Amanda Heter, Ximena Pacheco-Diaz and Paul Pearce, employees at Unbound headquarters in Kansas, traveled to Chile to meet the Unbound team in Valparaiso and to meet the families in our program. They shared a few highlights from their trip, photos and told us about some of the things happening in Chile.
It’s 3 a.m. in northwestern Nicaragua, with sunrise still more than two hours away, and sisters Susana and Jazmin are already waking up. Together they grind corn they prepared the night before into flour. Their mother, Maria, starts a fire in their wood-burning stove. Then, while Jazmin showers and prepares for school, Susana helps Maria make tortillas.
The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is Aug. 9, and we thought it was fitting to hear from a few sponsored youth from the Dumagat tribe, an indigenous community in the Philippines, about their heritage and hopes for the future.
Rosa gave birth to Jose at her home in Guatemala. When he was just 2 weeks old, she realized something was wrong.
“His skin seemed fragile and it did not look normal,” she said. “It looked like nylon skin. … We decided to take him to see a doctor. They said he was born with this dry skin illness named ichthyosis.”
Flor starts her day at 4 a.m. She wakes up, brushes her teeth and then grinds corn so her grandmother can make and sell tortillas. She then works as a nanny from 6 until around noon. After that she tries to spend some time with her family before she heads out again for her night classes from 6 until around 10. After class, she takes the bus home and gets ready for bed.
“That’s my daily routine,” she said. “That’s how my beautiful days are.”
Teresia always had an interest in beaded items and was curious about how they were made, so when the opportunity arose to learn beading, she jumped at the chance.
Letter writing is an important aspect of Unbound’s sponsorship program. Not only do we require sponsored members to write at least two letters a year to their sponsors, we encourage sponsors to write back. We frequently hear from sponsored members how much getting letters from their sponsors means to them. Sometimes those letters have the ability to change lives.
But when sponsored friends are between sponsors, they don’t have anyone to write to or receive letters from. When sponsors must discontinue their support, their sponsored friends continue to participate in the program and receive assistance while Unbound tries to find new sponsors for them.
Currently, we have more than 5,000 children, youth and elders waiting for new sponsors. Some of them have only been waiting a couple of months, while others have been waiting a couple of years. They’re missing out on a huge part of the Unbound program experience.