Yuda is a former sponsored youth from Uganda who has earned a master's degree and is now a teacher. "My sponsor has played a big role in my life," Yuda said. "The support, encouragement and financial help I have gotten made me reach my goals and dream."
Aug 1 2016

Investing in an education

Yuda is a former sponsored youth from Uganda who has earned a master's degree and is now a teacher. "My sponsor has played a big role in my life," Yuda said. "The support, encouragement and financial help I have gotten made me reach my goals and dream."

Yuda is a former sponsored youth from Uganda who has earned a master’s degree and is now a teacher. “My sponsor has played a big role in my life,” Yuda said. “The support, encouragement and financial help I have gotten made me reach my goals and dream.”


Education opens up opportunities in life, especially when entering the job market. And for a child living in poverty, a good education can become the means by which she lifts her family out of poverty. But education isn’t a guarantee for much of the world, and for many children it’s a luxury their family might not be able to afford.

In many of the countries where Unbound works, families are often required by the schools to pay for things like textbooks and cover additional fees, or families of school-age children view education as a low priority compared to other needs of the family.

In some families, children and youth may be expected to leave school at a young age so they can work to provide additional income or help take care of younger siblings. These families are faced with the decision of sacrificing their child’s education in favor of feeding the family and keeping a roof over their heads.

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Ambrocia displays one of the finished blankets with the Unbound logo.
Jul 29 2016

A stitch ahead

Ambrocia embroiders blankets with the Unbound logo to support her family.

Ambrocia embroiders blankets with the Unbound logo to support her family.

Ambrocia learned how to embroider when she was just 10 years old.

“My neighbor Emilia showed me the skills,” Ambrocia said. “I remember her words, ‘Learn because you never know when it may come in handy.'”

And at the age of 47, this Guatemalan mom is using the skill she learned all those years ago from a kind neighbor to support her family.

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Several smaller mothers groups come together in Warangal, India for "Pratibhautsav," a traditional celebration of light and splendor. This particular gathering was dedicated to the initiative of the women.
Jul 27 2016

Small groups offer empowerment and support


Perhaps nothing says more about Unbound’s culture of learning than our movement toward small, community-based groups within our programs. The families themselves taught us that when those who are systemically disadvantaged come together, great things can happen.

Local Unbound program staffs discovered early on that small peer groups were ideal for building trust and an environment of mutual support within a larger community. They found that the ideal size was about 25 members — large enough to feel empowered but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy.

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Dan Pearson (right) with social worker Mirna on an Unbound staff awareness trip to El Salvador in 2014.
Jul 25 2016

‘The transformative power of relationships’

Dan Pearson (right) with social worker Mirna on an Unbound staff awareness trip to El Salvador in 2014.

Dan Pearson (right) with social worker Mirna on an Unbound staff awareness trip to El Salvador in 2014.

By Dan Pearson, director of international programs

At Unbound, we take the long view in measuring impact. We aren’t trying to prove the value of our work. Rather, we’re trying to learn what’s working and what isn’t so we can continue to make improvements in how we serve families. Our focus on learning builds trust and opens everyone to surprising lessons that hold the most power for improvement.

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Juan Danilo and his mom, Lourdes, in Mexico.
Jul 22 2016

Humor and generosity in adversity

Juan Danilo and his mom, Lourdes, in Mexico.

Juan Danilo and his mom, Lourdes, in Mexico.

By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor for Unbound

I count the times I’ve been able to visit the homes of children and elders as the greatest privilege of my work as a writer and editor with Unbound. One child and mom I met on a trip to Mexico inspired me with their gracious spirit.

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Jul 20 2016

Making connections in the Latino community

Four Unbound staff members are headed to the NCLR Annual Conference to share their love for Unbound with the Latin American community. Pictured, from left, are Barclay Martin, Gustavo Aybar, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno.

