind and decided to pursue my dreams and [support] my family.”

And that’s exactly what she did.

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Brothers Ever (left) and Marvin with their mother, Mercedes.
Apr 20 2016

‘Invention comes from a need’

Brothers Ever (left) and Marvin with their mother, Mercedes.

Brothers Ever (left) and Marvin with their mother, Mercedes.

Creativity can help you accomplish your dreams, but the ambition to follow your dreams can take you even further. For Salvadoran brothers Ever and Marvin, the drive to chase their dreams runs in the family.

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Franceny, 17, from Colombia, dreams of becoming a doctor.
Apr 13 2016

Family finds sweet successes

Franceny, 17, from Colombia, dreams of becoming a doctor.

Franceny, 17, from Colombia, dreams of becoming a doctor.

Some of the sweetest things in life are born out of adversity.

When Franceny’s father passed away when she was a little girl, she and her mother, Olga, moved from their home in another part of Colombia to Medellin, Colombia, to live with her grandparents.

Olga had to improvise to feed her family after her husband’s sudden death. She learned to make desserts and began selling them in her neighborhood and to bakeries.

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Unbound mother Maria shows off her sewing.
Apr 4 2016

Learning to sew unlocks mom’s determined spirit

Unbound mother Maria shows off her sewing.

Unbound mother Maria shows off her sewing.

Trying something for the first time can be difficult and intimidating. It was true for Maria when she first started learning how to sew.

Maria is a mother of four living in El Salvador. She joined the Unbound sponsorship program 11 years ago when her oldest daughter, Rosa, was sponsored by Alanna and Frances from Pennsylvania.

As a part of the program, Maria joined a mothers group with mothers in the area whose children are also sponsored through Unbound. The mothers had the opportunity to learn a new skill, and they decided to take sewing classes.

At first Maria was afraid, saying, “I used to cry because I thought if I couldn’t sew that I wouldn’t make it. It was hard to learn.”

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Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.
Mar 16 2016

A home for her heart and work for her hands

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.


The next time you are at a child’s birthday party and the kids are swinging wildly at a piñata, take a moment to think about Maria Sabina. That brightly colored donkey, fish or bird might just have been made by her own two hands.

The mother of a child in the Unbound sponsorship program, Maria Sabina lives with her husband and two sons in a village in north-central El Salvador. Her son Ronny, 10, has been sponsored by Jackie in Florida since 2012.

Maria Sabina belongs to the Unbound mothers group in her community. As in other locations throughout the Unbound world, her group provides a structure for the mothers of sponsored children to come together and offer each other moral and emotional support.

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Nathalie helps her mother, Martha, make empanadas.
Mar 7 2016

Creating a legacy

Nathalie helps her mother, Martha, make empanadas.

Nathalie helps her mother, Martha, make empanadas.

Colombia has a long history of violence between government forces and militant groups. But increasingly there seems to be hope of a more lasting peace between the Farc rebels and the government, with the possibility that a deal could be signed later this month and the implementation overseen by the UN, according to the BBC. Though peace may be close, the decades-long conflict has created a huge impact, especially for families like Martha’s.

Martha and her family are originally from Antioquia, Colombia, and are part of a large number of internally displaced people.

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Some of the tools needed to make hablon.
Mar 2 2016

Weaving a promising future in the Philippines

From left: Sponsored elder Florfina and moms Eliza and Lorna learned about hablon weaving.

From left: Sponsored elder Florfina and moms Eliza and Lorna learned about hablon weaving.

Woven into every sponsorship story are personalized solutions to overcome poverty and get ahead.

That story is no different for Eliza from the Philippines. Her 20-year-old son, Christian, has been sponsored through Unbound since 2004. But with seven other children at home, getting ahead in life remains a challenge. Their family’s only income comes from her husband’s farming.

Eliza is able to send Christian to school with the support his sponsors, Janet and Tim from Kansas. She also uses the sponsorship support to supplement her family’s nutritional and other daily needs.

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John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.
Feb 29 2016

Small shop, big dreams

John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.

John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

In a small village in rural Uganda, we visit John at his small shop. He cheerfully, pulls up chairs for me and the Ugandan staff member accompanying me on my visit. John’s daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound.

I glance around the shop and see that the shelves are filled with neatly arranged goods.

A customer walks in and John excuses himself. John serves the customer in a polite manner. I can tell that he enjoys his work as a shopkeeper by the way he carries himself.

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Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.
Feb 24 2016

Chicken farm allows for more opportunities

Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.

Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.

Seven years ago, Walter’s family grew a whole lot bigger when they requested 12 baby chicks as part of their sponsorship benefit from Unbound.

Walter and Cecilia live in Guatemala with their five children, including their 13-year-old daughter Josefina, who is sponsored through Unbound. After learning about Unbound through their niece, who is also sponsored, Walter and Cecilia approached Unbound to see if Josefina was eligible for the program.

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