Josefa, an elder sponsored through Unbound, sits on the doorstep outside her home in Guatemala.
At 77 years old, Josefa has aches and pains, but she knows exactly how to find joy.
Romelia gathers eggs from her chickens.
For Romelia, the answer to the age-old question about which came first, the chicken or the egg, is simple. It was the chicken, with the egg following close behind. And, just in case you’re wondering what came third, the answer is the sweater.
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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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.
Ambrocia embroiders blankets with the Unbound logo to support her family.
Ambrocia learned how to embroider when she was just 10 years old.
“My neighbor Emilia showed me the skills,” Ambrocia said. “I remember her words, ‘Learn because you never know when it may come in handy.'”
And at the age of 47, this Guatemalan mom is using the skill she learned all those years ago from a kind neighbor to support her family.
Members of a mothers group in Guatemala sit in front of baskets they produce to generate income. Pictured are Ana (foreground) and (in back, from left) Maria, Dora and Maria Eva.
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.
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.
Hugo and Maria with four of their children. Sons Jairo and Cesar (from left) are in the background, while the parents hold twin babies (from left) Ethan and Adler.
This is the last in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ve been posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video.
Read Hugo’s story
Marcelo with two of his six daughters, Maria (left) and Estela (center).
This is the first 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 Marcelo’s story
Carlos Lopez, a former sponsored child and now Unbound staff member, stands in his home in Guatemala.
Carlos Lopez has seen his life transform from humble roots to a bright future.
With the help and encouragement he received from Unbound and his longtime sponsor, today Carlos serves as a legal adviser for Unbound’s Hermano Pedro program, supporting the very community that that helped him grow up. He recently completed law school.
Luis Cocón, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala, laughs with sponsored children while taking a break from a photo shoot.
Around the world, Unbound communications liaisons and correspondents are hard at work collecting inspiring stories of sponsored children and elders to share through Unbound publications, blog posts, social media and other channels.
In Guatemala, communications liaison Luis Cocón works with 16 correspondents in three countries (Mexico, Guatemala and Bolivia). He utilizes Skype and webinars to hold training meetings with new correspondents.
Staff members learn how to identify stories, collect information and conduct interviews. He also teaches photography skills, from the technical aspects of camera function to composing an image.
But most importantly, Luis always starts his training with the “why” behind his work with Unbound. He believes the voiceless need to be heard and desires to create connections for those willing to listen.