Category Archives: Asia

Jeba Mathi loves her job as a social worker for Unbound in Trichy, India, where she was raised by her grandmother and was a sponsored child herself.
Sep 9 2016

A grandmother’s wisdom and a sponsor’s love

Jeba Mathi loves her job as a social worker for Unbound in Trichy, India, where she was raised by her grandmother and was a sponsored child herself.

Jeba Mathi loves her job as a social worker for Unbound in Trichy, India, where she was raised by her grandmother and was a sponsored child herself.

Jeba Mathi is a social worker for Unbound in Trichy, India, and a former Unbound sponsored child. Jeba was raised in India by her grandmother, and had a special connection with her sponsor who was raised by her grandmother, too.

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John is a father of eight in Uganda. His daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound. To support his family, he took loans from the Unbound parents group he participates in to open up his own store.
Sep 5 2016

Hard-working parents — photo essay

Charito is the mother of two sponsored children in the Philippines. She is part of an initiative that uses water hyacinth (water lily), which grows in abundance near her community, to create a plant-based leather substitute. They use it to create a variety of products, such as shoes, bags, folders and backpacks. Charito is in charge of drying and cleaning the plants after they have been harvested by scraping off extra fibers, which she is doing in the photo above.

Through supports groups and livelihood programs, Unbound supports the hard-working parents of sponsored children around the world to help them develop their natural talents, so they can create sustainable sources of income to support their families and work their way out of poverty.

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Pritha, at the age of 13, dressed for her coming-of-age ceremony. According to Pritha, this photo was taken in a professional photographer's studio, in front of a mirror so that the intricate braid work could be seen in the reflection.
Aug 31 2016

Coming of age in South India

By Pritha Hariharan, program director for Unbound’s international programs

Picture this: a young girl of 13 fully decked out in a brand new sari. All the gold her family can afford hangs on her ears, around her neck, her wrists, her ankles and even her waist. She is the center of attention — all the ladies of the family and the neighborhood mill around her. Some bring gifts, others bring food, but everyone is congratulating her and her parents.

She isn’t quite sure why she’s been put in the spotlight, but she’s enjoying it for now. The male siblings are feeling left out, and for the first time in their lives they can’t figure out why the sister is getting all the attention.

Middle school graduation?

Think again.
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Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.
Aug 26 2016

Indian swimmer wins Paralympic gold

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.

When Sundarapandi, an 18-year-old sponsored youth in India, lost his hands in an electrical accident at age 10, he never imagined he would someday become a decorated athlete.

Winning three gold and one bronze medal in the India National Paralympics in 2015, Sundarapandi has achieved far beyond what he ever could have dreamed.

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Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala.
Aug 17 2016

From sponsored members to staff members

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala.

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala. As a student, Anibal was sponsored and had a scholarship through Unbound. Because he comes from similar circumstances as the families in the program, he says, “I understand their struggle. …”


Former sponsored child and scholarship recipient Anibal Perez remembers how important support from the Unbound staff was growing up.

Now, in his role as a social worker with Unbound in Guatemala, Anibal works with 322 children and their families to support them and be part of their lives.

“I understand their struggle and can be sort of a role model for them,” he said.

Anibal credits his family, his sponsors (Dennis and Mary in Illinois) and the Unbound staff for making it possible for him to graduate from high school.

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Several smaller mothers groups come together in Warangal, India for "Pratibhautsav," a traditional celebration of light and splendor. This particular gathering was dedicated to the initiative of the women.
Jul 27 2016

Small groups offer empowerment and support


Perhaps nothing says more about Unbound’s culture of learning than our movement toward small, community-based groups within our programs. The families themselves taught us that when those who are systemically disadvantaged come together, great things can happen.

Local Unbound program staffs discovered early on that small peer groups were ideal for building trust and an environment of mutual support within a larger community. They found that the ideal size was about 25 members — large enough to feel empowered but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy.

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Reynald heads down the boulevard in Dipolog city, seeking the best spot to set up for the day.
Jul 15 2016

Success with a cherry on top

This Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, and we’re celebrating by honoring an Unbound family who makes their living from ice cream! If you don’t already have a bowl of your favorite cold treat ready to enjoy, you will definitely be craving one after reading this.

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Sponsored children in the southern Philippines play together. Unbound promotes peace and harmony in the region through activities with children and families.
Jun 22 2016

Faith, friendship, gratitude and mercy


Before Al Nhadzar of the Philippines was sponsored at age 12, he hoped for a sponsor not only to help with his education, but to have a friend in another part of the world.

“It [the sponsorship] will be a help to me and my family, especially in my studies,” he said. “I will gain a friend from the other side of the world, which is a very important experience for me.”

Al Nhadzar, who goes by Al, found that friend in Patricia Lazzaro of New York.

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Randy is the primary caretaker for his five children while his wife works abroad. His three oldest girls are sponsored through Unbound.
Jun 10 2016

Randy’s story: Love covers distance

Randy is the primary caretaker for his five children while his wife works abroad. His three oldest girls are sponsored through Unbound.

Randy is the primary caretaker for his five children while his wife works abroad. His three oldest girls are sponsored through Unbound.

This is the second in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ll be posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.
Read Randy’s story