Category: Sponsor an aging friend

An image of a girl in traditional Guatemalan clothing riding a bike.
Jul 17 2017

This is what makes Unbound different

An image of a girl in traditional Guatemalan clothing riding a bike.

Sponsored child Merlyn, 12, enjoys riding her bike in the streets around her home in Guatemala. Merlyn’s parents, like others in the Unbound program, have a voice in choosing the benefits that best serve their family’s needs.


The stories in our recent issue of Living Unbound are about the innovative ways that your sponsorship helps people around the world, delivering personalized benefits that give families the means to lift themselves out of poverty.

What you may not see is how exceptional these solutions are. Unbound is leading the way toward a new kind of service. The programs that you support look first to the wisdom and the creativity of the people we all serve. Conditional cash transfers help families take charge of their own lives. Parent groups provide opportunities for members to take microloans to start businesses and change whole communities.

And these methods work. Contrary to the myth that giving people money makes them lazy, research around the world shows that conditional cash transfers like the ones Unbound employs have positive long-term impacts. Children stay in school longer, their overall educational and health outcomes improve and they grow up to get better jobs.

Together, you and the rest of the Unbound community of sponsors provide opportunity.
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An image of an Indian woman cutting excess plastic off bottles.
Jun 14 2017

Living Unbound: In photos

Photo stories of empowerment

It took a village
An image of 10-year-old Jonah sitting outside his school in Kampala, Uganda.
Jonah, 10, sits outside his school in Kampala, Uganda. When his mother, Jane, moved away temporarily for work, Jonah struggled to stay in school. Members of the local Unbound mothers group stepped in to provide support and help him keep up his studies. Today, Jonah is doing well in school, loves math, and Jane is back home and active in the mothers group.
See more photos

An image of Monica Gomez, Antioquia program coordinator, from Colombia.
Jun 7 2017

Q&A with Monica Gomez, Antioquia program coordinator

Colombian staffer gives insight into working with families

An image of Monica Gomez, Antioquia program coordinator, from Colombia.

Monica Gomez, Antioquia program coordinator, from Colombia.


When you have a personalized benefit program model the way Unbound does, it means each family gets a say in how their sponsorship resources are used. And because we have more than 300,000 sponsored members, it means that we don’t have just one program to fit everyone, but thousands of individual programs, each based on the needs of a sponsored child or elder.

To achieve this type of program, you have to have some very dedicated staff members who understand the communities they’re working with. Thankfully, Unbound has found many passionate, caring people to partner with families in creating positive change.

In Colombia, we’ve started implementing personalized benefits through child bank accounts, working with families to make their own budgets to help them achieve their goals. Antioquia program coordinator Monica Gomez offers insights into what it’s like working with families using a personalized benefit model.
Read the Q&A!

Image = The skytram or metro cable in Medellin, Colombia.
Jun 5 2017

10 impressions from 10 days in Colombia

Staff member reflects on her Unbound adventure


By Maureen Lunn, writer/editor

I’ve had the privilege of trotting around the globe quite a lot in my life thus far, and by my mid-30s had set foot on every continent except South America. (Well, and Antarctica. But that doesn’t really count, does it?) So when I had the opportunity recently to travel to Colombia with Unbound, I knew it was going to be a special journey. I was right.

A week in Medellin and four days in Cartagena provided some of the most exceptional cultural experiences I’ve ever had, some of the craziest views I’ve ever seen and some of the warmest people I’ve ever met. Here are 10 impressions that have really stuck with me from my 10 days in the country.

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Melissa Armitage takes a break from processing child profiles at her desk at Unbound's Kansas City headquarters.
May 22 2017

From digital fields to real friends

Four steps to receiving your sponsored friend’s story

Melissa Armitage takes a break from processing child profiles at her desk at Unbound's Kansas City headquarters.

Melissa Armitage takes a break from processing child profiles at her desk at Unbound’s Kansas City headquarters.


By Melissa Armitage, campaign fulfillment manager

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine you’re sitting at a desk, carefully reading over a document. You check it for grammar, style and clarity. Now, think of doing that for 30,000 documents every year.

Sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it?

