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.
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.
Step inside 10-year-old Heymi’s house and you immediately take in the smell of wet wood. The sounds of chickens clucking and dogs barking outside fill the room.
The house, made of adobe and sheet metal, is home to seven people. But they only have three beds.
Heymi and her sister Esmerelda have one doll to share between them. The biggest challenge in life, Heymi said, is that “sometimes we don’t have food.”
By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador
Caitlyn had the opportunity to meet her sponsored friend, Ever, on an awareness trip to El Salvador. She is 16 years old, likes to read and enjoys sharing time with her family. They are very close to their faith and frequently attend church.
Although she is young, she has a very strong feeling about helping others. She babysits to pay for Ever’s sponsorship.
“[Sponsorship] makes me feel I need and want to be involved,” Caitlyn said. “It’s a great feeling. I love Ever. It’s about forming a bond with someone from another culture.”
By Larry Livingston, senior writer at Unbound
Think about a favorite teacher from when you were a child. What do you remember most about that person? I would bet that, for most of us, what we remember has more to do with the character of the teacher than the particulars of what they taught.
Teachers are, first and foremost, role models for the love of learning. Their passion for knowledge — and, more importantly, the meaning that underlies knowledge — stimulates students to begin to ask the kind of questions that can change their lives and take them on a never-ending journey of discovery.
Daniel, an Unbound scholar living in El Salvador, wants to be that kind of teacher. Inspired by the love of mathematics that he witnessed in his own teachers, Daniel has discovered within himself the heart of an educator. He wants to give to others what was first given to him.
On a normal day, Daniel rises at 3:30 a.m., prays with his family and then sets out for the two-hour truck ride to the university in Santa Ana.
“Here I receive a theory class because I’m an instructor for a group of students,” he shared. “I go to my classroom and wait for my students; I give the class as an instructor of math. When I finish class I spend a few minutes trying to resolve doubts they may have. Sometimes I have to go to a cyber cafe to get information that I’m going to use in the next class or stay with my classmate resolving exercises.”
By the time he returns home it is late at night, but for Daniel the long day is worth it because of the fulfillment he receives from being able to share his gifts with others who hunger to learn.
As we observe World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5, we celebrate Daniel and all the members of the Unbound community who have a passion to learn and to teach. They are a blessing for the young people of their communities and a reminder for all of us of the priceless treasure that education truly is.
Help support scholars like Daniel. Donate to Education today.
Erika grew up in a rural part of El Salvador, where the majority of jobs come from farming. Erika’s father, Daniel, relied on farming to support his wife and six children. Unfortunately, the income was not steady.
As a young girl, Erika attended a school where many of her classmates were sponsored through Unbound. As the second oldest, she saw how much her parents struggled to meet her education expenses and those of her siblings. Erika knew sponsorship would help her family financially. But she got so much more out of it than that.
“I used to watch all the other children get very excited because they were sponsored, they said ‘I’m sponsored, I’m sponsored,'” Erika shared.
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.
Victoria had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador in June for Unbound’s first blogger trip. She was overwhelmingly inspired by the sponsored friends and families she met. Here’s one of her stories.
Editor’s note: Jennifer is an Unbound staffer who felt so passionately about the children at the center of the “border crisis” that she sent this email message to her family and friends. We want to share it with you.
It’s not very often that I write things like this, but I’m really troubled by what’s going on at our borders. The true tragedy of this situation is the plight of the innocent children who are alone, scared, and often very sick by the time they reach our border.
Please take a minute to think about how desperate the situation must be for these families to risk the lives of their children in this way.
I work for a Kansas City-based sponsorship organization that works with families in 21 developing countries to create paths out of poverty. Last December I had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador to visit one of our program offices and meet some of the families we serve. Witnessing firsthand the living conditions in Central America was life-changing. You simply cannot imagine the daily difficulties these hard-working families face just to survive.