Category Archives: Sponsor a child

BryanFeaturedImage
Mar 4 2016

All you need is to see your future

Bryan, 12, from Guatemala.

Bryan, 12, from Guatemala.

Beaming with pride and a smile that constantly says, “I can do it,” 12-year-old Bryan enjoys a grand accomplishment for a boy his age.

For the third year in a row, Bryan has earned the distinction of being valedictorian at his grade school in Guatemala, a feat that is even more impressive when you consider only one student gets to have that honor each year.

Excelling at school might be difficult for a lot of students, but not many have faced the sort of obstacles that Bryan has had to overcome.

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Some of the tools needed to make hablon.
Mar 2 2016

Weaving a promising future in the Philippines

From left: Sponsored elder Florfina and moms Eliza and Lorna learned about hablon weaving.

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.

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John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.
Feb 29 2016

Small shop, big dreams

John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.

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.

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Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.
Feb 24 2016

Chicken farm allows for more opportunities

Cecilia, Josefina and Walter.

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.

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Former sponsored member Alex in his home in Colombia.
Feb 22 2016

‘Don’t ever tell me that things are impossible’

Former sponsored member Alex in his home in Colombia.

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.

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The enclosure the family built to keep their pigs.
Feb 19 2016

Getting ahead through careful saving

Sarobidy helps take care of his family's farm animals.

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.

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Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound
Feb 17 2016

What happens when a sponsored friend leaves the program

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

By Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

Claudia Stapley is a child move coordinator for Unbound and has been with Unbound for 10 years. When a sponsored member sends in a farewell letter, her team is in charge of processing the letter and contacting the sponsor to let them know their friend is leaving the program. For some this can be an emotional time, and Claudia and her team are there to offer care and understanding.

I’ve been writing to Gemmil in the Philippines since 2010. It’s exciting to hear from him and learn what’s happening in his family. His mom just had a baby this year, plus Gemmil’s in college studying to work on a ship and he tells me about the things he learns, like celestial navigation.

Even with all this excitement, there’s a little pit in my stomach because I know that soon — probably very soon — I’m going to receive a letter telling me that Gemmil is leaving the sponsorship program. I’m so happy for him to be graduating and starting to work. He’ll be able to help his parents and siblings and one day his own family, but I’m also a little sad that our relationship will come to a close.

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Tanzanian twins Clementina and Clecencia with some of their golf trophies.
Feb 15 2016

Twins in Tanzania excel in golf

Tanzanian twins Clementina and Clecencia with some of their golf trophies.

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.”

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Children in the Philippines make a heart with their hands.
Feb 10 2016

Embracing the gift of mercy

Children in the Philippines make a heart with their hands.

By Larry Livingston, senior writer

In Catholic tradition, a holy year is a time of special prayer, pilgrimage and grace. They normally occur every 25 years, but there can be exceptions for special occasions.

2016 is one of those exceptional years, with Pope Francis proclaiming this The Holy Year of Mercy. During this time, the pope has invited not only Catholics but all people of goodwill to enter into deeper reflection on the concept of mercy.

So let’s reflect a bit, through the lens of Unbound.

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