That’s a glimpse of the process Unbound’s Child Services Department undertakes every day to share the stories of families awaiting sponsorship.
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Image = Rural community in Honduras.
May 8 2017

Travel with Unbound in August!

Visit Honduras, Nicaragua

Looking for a meaningful getaway this summer? Why not go on an awareness trip with Unbound?

Unbound awareness trips offer an adventure like no other, all under the careful guidance of our staff in Kansas City and the country where you travel. From arranging your accommodations, itinerary, meals and in-country transportation, to connecting you with sponsored members and their families to learn about their lives, Unbound staff members are your guides.

There are still spots open for our August trips to Honduras and Nicaragua.

Traveler testimonials

“Until one meets and experiences the child or elder in the home and sees how many people in the country live in poverty, a poverty that challenges their existence and that of their children, one cannot really understand how Unbound positively impacts their lives.” — Margaret from Minnesota

“I was impressed by the happiness and spirit of people who live in poverty. They are affectionate, outgoing and appreciative of everything they have.” — Nancy from Georgia

“I gained a better understanding of how people live in another culture through this trip.” — Mariellyn from Minnesota”

Can’t make those dates but still want to travel with Unbound? Visit unbound.org/trips to see the full schedule.

Fred is a sponsored elder in Uganda who used his sponsorship benefits to purchase a water pump to help care for his livestock.
May 3 2017

Living Unbound: Stories of empowerment

Publication, blog series to explore how families use benefits

Fred, a sponsored elder in Uganda, uses his new water pump to spray his cow. He used his sponsorship benefits to purchase the pump, which helps him care for his livestock.

Fred, a sponsored elder in Uganda, uses his new water pump to spray his cow. He used his sponsorship benefits to purchase the pump, which helps him care for his livestock.

Many things set Unbound apart.

We’re the only major U.S.-based organization that offers sponsorship for elders. The communities we work with have created a small group model that provides support and accountability for the parents of sponsored children. We consistently achieve top ratings from charity evaluators, with more than 92 percent of our expenses going to program support. All of these things are supported by one of the most unique aspects of our program — highly personalized benefits.

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Amanda Heter
Apr 21 2017

Unbound Unscripted

Regional project director for international programs

Watch this edition of “Unbound Unscripted” to meet Regional Project Director Amanda Heter. She and her team in our international programs department serve as a link between our headquarters in Kansas City and sponsored members and local staff in the countries where we work.

Watch previous episodes:
Gene Komer, Unbound receptionist
Matt Young, service center manager

Daffodils
Apr 14 2017

In celebration of newness of life

Daffodils
Each week, Unbound delivers a faith-based reflection to inboxes around the world through our Prayer Partners email. Everyone is welcome to sign up to receive these emails. Our weekly ePrayer offers the chance to join the Unbound community in reflection and prayer.

Throughout Lent, we’ve offered a special series of reflections on the upcoming Sunday readings. In honor of Easter, we’re sharing this week’s prayer with our blog readers. This final reflection for Easter Sunday is from Unbound preacher Father David Noone.
Read the reflection

Liva Rajaonarisina, program coordinator in Antsirabe, Madagascar presents at Unbound's Global Insight Series on March 29 in Kansas City.
Apr 12 2017

‘Closer and closer to the families’

Antsirabe program coordinator shares how benefits are distributed in Madagascar

Liva Rajaonarisina, program coordinator in Antsirabe, Madagascar presents at Unbound's Global Insight Series on March 29 in Kansas City.

Liva Rajaonarisina, program coordinator in Antsirabe, Madagascar presents at Unbound’s Global Insight Series on March 29 in Kansas City.

Liva Rajaonarisina is Unbound’s program coordinator in Antsirabe, Madagascar. With experience working in mission work, translation and employee training, Liva has worked for Unbound as program coordinator since 2008.

Unbound has 37 projects in the 19 countries where we work. The projects serve as regional hubs in areas where sponsored members live, and are the coordinating centers for community-based programs that span the area. Each of these hubs is led by a coordinator who helps guide and manage the Unbound program in that area.

At both Unbound’s Global Insight Series on March 29 and at an employee-wide presentation the next day, Liva shared about the benefits of sponsorship in Madagascar. Benefits are distributed in two primary and effective ways — cash distribution and a livelihood program called “Market Market.”

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