Miriam is a 22-year-old sponsored youth in Bolivia — and a big medal winner in the Bolivian National Special Olympics.
Miriam has been sponsored by Dan and Maureen in Oregon since 2006. She has an intellectual disability that affects her speech and learning.
One day in 2008, she saw a video at school about rhythmic gymnastics.
Luis has spent his whole life in La Paz, Bolivia. And for 15 of his 26 years, he has been sponsored by Anna from Ohio. Being part of the Unbound program has had a big impact on his life, and the values he learned from the organization helped shape his desire to serve others through police work.
“I have this strong desire to serve, to provide a helping hand for others,” Luis said. “If I have a coin in my pocket and I see someone who needs it more, I give it to the person even though I know that I also need it. I think I’ve picked up this type of attitude at Unbound, the spirit of serving with no self-interest.
“Sponsors are great role models because they provide support for people like me just because their heart says, ‘They need it.’ … I think I joined the [police] academy with the hopes that this career could provide opportunities for me to help society.”
Taste of tradition
Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.
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.
A taxi driver’s life can be dangerous. Unknown passengers, unsafe locations, heavy traffic, severe weather and the time of day can affect the outcome of each fare. But when the taxi driver is a woman living in Bolivia, accepting fares on a graveyard shift, the danger is much greater.
Rufino is an elder in Bolivia waiting for a sponsor, and he’s ready to send his sponsor some love.
“I would appreciate, respect and be forever grateful to my sponsor,” Rufino said. “I would say to come here, I would like to hug you and give you a thousand kisses.”
Rufino is 69 years old and lives with his wife in a small one-room home. He is blind in one eye and his wife has hip problems. Because of their health concerns, the pair is unable to work and find it difficult to meet their basic needs. At times, they don’t even have enough to eat.
“I try to visit the [Unbound] office to see if I already have a sponsor,” Rufino said. “I think receiving someone’s friendship and support brings great joy to the heart.”
Rufino likes taking care of his plants and his wife, Teresa. On the weekends he watches soccer games at the local field. Since he’s lost much of his vision, though, he’s no longer able to read, an activity he used to enjoy.
Rufino dreams of living the rest of his life happy with his plants and his wife. He just needs a sponsor to help him through his twilight years.
A sponsor for Rufino would mean he and his wife would have a meal on the table, medical care and emotional support from their community and sponsor.
Editor’s note: Since this blog was published, Rufino has found a sponsor. Click here to find other elders waiting for a sponsor.