John is a father of eight in Uganda. His daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound. To support his family, he took loans from the Unbound parents group he participates in to open up his own store.
Sep 5 2016

Hard-working parents — photo essay

Charito is the mother of two sponsored children in the Philippines. She is part of an initiative that uses water hyacinth (water lily), which grows in abundance near her community, to create a plant-based leather substitute. They use it to create a variety of products, such as shoes, bags, folders and backpacks. Charito is in charge of drying and cleaning the plants after they have been harvested by scraping off extra fibers, which she is doing in the photo above.

Through supports groups and livelihood programs, Unbound supports the hard-working parents of sponsored children around the world to help them develop their natural talents, so they can create sustainable sources of income to support their families and work their way out of poverty.

See more photos

Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women's music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She's now the group's youngest member.
Sep 2 2016

Youth use music to better their worlds

Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women's music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She's now the group's youngest member.

Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women’s music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She’s now the group’s youngest member.

From traditional folkloric music to hip-hop, sponsored friends around the world are practicing their favorite forms of music and using music to better their worlds and bring peace of mind.

Read more

Pritha, at the age of 13, dressed for her coming-of-age ceremony. According to Pritha, this photo was taken in a professional photographer's studio, in front of a mirror so that the intricate braid work could be seen in the reflection.
Aug 31 2016

Coming of age in South India

By Pritha Hariharan, program director for Unbound’s international programs

Picture this: a young girl of 13 fully decked out in a brand new sari. All the gold her family can afford hangs on her ears, around her neck, her wrists, her ankles and even her waist. She is the center of attention — all the ladies of the family and the neighborhood mill around her. Some bring gifts, others bring food, but everyone is congratulating her and her parents.

She isn’t quite sure why she’s been put in the spotlight, but she’s enjoying it for now. The male siblings are feeling left out, and for the first time in their lives they can’t figure out why the sister is getting all the attention.

Middle school graduation?

Think again.
Keep reading

Competing for many years in Bolivia's Special Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics, Miriam lives her life to the fullest and encourages others to always be grateful.
Aug 29 2016

Special Olympics gymnast finds her rhythm

Competing for many years in Bolivia's Special Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics, Miriam lives her life to the fullest and encourages others to always be grateful.

Competing for many years in Bolivia’s Special Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics, Miriam lives her life to the fullest and encourages others to always be grateful.


Miriam is a 22-year-old sponsored youth in Bolivia — and a big medal winner in the Bolivian National Special Olympics.

Miriam has been sponsored by Dan and Maureen in Oregon since 2006. She has an intellectual disability that affects her speech and learning.

One day in 2008, she saw a video at school about rhythmic gymnastics.

Keep reading

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.
Aug 26 2016

Indian swimmer wins Paralympic gold

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.

Sundarapandi lost his hands at age 10. He later went on to win numerous medals in the Indian Paralympics as a swimmer.

When Sundarapandi, an 18-year-old sponsored youth in India, lost his hands in an electrical accident at age 10, he never imagined he would someday become a decorated athlete.

Winning three gold and one bronze medal in the India National Paralympics in 2015, Sundarapandi has achieved far beyond what he ever could have dreamed.

Read more

Usebio crosses a bridge on a walk through the mountains surrounding his community in Ecuador.
Aug 24 2016

Living a life of service

Usebio crosses a bridge on a walk through the mountains surrounding his community in Ecuador.

Usebio crosses a bridge on a walk through the mountains surrounding his community in Ecuador.


Usebio is a natural-born leader and offers up his own services to anyone who needs them.

Through his leadership, he helps others in his mountain community in Ecuador get ahead. And at 69, he’s had a lot of practice as a leader.

“I liked to lead and organize since I was little,” Usebio said. “When I was 9 years old, I started catechesis classes with the schoolchildren in my house. Also, when I was bigger, I organized young people to arrange festivals, dramas and social activities.”

His community is mostly made up of farmers, and there isn’t always enough work to go around.

“There are not many jobs here,” he said. “People collect sugar cane, guavas and grow cassava, potatoes, etc. During guavas season, people collect and sell them to people from the city. For example, we sell guavas at $1.50 per box. In a good day we can sell 10, but in a bad day we don’t even get $5.”

Keep reading

Sponsored children take part in an Unbound activity in Colombia.
Aug 22 2016

Unbound, a shelter of hope in times of war


By John Fredy Arango, Unbound staff member in Medellin, Colombia

The Colombian government has been in conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country’s largest guerrilla movement, since the 1960s, as well as other armed groups. More than 50 years of violence has had an impact on people from all parts of the country. Unbound staff member John Fredy Arango reflects on the recent evolution of the conflict.

I was barely in my mother’s womb when the echoes of war were already shaking my body. I was born and grew up, I became a young man and I heard those sounds of war again, but this time they were stronger. I saw how they were numbing the hopes and neutralizing the dreams of those around me.

Keep reading

With loans from her group, Romelia from Guatemala started a business selling eggs, increasing her family’s financial stability.
Aug 19 2016

From surviving to thriving

FilipinoFarmers
As a sponsor of a child or elder through Unbound, you create space in your sponsored friend’s life for more than the daily struggle for survival.

You make room to envision a future free from crushing poverty.

With sponsorship support, many families choose to pay for educational expenses, food, health care or home improvements to meet basic needs. But the impact doesn’t stop there.

Read more

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala.
Aug 17 2016

From sponsored members to staff members

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala.

Social worker Anibal Perez (right) visits with Angelica and Emerson, the mother and brother of sponsored child Ada in Guatemala. As a student, Anibal was sponsored and had a scholarship through Unbound. Because he comes from similar circumstances as the families in the program, he says, “I understand their struggle. …”


Former sponsored child and scholarship recipient Anibal Perez remembers how important support from the Unbound staff was growing up.

Now, in his role as a social worker with Unbound in Guatemala, Anibal works with 322 children and their families to support them and be part of their lives.

“I understand their struggle and can be sort of a role model for them,” he said.

Anibal credits his family, his sponsors (Dennis and Mary in Illinois) and the Unbound staff for making it possible for him to graduate from high school.

Keep reading

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son's dream.
Aug 15 2016

Speeding toward success

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son's dream.

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son’s dream.


Kenya is a hub for a surprising sport — speed skating. But it’s not the kind on ice that you might be more familiar with because of world-renowned athletes like Apolo Ohno. This is the kind on wheels that happens in bumpy alleyways and paved roads, and is growing in popularity among Kenyan youth.

For kids across the globe of all ages, the ability to participate in sports from a young age provides great opportunities for learning, discipline and independence. With education at the forefront, Oscar, a 12-year-old sponsored boy in Kisumu, Kenya, was able to start speed skating as a result of the freedom that Unbound sponsorship provided him and his family.

Keep reading

Kenya is a hub for a surprising sport — speed skating. But it’s not the kind on ice that you might be more familiar with because of world-renowned athletes like Apolo Ohno. This is the kind on wheels that happens in bumpy alleyways and paved roads, and is growing in popularity among Kenyan youth. For kids across the globe of […]

Around the world with Unbound