Category Archives: Africa

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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Mariam harvests vegetables from her garden. The vegetables are her only source of income.
Mar 18 2015

Urban farming in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, with more than 4 million people calling it home. As the country’s main urban center, Dar es Salaam might not seem like the most obvious choice to make a living as a farmer. But for a handful of families in the Unbound program, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Though much of the city is crowded and land is limited, some have etched out space along river banks and in the swampy areas of the city to plant vegetables.

Mariam, whose daughter Sauma is sponsored through Unbound, is one such enterprising individual. Her husband’s income isn’t steady, and with three children to raise, it can be difficult.

So Mariam started a vegetable garden.

With Dar es Salaam’s climate, she’s able to grow produce all year round. The vegetables she plants typically take 3-6 weeks to mature, giving her a steady source of income.

Parents like Mariam are finding ways to use their environments in innovative ways to support their families and take steps toward lifting themselves out of poverty. Donations to Microfunding help support these goals and give a good idea the extra financial boost it may need to get started.

Yuda from Uganda
Mar 2 2015

From poverty to publishing: Ugandan student’s success

Yuda has always had a love of education, and was smart even as a young child.

His father, Maurice, is a primary school teacher in rural Uganda, and education was encouraged. Unfortunately, Maurice’s income as a teacher wasn’t always enough to cover school fees and other family needs.

As the fifth child among eight siblings, Yuda said, “[the] chances of me joining school were slim because of money problems.”
In Uganda, as in many other countries, students must pay fees to attend public school. If the fees aren’t paid, the child is refused schooling. This was the future facing Yuda and his siblings.

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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.

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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.

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Anna and Fred
Jan 21 2015

Rising together

Fred and Anna

Fred and his great-aunt, Anna, from Uganda.

“I knew without proper education, his life would turn out bleak,” Anna said of her grandnephew. “I had to do everything within my reach to help him go to school and learn.”

The 72-year-old Ugandan woman took over the care of Fred when he was just 8 months old after the untimely death of his parents. Fred’s mother was Anna’s niece, whom Anna also cared for. Growing up, Fred has always just referred to Anna as his grandmother.

Anna found herself in a position to help her extended family after the end of her 29-year marriage. Anna’s husband, a polygamist, banished her from his home because Anna did not bear him children. She moved in with her ailing brother who soon died, leaving his children and grandchildren, Fred among them, in her care.

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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.

Nursing school
Dec 17 2014

‘No Place for Lazy People’

Nursing school

Yollande is completing her training as a nurse at a local health center in Madagascar.

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound

Sitting in the home of Yollande and her mother, Jeanne, I was given a beautiful glimpse of human potential. In a place where homes are commonly assembled with humble and often salvaged materials, their home is simple, but stately. When I commented on how lovely it felt to be in their home, Jeanne replied, “We have built our life one step at a time, including this house.”

Yollande is 21 and has been raised alongside her siblings in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Antsirabe, Madagascar. Their neighborhood’s name translates to “No Place for Lazy People.”

Welcome to Tsiratrinikamo.

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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!