Loretta Shea Kline, a sponsor and Unbound managing editor, writes a letter to her friend, Dinesh, in India.
By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor at Unbound
I write for a living and know the hardest part of writing anything— this blog post, a story for our Living Unbound magazine or a letter to my sponsored friend — is getting started.
We tell sponsors all the time that writing to their sponsored friends is easy. While tools such as mailing labels and eLetters make the process of sending a letter easier, crafting words to go on the paper or screen is never easy.
Parents of sponsored children from the northern Isabela Province in the Philippines make fertilizer to sell to local farmers. These parents have joined together to create SANKAPACO Cooperative. SANKAPACO is a combination of three words: Sagana, which means rich, Kaagapay, which means standing for each other or helping hand and pag-unlad, which means progress.
The impact of sponsorship ripples beyond just a monthly monetary transaction from sponsors to sponsored friends.
A group of 36 sponsored families from Isabela, located in the northeastern-most part of the Philippines, has banded together to create a fertilizer cooperative. They sell the fertilizer to generate income as they challenge poverty daily.
They began the cooperative in August 2015 with less than $40 of capital. That was all they needed to start the process of mixing all the right materials to create an affordable fertilizer they could sell to the many farmers in their community.
The sponsored families decided to create a fertilizer cooperative because Isabela is one of the country’s major crop producing areas for foods like rice and corn.
A group of sponsored youths in Guatemala make Christmas cards to send to their sponsors.
At this time of year sponsors often ask us, “Do you have any suggestions for what I can give my sponsored friend for Christmas?” As a matter of fact, we do, and all it will cost you is a wee bit of your time. OK, that and an international postage stamp.
After his father left three years ago, Brayan and his family were in a tough situation. His mother, Lucretia, had to leave then 8-year-old Brayan at home with his older sister for long periods while she worked far away to pay off a bank loan. Fortunately, Brayan heard about Unbound from a friend at school who was sponsored.
“I told my mother and she was able to reach the office and talk to the coordinator,” Brayan said. “I have now been sponsored for three years. I had to wait for about a year to find a sponsor.”
A sponsored child in the Philippines writes a letter to her sponsor in Tagalog. The letter is then translated into English.
As an international organization, it’s no surprise Unbound comprises diverse communities speaking numerous languages. While countries we work in might share an official language, such as Spanish, it may not be the first language of many of the residents.
There are hundreds of languages spoken across the Unbound community. From Kaqchikel in Guatemala to Tagalog in the Philippines, languages represent the unique cultures that are part of Unbound.
Sponsored member Vaishnavi (center) in Hyderabad, India, celebrates the holiday spirit with her parents.
At Christmas, many people give charitably in honor of a loved one instead of giving traditional Christmas gifts. For a family member who doesn’t want more stuff, or a friend who loves the idea of sponsorship but is unsure about the financial commitment, giving the gift of sponsorship is a beautiful way to celebrate.
We’re so honored that more than 1,000 people celebrated 35 years of service with us on Saturday, Nov. 19 at our Global Block Party. Located at our headquarters in Kansas City, the party was packed with sponsors, neighbors, employees and founding families. The day was a meaningful symbol of the growing Unbound community in Kansas City and around the globe.
Over the course of the crisp, fall afternoon, guests learned about Unbound’s unique model through a staff-created exhibit about our work, listened to speakers and performers, and visited with staff and family members of our founders. From a KC drill team to African traditional dancers, performances were running throughout the event, reflecting the colorful cultures of Unbound from Kansas City to around the globe. Check out some photos from our big day.
Alexander is a scholarship student in Lima, Peru. He was initially attracted to acting, but his teacher saw that he had a knack for art. Alexander chose to pursue graphic design to connect art and media, a perfect choice for today’s technological age .
Beatriz is an Unbound scholar in Santa Ana, El Salvador. She grew up walking an hour each way to school, and now her perseverance still shows in her commitment to her studies and supporting her mother.
On Nov. 29, help students achieve their goals in higher education by donating to our Education fund on #GivingTuesday.
When you support education through Unbound, you’re investing in the dreams of students. Your contribution means children and young adults can continue their education into secondary schools, technical schools or even university programs.
Parents of children sponsored in the Philippines turn tree branches into a crepe paper Christmas tree.
Close your eyes and picture a Christmas tree. If you’re from the United States, there’s a good chance you pictured some type of fir tree covered in baubles and topped with a star. And while there are plenty of firs in North America, they’re scarce in places like the Philippines, especially when looking for ones with the iconic conical shape.
But families of sponsored friends in the Philippines don’t let that scarcity stop their holiday cheer. Using recyclable materials, several families created their own Christmas trees and decorations.