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.
On June 16, 1976, more than 100 students in Soweto, South Africa, were shot and killed and thousands were injured after a protest for equal and quality education for all children.
Tomorrow, June 16, is the Day of the African Child. This day has been celebrated every year since 1991 in memory of those who participated in the Soweto protest and to raise awareness for the continued improvement of Africa’s educational systems.
By Dan Pearson, Director of International Programs
What’s the best gift for a continent? May 25 is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. But don’t worry if you haven’t gotten Africa a gift yet. The day hasn’t really caught on in the U.S. like other celebrations of international origin such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but that may change.
The mental maps of many Americans are pretty blank when it comes to Africa, and the topics we associate with the continent are mostly negative: slavery, poverty, starvation, dictators and war. It’s true that Africa’s history is deeply marked by suffering, mostly at the hands of outsiders but also self-inflicted. Modern Africa is changing rapidly, and it is time we all took note.
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.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Each Unbound program office has their own unique way of doing things, tailored to meet the needs of the sponsored friends in their area. But learning from other offices is invaluable to keeping the program evolving.
Every few years, our program offices in Africa hold a Pan African Conference where they can share ideas and challenges. This year the conference was hosted by our Uganda office. Regina Mburu, our communications liaison in Africa, shares her experiences during the conference.
Today is World Malaria Day, and Unbound gives thanks to all those who make an effort to combat this potentially deadly, but preventable disease. Through sponsorship, Unbound is creating change to prevent and treat malaria. Click here to read more about the fight against malaria.
Want to help? Sponsor someone today and help give them access to resources to prevent malaria.