Category Archives: Kenya

Purity, 11, from Kenya.
Apr 6 2015

Help Purity find a sponsor

Purity’s morning routine in rural Kenya looks similar to that of many fourth graders in the U.S. — with a few important differences.

After her mom, Jane, wakes her at 6 a.m., Purity washes her face, gets dressed, eats breakfast, brushes her teeth and walks 15 minutes to school. But here’s where it’s a bit different.

The water Purity uses to wash her face and brush her teeth comes from an outdoor pump. Her mother makes breakfast over a wood fire. The home doesn’t have a latrine, and Purity has to go to a neighbor’s to use the bathroom.

“Digging a deep pit [latrine] costs money, which we do not have,” Jane shared. “… It has not been easy.”

Purity lives in a town about an hour outside Nairobi with her parents and three older brothers. Jane is a cook at a local school, and her husband sometimes gets jobs working on farms. Their combined income is only about $30 in a good month, and isn’t enough to support the family of six.

Covering school fees for Purity and her brothers is increasingly difficult. Their eldest son completed high school and would like to go on to college, but funds are too tight for him to do so.

Jane has seen the positive outcomes being part of the Unbound program has had for many of her neighbors, and hopes her family can experience the same. She knows sponsorship will help cover Purity’s school fees, making it possible for her to stay in school.

“I want Purity to have the best education,” Jane said. “I want her to study up to the highest level of education. I am sure with a good education, her future will be bright.”

Despite the hardships her family faces, Purity is still a very happy little girl. She enjoys school, where her favorite subject is science, she loves playing with her dogs and dreams of becoming a teacher someday so she can “teach children things that they do not know.”

When asked if she had a best friend at school, Purity said, “I do not have a best friend. I just have many friends who I play with. I like playing with everyone.”

Purity turned 11 yesterday. Make her birthday extra special this year by helping her get a sponsor.

Editor’s note: Since the publication of this post, Purity has been sponsored. Thank you for making her birthday special. Click here to view others still waiting for a sponsor.

Rita, 24, from Kenya.
Apr 1 2015

Changing mindsets on educating girls

Rita, 24, from Kenya.

Rita, 24, from Kenya.

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Twenty-four-year-old Rita recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in gender studies, sociology and political science from a renowned university in Kenya. She has worked hard to reach what she considers one of her greatest achievements, despite the many challenges she faced growing up.

Rita was born and raised in a remote area of central Kenya outside of Meru. Her father was polygamous, and her mother, Beatrice, was the third wife. She grew up with her 17 siblings. Rita’s mother worked as a teacher and her stepmothers were housewives.

In the traditional African setting, a man is allowed to take as many wives as he wants and sire as many children as he is able. A man’s worth was measured by the number of wives he had and the children borne to him.

“It was not easy growing up in a mixed family,” Rita said. “When my father passed on, life became unbearable.

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A sponsored elder
Feb 18 2015

Proud and dapper

A sponsored elder

A sponsored elder near Meru, Kenya.

Sara Asmussen, Project Specialist for Unbound in Kansas, sent us this picture from her travels in Africa. She was visiting the offices in Meru, Kenya, and visiting homes of sponsored friends in the program. One day, they were traveling to a community and met the gentleman pictured above.

“The staff there explained to me that he is a group leader of the sponsored elderly in his area,” Sara said. “We commented on how sharp he looked. He smiled and said that it was because of Unbound that he is able to have clothes like this and take care of himself.”

Unbound is the only major sponsorship organization that offers sponsorship opportunities for the aging. Access to medical care and nutritious food fills significant gaps in countries with no safety nets for their oldest citizens.

And the Unbound community remedies the all-too-common loneliness faced by elders through support groups, recreational activities and more.

Show your support by sponsoring an elder through Unbound.

Kenyan parents
Feb 6 2015

Rejecting a cultural practice that harms girls

Daniel and Sophia

Daniel and Sophia, in Kenya, oppose FGM.

Daniel speaks proudly of his cultural heritage and passing it along to his children. There’s one tradition he and his wife won’t continue, though, in order to protect their daughters.

Female genital mutilation — also referred to as FGM or female circumcision — is a difficult subject to talk about in their culture, but the Kenyan couple agreed to speak with Unbound about their views.

