From left: Sponsored elder Florfina and moms Eliza and Lorna learned about hablon weaving.
Woven into every sponsorship story are personalized solutions to overcome poverty and get ahead.
That story is no different for Eliza from the Philippines. Her 20-year-old son, Christian, has been sponsored through Unbound since 2004. But with seven other children at home, getting ahead in life remains a challenge. Their family’s only income comes from her husband’s farming.
Eliza is able to send Christian to school with the support his sponsors, Janet and Tim from Kansas. She also uses the sponsorship support to supplement her family’s nutritional and other daily needs.
John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
In a small village in rural Uganda, we visit John at his small shop. He cheerfully, pulls up chairs for me and the Ugandan staff member accompanying me on my visit. John’s daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound.
I glance around the shop and see that the shelves are filled with neatly arranged goods.
A customer walks in and John excuses himself. John serves the customer in a polite manner. I can tell that he enjoys his work as a shopkeeper by the way he carries himself.
Gabriela, a sponsored youth and scholarship holder from Honduras.
Gabriela is the quintessential leader.
She excels in her studies. She coordinates a church group. And she’s a service scholar and mentor for other sponsored friends in Unbound.
But Gabriela hasn’t always been an all-around leader. She’s come a long way since she was first sponsored at 4 years old.
Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.
Seven years ago, Walter’s family grew a whole lot bigger when they requested 12 baby chicks as part of their sponsorship benefit from Unbound.
Walter and Cecilia live in Guatemala with their five children, including their 13-year-old daughter Josefina, who is sponsored through Unbound. After learning about Unbound through their niece, who is also sponsored, Walter and Cecilia approached Unbound to see if Josefina was eligible for the program.
Former sponsored member Alex in his home in Colombia.
Throughout his life, one of Alex’s biggest champions has been his grandfather Saniel. Growing up in Colombia, Alex was mostly raised by his grandfather, as his father left when he was still young and his mother works as a housemaid in a different city.
“My grandpa is the one who has always cared for me,” Alex said. “He has always been there for me. My mother works as a housemaid and we visit each other often. She comes here and I go there.”
Now 30, Alex learned a lot from Saniel. He learned how to overcome obstacles, about the importance of punctuality and encouraged Alex to take up sports. But most importantly, Saniel taught Alex not to let the fact that he was blind get in his way.
Sarobidy helps take care of his family’s farm animals.
Just four years ago Sarobidy’s family was struggling to survive, living in a small wooden house in Madagascar on the little income his mother, Hasiniaina, made doing laundry and selling vegetables and firewood. His father, Léon, wasn’t able to find work.
Sarobidy attended an inexpensive local school, though the quality of the education wasn’t very good. Though the tuition only cost about $2.50 USD per month, the expense took a toll on the family’s budget.
“We were afraid to borrow money,” Hasiniaina said. “There were many times that we didn’t have food, but there was no one to help.”
Then in March of 2012, Sarobidy was sponsored through Unbound by Paul and Maureen from Ohio, and his family was able to start turning their situation around.
Tanzanian twins Clementina and Clecencia with some of their golf trophies.
On the golf course, twin sisters Clementina and Clecencia from Tanzania rely on hard work and determination to stay on par with their peers.
“People believe that the game of golf is for the rich only, but that is not true,” Clementina said. “We are not rich, but we are good players.”
Suyapa, a former sponsored child, now works as a nurse.
Growing up in Honduras, former sponsored child, Suyapa, saw the need in her community. She witnessed this in the struggles her mother and family faced.
Growing up, conditions were difficult for Suyapa and her family.
Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.
By Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound
As concerns grow about the spread and potential effects of the Zika virus, some of our sponsors have asked whether Unbound will cancel any of our planned trips to the field. Many of these sponsors are traveling with Unbound on an awareness trip and are excited to meet their sponsored friend for the first time.
I am happy to say that we have no plans to cancel any of our upcoming trips.
As part of our standard procedures, the awareness trip coordinators and I monitor current events that could impact travelers. Here is some of the key information we are reading from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding Zika virus:
- “Until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.”
- “Pregnant women (should) consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.” Read more.
- A WHO committee advised on Feb. 1, 2016, “The Committee found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus. At present, the most important protective measures are the control of mosquito populations and the prevention of mosquito bites in at-risk individuals, especially pregnant women.”
Regardless of what is or isn’t making headlines, we urge all our travelers to read the CDC’s Traveler’s Health page and speak with a medical professional regarding travel and their health. We provide information useful for that conversation such as the elevation of the areas they’ll visit and whether or not the lodging is air conditioned. We also require pregnant travelers to obtain medical clearance from their doctor in order to travel with us.
Many illnesses can be avoided by preventing mosquito bites. We refer travelers to the CDC’s Mosquito Bite Prevention PDF for guidance on preventing mosquito bites. A favorite prevention method of our team is using Permethrin to treat clothing as directed by the CDC.
If you have questions or would like more information about the trips Unbound offers, please visit unbound.org/trips or email email@example.com.
Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound