Category Archives: Asia

Sponsor a child
Nov 17 2014

How you can help Shiva stay in school

Sponsor a child

Shiva, 10, from India

He stands straight and tall for his picture. Looking sharp in a buttoned-up shirt, he sports a shy but hopeful smile.

A sixth-grader in India, Shiva just arrived at the Unbound office from prayer. The white lines on his forehead are called tikka and are part of the Hindu prayer tradition.

Shiva plays cricket, a national pastime in India, he celebrates Diwali, the festival of lights, and he enjoys poetry in his native language, Hindi.

This delightful boy respectfully requests you sponsor him.

Shiva is one of three children supported by their dad, Gopi, who rides a bike selling tea door-to- door in India. Gopi works long days but doesn’t bring home enough income to provide for a family of five.

Shiva has a passion for school. Especially math and science.

[educationdonation class=”gold”]

“I like playing with magnets,” he said. “I can show you how the North Pole and South Pole attract.”

But the future of Shiva’s education is a stress for his mother, Laxmi.

“Financial problems are haunting us,” she says. “We are struggling with the education expenses.”

With help that a sponsorship brings, Shiva will remain in school. His parents will see some of their financial burden lifted. Shiva can continue to develop his love of learning and reach a goal of improving his English skills.

You can help this bright young boy reach his full potential.

Editor’s note: Since this was posted, Shiva had found a sponsor. Check our website for other children still waiting for sponsors.

Sponsor a child
Nov 12 2014

Putting Gandhi’s wisdom into action

Martin Kraus

Martin Kraus (second from right), director of finance for Unbound, with his family

By Martin Kraus, director of finance for Unbound

“You must become the change you want to see.”

As I walked through the Mumbai airport in India, I couldn’t help but notice this quote on a huge banner hanging overhead. Most of us, whether from India or not, easily recognize this quote as being from Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most influential and respected leaders. What struck me are the many ways in which I am privileged to see Gandhi’s quote being put into action all over the world.

At Unbound, our sponsors take this quote to heart by taking action. Their sponsorship allows them to “become the change” that this world so badly needs, and in doing so, they make significant changes in the worlds of others. Recently, while performing an audit of Unbound’s office in Manila, Philippines, I met two beautiful examples.

Read more

Typhoon Rammasun
Nov 5 2014

Living through a typhoon in the Philippines

In an average year, 20 or more typhoons enter the Philippines. Half of those make landfall. Jane, who is sponsored through Unbound in the Philippines, shares her experiences from category 4 typhoon Rammasun, known locally as Glenda, which hit the Philippines earlier this year. The 17-year-old attends school in the Bicol region of the Philippines, and stays in a boarding house because of the school’s distance from her home.

It was July 15, 2014, when terrible typhoon Glenda hit our place in Bicol Region. The day before the typhoon made landfall, Albay Governor Joey Salceda suspended classes for all levels at 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

I used the remaining hours of the day to prepare my things to go home to my family. But the next morning I wasn’t able to go home because the public transportation to my hometown was canceled due to heavy rains. I decided to go back to the boarding house and stay there with my roommate.

Read more of Jane’s experience

Oct 29 2014

Staffer shares Philippine tradition honoring dead

By Tristan John Cabrera, communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines

Tristan John Cabrera is the communications liaison for Unbound in the Philippines. Each year, Filipino families spend Nov. 1 and 2 at the gravesites of their family members who have passed away. The two days are referred to as Undás. Tristan shared with us his experiences of the tradition.

Every year for Undás, observed Nov. 1 and 2, my family and I visit the graves of our loved ones who have passed away. On Oct. 31 we start building a tent to serve as our shelter for our two-day stay in the cemetery. We start early because of the large number of people who will also build their tents and visit their deceased loved ones.

Keep reading

Unbound sponsors
Oct 24 2014

Sponsor’s family photo bridges the distance

Unbound sponsors

This photo of Kathy, her children, Kristen, Alex and Gabriel (front), and her husband, Bob, gave new meaning to the relationship they had with their sponsored friend, Jay.

By Kathy Ackerman, Unbound sponsor

Kathy Ackerman has been an Unbound sponsor for 12 years. She has been sponsoring Jay for half that time. She shares how one family photo changed the relationship between her family and Jay.

For many years my family has sponsored a child through Unbound. Jay is the second child from the Philippines we have been able to help by providing financial support through this organization.

It is very easy to write a check and feel good about making a difference. We frequently received update letters from Jay. I occasionally sent a short note or card back, but honestly, I didn’t fully invest myself in trying to establish a relationship with this child so far away.

Read more

Unbound scholar
Oct 17 2014

Unbound alumnus a man for others

Pay it forward. It’s what Cieleto Fernandez does every day.

Cieleto is an alumnus of Unbound’s Quezon program in Agoo, La Union, in the Philippines. He was part of Unbound for 14 years and finished his education in computer technology. Now he works in a computer shop owned by a friend.

For a few years Cieleto had his own shop, which he operated out of his house. He assembled desktop computers from spare parts gathered from his neighborhood and friends. He made enough money to send his sister to school for a two-year hotel and restaurant management course.

The enterprising young man also went back school to earn a teaching certificate so he can teach computer courses and share his knowledge with youth.

Keep reading

Robert Hentzen
Oct 8 2014

In memory of ‘Sir Bob’

On October 8, 2013, Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen passed away. He was a true advocate for those struggling against poverty, and he touched the lives of many. Among those impacted was Shaima from Zamboanga, Philippines. She was one of Bob’s sponsored friends and built a relationship with him through letters.

After Bob’s passing, Shaima wrote a letter celebrating his role in her life. We’re sharing excerpts from her letter in honor of Bob on the anniversary of his passing.

Read Shaima’s letter

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

Manila flooding
Sep 19 2014

Flooding forces Philippine families to evacuate

Manila flooding

Antipolo staff members go house to house checking on Unbound families.

Tropical storm Fung-Wong dumped heavy rains on the Metro Manila region of the Philippines, where more than 33,000 families in our programs live. Flooding forced evacuations and schools and offices to close. Unbound staff members in the area are sending us reports as the storm sweeps through the nation’s capital region, home to more than 11 million people.

Want to help? Donate to Disaster Response.

Read the reports

Fashion around the world
Sep 12 2014

Fashion Week: Photos from around the world

Fashion around the world

By Jordan Kimbrell, writer/editor for Unbound

Unbound works with families from many different cultures and traditions. Inspired by New York Fashion Week, we want to explore the different fashions that are found within those cultures. Today we’re sharing photos depicting the many different fashions found in Unbound communities.

View the photos