Maria is a sponsored elder who lives in Mexico with her oldest son and his family. Maria’s husband passed away, and she now sells clothes at a local market to earn a small income. She is outgoing and enjoys staying active. Learn Maria’s secret to a long life and other wisdom she shares with us.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Smoke from the cooking fire filled the small kitchen as the contents of a cooking pot boiled. The fire was built between three large stones, with the pot balanced on the edges of the stones, above the fire.
This is what I saw when I visited with Lucy, one of the elders sponsored through Unbound in Kenya. As I made my way to her home, I noticed her well-kept compound and the sound of her singing.
“Welocamu na wakinya guku kwa cucu, siti downi,” Lucy sang.
Jorge’s favorite spot is the hammock on his front porch.
“I spend the afternoon right here,” he said. “I read the Bible — I stay here until about 8 at night. We eat something, and we go to bed.”
Jorge is 68 years old and lives in Guatemala. Those relaxing afternoons in the hammock are much needed after his long mornings selling clothes in the marketplace.
Jorge and his wife, Reyna, wake up at 5 a.m. every day and try to sell clothes to provide for their daily needs. They may earn $4 or $5 on a good day, but many times they can’t sell anything, leaving them with no money for food or transportation home from the market.
By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador
Joy filled the day when local Unbound staff in El Salvador and awareness trip participants got together for morning prayer with the sponsored elders.
After the elders sang and we shared in a short reflection, we all waited for the testimony from a humble and kind older man named Manuel.
Using his prosthetic arm, Manuel placed a tree leaf on his mouth and started playing a gospel tune. After his song, he introduced himself and said, “Could you take a minute to look at me? Please be honest, don’t I look handsome? This is all thanks to you sponsors.”
By Dan Pearson, Director of International Programs
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.
The sea for Jose is beauty and sustenance. It’s a gracious host welcoming visitors and old friends. It’s also a fierce foe threatening his livelihood and safety in severe storms.
Jose lives by the sea and makes his living from it — as a fisherman, tour guide, farmer and owner of a small store. He lives about an hour from Hundred Islands National Park, a tourist destination and protected area in the Philippines some 150 miles north of Manila. He’s lived in the area since he was 7 years old. He’s 62 now.
Jose has been a member of Unbound’s elder program for two years. The support he gets from his sponsor, Carol in North Carolina, supplements his own hard work and initiative, giving him a little more security in his later years.
In the United States we still have a few months before we celebrate Labor Day, but many countries, including Costa Rica, the Philippines, Kenya, El Salvador and others, observed the holiday on May 1. In honor of Labor Day, Rafael Villalobos, coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, shared a reflection about his own work at Unbound.
I want to start by sharing a quote from Confucius, who said, “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
This has been my work experience with Unbound.
It’s not just a job, it’s a mission, a lifestyle, something that inspires and gives meaning to life.
In 2014, Unbound was a GreatNonprofits Top-Rated organization. We need your help to achieve this honor again in 2015.
To be a top-rated nonprofit, we just need 10 new positive reviews with a 4- or 5-star rating between now and Oct. 31. Maintaining a high rating on review sites like GreatNonprofits helps raise awareness about Unbound and the work we do to help families fight poverty.
Click here to view the Unbound page on GreatNonprofits and write a review. Need some inspiration? Sponsor Margaret Bristow left this wonderful review for us last year:
After you write your review, share it on social media and let your friends and family know you support Unbound.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we checked in with Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team. It’s their happy duty to support the efforts of volunteers who are willing to help find new sponsors in their local communities. The team calls these dedicated supporters “ambassadors,” and they are an invaluable part of Unbound’s outreach efforts.
Though the team spends much of their time finding volunteers to assist Unbound preachers at weekend church presentations, ambassadors contribute in a number of other creative ways as well.
Team member Clair Paul appreciates their devotion.
“I find the passion of our volunteers very inspiring,” she said. “It’s obvious they care so deeply for their sponsored friends and want their family and friends to have the experience they’ve had with Unbound.”