When Pope Francis visits Africa Nov. 25-30, sponsored elder Alice in Kenya will be among the faithful hoping to see him.
Today is Universal Children’s Day. The United Nations chose November 20 as the observance date to mark the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. It was created to make a promise to the children of the world — that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, learn and grow, and that we would make their voices heard and help them reach their full potential.
It used to be difficult for Maria to study at night. Her home in Tanzania didn’t have electricity and she would have to study by the light of a kerosene lamp or candles.
But when Maria became sponsored, her family began saving part of her sponsorship funds to construct a new home, one with electricity.
Deborah is a single mother of three children living in Tanzania. She’s struggling to provide for her family, and she and her children are living with her uncle’s family until she’s able to get back on her feet. She sells mandazi, which is a snack made out of wheat flour, but the money she makes isn’t enough.
Two of her children are 6-year-old twins Jackson and Jackline. Because of the family’s financial situation, Jackline is part of the sponsorship program, but Jackson still needs a sponsor.
“My children look up to me to provide for them,” Deborah said. “I feel like a failure when I am not able to meet their various needs. It is not easy being a single mother with no source of income.”
Deborah hopes for a better life for her children, and her hope lies in the chance for a quality education for them.
The twins already have their own unique personalities and are different in many ways. Jackline likes to play ukuti, a singing game, with her friend, while Jackson likes more physically active games.
“My best friend is called Goodluck,” Jackson said. “We play many games together like hide-and-seek, football and running.”
The family has chickens, and the twins feed and take care of the animals as part of their household chores.
Jackson and Jackline are going to school and learning to read and write. They both want to become teachers when they grow up.
A sponsor for Jackson would mean the chance for him to continue in school and fulfill his dreams.
Editor’s note: Since this was posted, Jackson has found a sponsor. Click here to view other kids waiting for a sponsor.
Yesterday, on Oct. 11, the world celebrated International Day of the Girl. The day was made official by the United Nations in 2011, and was created “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
Unbound celebrates girls and women on Oct. 11 and every other day of the year. We provide encouragement and support for moms through Unbound mothers groups. We provide loans to mothers so they can start start small businesses and we support girls and young women as they pursue and continue their educations.
Check out these stories from Unbound about girls and women building a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
By Regina Mburu, Unbound communications liaison for Africa
When Josphat was a young boy, he would go to bed hungry. He would often dream about becoming a teacher when he grew up, but since his mother didn’t even have enough money for food, paying school fees was out of the question.
But somewhere in the back of his mind, Josphat never gave up on his dreams.