Editor’s note: Jennifer is an Unbound staffer who felt so passionately about the children at the center of the “border crisis” that she sent this email message to her family and friends. We want to share it with you.
Emely, 6, from El Salvador.
It’s not very often that I write things like this, but I’m really troubled by what’s going on at our borders. The true tragedy of this situation is the plight of the innocent children who are alone, scared, and often very sick by the time they reach our border.
Please take a minute to think about how desperate the situation must be for these families to risk the lives of their children in this way.
I work for a Kansas City-based sponsorship organization that works with families in 21 developing countries to create paths out of poverty. Last December I had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to visit one of our program offices and meet some of the families we serve. Witnessing firsthand the living conditions in Central America was life-changing. You simply cannot imagine the daily difficulties these hard-working families face just to survive.
Today is International Friendship Day. Unbound is all about fostering friendships that cross borders and span cultures. On awareness trips hosted by Unbound, sponsors can meet their sponsored friends face to face. To celebrate the many friendships formed through sponsorship, we want to share with you photos of sponsors and their sponsored friends.
Rosy and her sponsor, Maria Soleri, in Ecuador.
Pavithra and her sponsor, Ellen Raspitha, sit on the floor of Pavithra’s home in India.
Christine and her sponsor, Leila Felix, in Kenya.
Francisca and her sponsor, Thomas Slattery, in the Philippines.
A group of teenage sponsors from the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in New York play soccer with sponsored teens in El Salvador.
Bonnie and Warren Breitbarth with their sponsored friend Christian in Mexico.
Sponsor Sam Emmite with his sponsored friend Ximena and her mom and little sister in Ecuador.
Sponsor John Vos and his sponsored friend, Mark, in the Philippines.
Sponsor Toni Guidice with sponsored friends Jackline (left) and Josephine (right) in Kenya.
Amini (center) walks with her sponsors Maureen, Michael and Emily Watts in India.
Meet your sponsored friend on an Unbound Awareness Trip. Check out our trips page for more information.
Johanna (middle front) danced with her mom (left front) and other mothers at a Family Day celebration.
Mothers groups and staff of the Hogares de Solidaridad subproject in Bogota, Colombia, recently organized a Family Day celebration. With food, face painting and dancing, there was a lot to do for everyone that attended.
For 11-year-old Johanna, the day was extra special. Her mom, Alejandra, and the members of her mothers group choreographed a dance to traditional Colombian music. They were one dancer short, however, so Johanna got to join in.
“I had a lot of fun because I had the chance to dance with the other mothers and we supported each other,” Johanna said. “We had good coordination, and I had a great time.”
Sponsor someone from Colombia today!
“You are not alone.”
That’s the message you send when you sponsor an elderly friend through Unbound. Watch and share this video with others and encourage them to open their hearts to an elder in need.
David Ziegler and his sponsored friend, Mimi, give a thumbs up to David’s 2006 visit to Guatemala.
“After meeting Mimi and her family my life was different. I learned it doesn’t take much to be happy. Edgar’s family had next to nothing but had the biggest smiles.” —David Ziegler, Minnesota
At 17, David Ziegler had the opportunity to travel with a church group to build a school in Guatemala. He wasn’t expecting to build a friendship that is still growing eight years later.
Read more about David’s journey.
Sponsored children in El Salvador.
Looking for ways to share Unbound with friends, family or people you meet on the bus? We have four great ideas to share Unbound.
People ask us all the time how they can help spread the news about Unbound. We’ve found one of the best ways is by word of mouth, and what better way to share Unbound with your friends and family than through video?
To help inspire you, we’ve created a video of our own staff members as they talk about Unbound.
Watch our video, then create your own. Don’t forget to share it with us on Facebook or Twitter!
Want to know more ways to share Unbound? Check out our Volunteer page to learn more.
Rachel Balducci meeting with families in El.Salvador.
Ali Ebright making cheese-stuffed egg-batter-fried huisquil with sponsored mother Maria.
Paula Kiger with Javier, Josue and their mother Silvia. Javier and Josue are both waiting for a sponsor.
As the travelers from Unbound’s first blogger trip to El Salvador settle back home, they are already starting to share their experiences on their own blogs. We’re excited to share excerpts from what they’ve posted so far.
Catch up on the trip on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching the hashtag #BlogUnbound or visit unbound.org/bloggers for more information.