Walking down Guatemalan streets lined by cinderblock homes with iron sheet roofs, you might not expect to hear the warm, deep tones of a cello playing Bach or the sometimes accompanying lilt of a violin. But, most evenings, if you visit Carlos’ neighborhood, that’s exactly what you’ll hear.
People who visit seaside resorts enjoy the warm waters, beautiful beaches and the various amenities such places have to offer. But they might not think much about the lives of the people who provide those services – people like Yira and her family.
El Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a popular holiday in Latin America when people visit the gravesites of loved ones. Headstones are painted, cleaned and adorned with flowers. It’s a time for families to come together to honor their loved ones who have passed on.
Deborah is a single mother of three children living in Tanzania. She’s struggling to provide for her family, and she and her children are living with her uncle’s family until she’s able to get back on her feet. She sells mandazi, which is a snack made out of wheat flour, but the money she makes isn’t enough.
Two of her children are 6-year-old twins Jackson and Jackline. Because of the family’s financial situation, Jackline is part of the sponsorship program, but Jackson still needs a sponsor.
“My children look up to me to provide for them,” Deborah said. “I feel like a failure when I am not able to meet their various needs. It is not easy being a single mother with no source of income.”
Deborah hopes for a better life for her children, and her hope lies in the chance for a quality education for them.
The twins already have their own unique personalities and are different in many ways. Jackline likes to play ukuti, a singing game, with her friend, while Jackson likes more physically active games.
“My best friend is called Goodluck,” Jackson said. “We play many games together like hide-and-seek, football and running.”
The family has chickens, and the twins feed and take care of the animals as part of their household chores.
Jackson and Jackline are going to school and learning to read and write. They both want to become teachers when they grow up.
A sponsor for Jackson would mean the chance for him to continue in school and fulfill his dreams.
Editor’s note: Since this was posted, Jackson has found a sponsor. Click here to view other kids waiting for a sponsor.
When Moisés describes his typical day, it doesn’t sound too different from what you might expect from a 19-year-old living in the United States.
“I get up in the morning and, logically, I get a hot cup of coffee. I practice a little with my guitar and use the computer a bit.
“Not every day is the same for me. I ride my bike, I run errands, I work, etc., and at night I go to school.”
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. And when detected early, the five-year survival rate is 100 percent.
For many living in poverty with no health benefits, early detection and proper care isn’t an option.
By Gustavo Adolfo Aybar, communications services manager for Unbound Sponsor Services
As a native Dominican, raised in the United States the majority of my life, I believed my summer vacations, plus my connection to the island — both personal and through my studies — kept me culturally aware and prepared to serve as an ambassador for families struggling in poverty. That was before I traveled to El Salvador to participate in an Unbound staff awareness trip.
Yesterday, on Oct. 11, the world celebrated International Day of the Girl. The day was made official by the United Nations in 2011, and was created “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
Unbound celebrates girls and women on Oct. 11 and every other day of the year. We provide encouragement and support for moms through Unbound mothers groups. We provide loans to mothers so they can start start small businesses and we support girls and young women as they pursue and continue their educations.
Check out these stories from Unbound about girls and women building a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.