By Dan Pearson, Director of International Programs
Dan gives a fist bump to a young girl outside the Unbound office near Kibera slum in Kenya.
What’s the best gift for a continent? May 25 is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. But don’t worry if you haven’t gotten Africa a gift yet. The day hasn’t really caught on in the U.S. like other celebrations of international origin such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but that may change.
The mental maps of many Americans are pretty blank when it comes to Africa, and the topics we associate with the continent are mostly negative: slavery, poverty, starvation, dictators and war. It’s true that Africa’s history is deeply marked by suffering, mostly at the hands of outsiders but also self-inflicted. Modern Africa is changing rapidly, and it is time we all took note.
: Barclay Martin speaks with high school teacher Gail Martin and a group of her students about the documentary “Rise and Dream.”
This 2008 archive photo shows teens from the “Rise and Dream” documentary.
Letters are an everyday part of the Unbound program — they’re the bridge that connects people throughout our world. Hundreds of thousands of letters from sponsored friends pass through our Kansas City headquarters each year on their way to sponsors. With all the correspondence that passes through our office, some letters still come as a surprise.
Victoria Brown with Diego, Johana, Sonia and Brian outside their home.
It’s 11 p.m., and I’m sitting alone in the Unbound communications office in Santa Ana, El Salvador, typing away as bugs crawl and fly around me. I procrastinated on this post all evening because I couldn’t stop thinking about my visit with Sonia.
Sponsored elders in Guatemala.
Elderly people need sponsors, too! We have several elders on our waiting lists who would love to have someone to write to and share their joys. Check out the list below for some of those who need a sponsor.
By Veronica Batton, writer/editor for Unbound
Maria, former sponsored child through Unbound.
Lake Atitlan and the San Pedro Volcano in Guatemala.
Happy World Water Day! We celebrate this day each year on March 22, as a way to highlight the importance of freshwater and maintaining freshwater resources. The theme for World Water Day 2014 is on “Water and Energy.”
When you consider that 60 percent of the adult human body is made of it, and about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by it, water becomes a pretty important resource for us to care for in the right way. Read more
By Dallas Parker, communications intern at Unbound
Sponsored elderly in the Philippines are all smiles on their way to Elderly Day activities organized by the Quezon project.
For our aging friends, having fun is essential to their health and well-being. Unbound hosts events designed to give social opportunities to aging friends like Elderly Day in our Quezon project in the Philippines. Read more
Innamma, a mother in India, used microloans from her mothers group to start a dairy business.
Learn how Innamma pays for her children’s education with help from her four-legged friends, whom she met because she joined a mothers group!
Bradly, a CFCA sponsored child in Guatemala, dreams of becoming a builder.
By Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy
The other day I was talking to Ramiro Zelada, a co-worker who was born in Guatemala, about the word “dream.”
He told me that in Guatemala, those living in poverty think of dreams as something that will never come true.
And in the cases of people who are just trying to make ends meet day to day, dreams can be a reminder of a horizon that is unreachable.
“Dreaming,” Ramiro said, “is a luxury we can’t afford.”
Barclay Martin, CFCAís new channels marketing coordinator
Barclay Martin joined CFCA last year as new channels marketing coordinator.
But he was a familiar face at CFCA long before joining the staff.
Barclay, a professional musician for the past 10 years, was the composer for CFCA’s documentary, “Rise and Dream,” and is seen in the film learning and helping to teach 13 teenagers about the cultural instruments of their heritage.
We sat down with him to find out more about his role and how his background in music influences his work.
Q. What is your role as new channels marketing coordinator?
A. The new channels department was created to reach new audiences as well as develop innovative and creative ways for people to fall in love with CFCA’s work and the individuals we serve.
It’s so exciting to see people take interest in CFCA’s work. Individuals working together to create sustainable, positive change motivates me a great deal.
I’ve developed a deep respect for the rich diversity of the people I’ve met through my travels.
By celebrating diversity as a global community, we become more aware of the essential elements of life that ultimately bring us closer as human beings. Read the rest of the interview