Category Archives: Region

Madelline, 7, and her family in El Salvador share a love for music.
Apr 11 2016

Swept away with song

Madelline, 7, and her family in El Salvador share a love for music.

Madelline, 7, and her family in El Salvador share a love for music.

Love was in the air 14 years ago in El Salvador when John swept Arely off her feet with his soulful serenades.

And the singing hasn’t stopped since.

“When we were dating, he used to sing for me every night under a tree that was next to my house,” Arely said. “When our first child was born, he played the guitar as a lullaby.”

John’s love for music has been passed down to his three children: Franklin, 13, Madelline, 7, who is sponsored through Unbound, and Cristian, 4.

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Jaishikha (left) lives in northern India with her mom, Reena; dad, Sunil (not pictured); and little brother, Kabir.
Apr 6 2016

Homes around the world: Photo essay

In Valparaiso, Chile, there might be a lot of stairs to climb to get home …
In Valparaiso, Chile, there might be a lot of stairs to climb to get home …
… But there's also a spectacular view.

… But there’s also a spectacular view.

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Unbound mother Maria shows off her sewing.
Apr 4 2016

Learning to sew unlocks mom’s determined spirit

Unbound mother Maria shows off her sewing.

Unbound mother Maria shows off her sewing.

Trying something for the first time can be difficult and intimidating. It was true for Maria when she first started learning how to sew.

Maria is a mother of four living in El Salvador. She joined the Unbound sponsorship program 11 years ago when her oldest daughter, Rosa, was sponsored by Alanna and Frances from Pennsylvania.

As a part of the program, Maria joined a mothers group with mothers in the area whose children are also sponsored through Unbound. The mothers had the opportunity to learn a new skill, and they decided to take sewing classes.

At first Maria was afraid, saying, “I used to cry because I thought if I couldn’t sew that I wouldn’t make it. It was hard to learn.”

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Kintana Telo drum.
Mar 25 2016

Unbound families share their talents through song

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
In 2014 several groups of musicians from our Antsirabe program in Madagascar were invited to record their music for the first Voices of Unbound CD. The Voices of Unbound: Madagascar CD was created to celebrate the talent and culture of our Unbound community while increasing awareness of the Unbound program. Below, Rovah, a staff member from our Antsirabe office, and Lydia, a mothers group member and musician, share their stories of participating in the music project. You can listen to the recordings online at unbound.org/music.
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This statue is one of the many life-size depictions of Christ displayed in the annual Lenten procession in San Mateo, Philippines.
Mar 23 2016

The message of mercy in Lent

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

Tristan John Cabrera is based out of our Quezon office. The Philippines is a predominately Catholic nation, and staff members from our Quezon office celebrate Lent together. Tristan offers his reflections on what Lent means in the Holy Year of Mercy.

For this Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has said, “Mercy is the heart of God. It must also be the heart of the members of the one great family of his children: a heart which beats all the more strongly wherever human dignity — as a reflection of the face of God in his creatures — is in play. Jesus tells us that love for others … is the yardstick by which God will judge our actions.”

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Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.
Mar 18 2016

The power of personal goals

Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.

Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.


Over the last decade Unbound has been shifting more and more of the decision-making power into the hands of the families we serve. We believe that families know best what they need and when, so creating a program that is personalized to each family just made sense.

As part of that shift, our local staff have focused on providing guidance to the families on making budgets and goals for how they want to utilize their sponsorship benefits.

Personal program goals put into action a belief in the decision-making power of individual sponsored members. For this reason, goal setting and goal orientation are an important part of living out many other Unbound program characteristics. A personal goal is simply a specific dream about how someone’s life or situation will be in the future. A goal could be related to someone’s future career, education, health status or economic situation.

Staff members from our office in Antioquia, Colombia, came together to share the process they went through when transitioning to the method of using personal program goals.

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Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.
Mar 16 2016

A home for her heart and work for her hands

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.


The next time you are at a child’s birthday party and the kids are swinging wildly at a piñata, take a moment to think about Maria Sabina. That brightly colored donkey, fish or bird might just have been made by her own two hands.

The mother of a child in the Unbound sponsorship program, Maria Sabina lives with her husband and two sons in a village in north-central El Salvador. Her son Ronny, 10, has been sponsored by Jackie in Florida since 2012.

Maria Sabina belongs to the Unbound mothers group in her community. As in other locations throughout the Unbound world, her group provides a structure for the mothers of sponsored children to come together and offer each other moral and emotional support.

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Mary applies a henna design for Unbound staff member Catherine Materu.
Mar 14 2016

Youth uses henna to pay for school

Mary, 17, from Tanzania

Mary, 17, from Tanzania


For a long time, Mary’s interest in art was simply a hobby. As a young girl, watching others draw henna designs on skin fascinated her. Now she uses this hobby as a way to earn money for school.

Seventeen-year-old Mary is an Unbound sponsored youth living in Tanzania. Because her parents separated when she was young, Mary and her siblings went to live with their aunt after their mother passed away last year.

“I used to depend on my mother for everything,” Mary said. “When she passed on, things changed. My aunt does her best to take care of me, but she also has her children, making it difficult for her to provide for all of us.”

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Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy's mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.
Mar 11 2016

Committed to a spirit of service

Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy's mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.

Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy’s mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.

Myra is an exuberant, kind woman driven by a deep desire to make the world a better place. Born in Guatemala and raised in a strict but lovingly tight-knit family, her rigorous education has shaped her into a disciplined and focused individual. These traits make her a valuable member of the Unbound family.

“My greatest satisfaction is being with the people,” Myra said. “I have a personal desire to see others reach their potential. I believe that every day and every person that touches your life is a learning opportunity.”

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Ariel, 21, a former sponsored member and current staff member in the Philippines.
Mar 9 2016

Where are they now: Ariel

Ariel, 21, a former sponsored member and current staff member in the Philippines.

Ariel, 21, a former sponsored member and current staff member in the Philippines.

A healthy dose of community, perseverance and hope go a long way in combatting the daily struggles of those facing poverty. Unbound’s sponsorship program prescribed that remedy for Ariel from the Philippines.

Billy and Mary Lou from Arizona sponsored Ariel when he was just 7 years old, which unlocked a world of opportunity he never knew.

“I had faced a lot of hindrances in my life, many problems, trials and conflicts,” Ariel said. “Problems in family and school made me strong and responsible enough to stand up on my own.”

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