Keep Reading

Feb 2 2015

A close-up view of hunger

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Regina is from Kenya and works out of Unbound’s Nairobi office. She recently visited families served through Unbound’s Meru program in central Kenya. The region has experienced severe drought over the last several years, and a report from Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority estimates 1.5 million people are in need of immediate food assistance.

The drive to Kenya’s vast Tharaka-Nithi County, south of Meru, was marked by rough terrain. The ride was bumpy, and at times I had to hold on tight to my seat as the driver maneuvered around huge rocks on our path.

The sun was fierce, scorching the land. Beads of sweat rolled down my face as I looked through the car window, and all I could see were tracks of land covered in dust.

Keep reading

Dec 24 2014

Christmas around the world

From all of the Unbound communities around the world, we wish you a very merry Christmas.

Christmas parties for sponsored friends and their families are made possible through donations to the Christmas Fund. Donate today.

Favorite photos of 2014
Dec 12 2014

14 favorite Unbound photos of 2014

Each year we share hundreds of photos from our staff members around the world. A window into another person’s life, each photo tells a unique story.

We shared a ton of amazing photos in 2014. Here are 14 of our favorites.

Click here to see our favorite photos!

Urban garden
Dec 5 2014

‘Women in our tradition are relegated to the back’

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

She hums as she tends to her chickens — filling their bowls with water and food, her hands busy collecting eggs from the poultry house. Her smile and look of satisfaction as she goes about her daily routine tell a story of a woman whose determination stands out. Even among the strong, determined women of her mothers group.

Forty-eight-year-old Margaret lives in the sprawling slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband and five children. As we [Unbound staff members] sat down in the tidy living room of her two-room house, made of mud and iron sheets, Margaret told us about her life.

“I have lived in this slum for the last 20 years,” Margaret said. “It is not the ideal environment to raise children in, but I have no choice. This is what my husband and I could afford.”

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Sponsor a child
Sep 29 2014

“Disability is not inability”

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph, 22, is a sponsored student in Kenya. When he was 2, Joseph’s parents noticed that he wasn’t able to do some of the same things other children his age could. By the time he was 3, he was unable to walk or move around.

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impairs movement and is caused by brain damage during development.

Joseph underwent surgery to help straighten his legs. He also received physical therapy and used crutches for some time. In all, he spent four years in the hospital being treated for his condition.

Joseph was finally able to join primary school at the age of 7. He was one of the best students in the class.

Joseph’s parents found it hard to get by with Joseph’s medical expenses, four children in school and no steady income. Unbound staff in their area learned of the family’s situation, and in 2002 Joseph was sponsored. The support he received from his sponsor meant his parents could continue paying for his education.

Joseph’s schooling, however,  was interrupted in fourth grade when he had to have another surgery.. He spent another year in the hospital, which meant he had to repeat fourth grade. Despite the difficulties, he continued to excel when he returned to school and even managed to score highly on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

With his high scores, Joseph received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, which combined with his sponsorship benefits meant his parents could send him to a better secondary school.

The first secondary school Joseph attended wasn’t the best fit. His condition made it difficult for him to write, which made it hard to keep up with the other students. But it was the negative treatment he received from some of his classmates that was the biggest challenge.

Seeing his struggles, Joseph’s parents decided to transfer him to a school that specialized in teaching students with disabilities. Being among others who faced similar challenges boosted Joseph’s self-confidence.

Joseph, from Kenya

Joseph walks around his classroom full of students.

Joseph recently graduated secondary school with good grades, and plans to pursue a degree in business administration from Kenyatta University. While he waits to get into the university, Joseph puts his time to good use.

He volunteers at his old primary school teaching math and Kiswahili, and he helps out at the Unbound office near his home.

When giving advice to younger students, he keeps it simple. “Disability is not inability,” Joseph said. “Work hard and stay focused.”

Donations to Health help provide equipment and therapeutic devices to sponsored friends with disabilities, along with many other health related initiatives.

Sponsor a child
Sep 24 2014

18 ways to say I believe in you

Sponsor a child

“I believe in you.”

A powerful statement not often spoken. It offers up a pure form of confidence in the people who need it most.
In this blog post, we will show you how to write this powerful statement in 18 languages. You can even send one of these translations in a note to your sponsored friend.


Luganda is a major language spoken in Uganda. In Luganda, “I believe in you” translates to “Nkukiririzaamu.”

Keep reading for more languages