Four Unbound staff members are headed to the NCLR Annual Conference to share their love for Unbound with the Latin American community. Pictured, from left, are Barclay Martin, Gustavo Aybar, Dora Tiznado and Paola Moreno.

This week, four Unbound staff members from our Kansas City office will travel to Orlando, Fla., to represent Unbound at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Annual Conference. NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., and Unbound is proud to participate in the conference, connecting the Latino community in the U.S. with families served by Unbound in the 13 Spanish-speaking countries where we work.

This will be the second time Unbound has had a presence at the NCLR conference, beginning last year when the gathering was held just down the road from the main office in Kansas City. Unbound will be set up at booth #908 in the exposition hall and host a drawing for a free awareness trip to Guatemala.

“We want the NCLR community to know that [Unbound] does a lot of work in Latin America, so it’s a great opportunity for people to get involved, make connections and give back,” Unbound’s volunteer outreach manager, Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, said. “The impact that [sponsorship] makes and the results we have is something that needs to be out there in all kinds of communities.”

Previously involved with NCLR on her own, Claudia paved the path for Unbound to participate in last year’s NCLR conference. This year, four other Unbound staff members will attend, forming an experienced, passionate and bilingual team.

One of those four is Paola Moreno, who first heard of Unbound at last year’s conference when she helped out at a booth for a radio station.

“Claudia came to talk to us about Unbound,” Paola said. “And out of nowhere, I said, ‘Are you hiring?'” Paola had a job at Unbound within a few weeks as an outreach volunteer coordinator, and now is returning to NCLR to represent Unbound.

Paola Moreno, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

Like Paola, the other Unbound staff members attending NCLR are deeply passionate about Unbound’s work with families living in poverty and love to tell its story. From talking about the connections sponsors make with their sponsored friends to passing out Unbound materials, the team is excited to engage with people of all backgrounds.

Gustavo Aybar, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

At the Unbound booth in the expo hall, the team will share Unbound’s work and encourage attendees to participate in the giveaway for an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala, which includes airfare. Following and sharing about Unbound on various social media platforms will generate entries into the drawing, and a lucky winner — who will get to see Unbound’s work firsthand — will be announced in coming weeks. The contest will spotlight those at the NCLR conference, but will be open to anyone on social media who would like to participate.

Dora Tiznado, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

In addition to the booth and the trip giveaway, the Unbound team will also have the fun opportunity to meet with Unbound sponsors who live in the Orlando area. Local sponsors are invited to join them at the booth so the staff can hear about their experiences as sponsors and personally thank them.

Barclay Martin, an Unbound representative at NCLR 2016.

 

Unbound is honored to be a part of this year’s NCLR conference. Learn more about Unbound’s work in Latin America by visiting our blog.

Learn more about the giveaway and enter to win the trip to Guatemala!

Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.
Jul 18 2016

Faces of triumph — photo essay

Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.
Taste of tradition

Nancy gets ready to enjoy a bowl of mukimo, a traditional Kenyan dish of mashed vegetables, which she makes for her family. Nancy’s 17-year-old son, David, is sponsored through Unbound.

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Reynald heads down the boulevard in Dipolog city, seeking the best spot to set up for the day.
Jul 15 2016

Success with a cherry on top

This Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, and we’re celebrating by honoring an Unbound family who makes their living from ice cream! If you don’t already have a bowl of your favorite cold treat ready to enjoy, you will definitely be craving one after reading this.

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BobandMercyfeaturedimage
Jul 13 2016

Trip stories: ‘Beyond our expectations’

Bob and his sponsored friend, Mercy enjoying a beautiful day at the Blue Post Hotel and Park near Nairobi, Kenya.

Bob and his sponsored friend, Mercy enjoying a beautiful day at the Blue Post Hotel and Park near Nairobi, Kenya.

Bob Hirtzel and his wife Pat traveled to Kenya on an Unbound Awareness Trip in February 2016. Sponsors for 18 years, they support children in Kenya, the Philippines and Guatemala. After the trip, Bob wrote a thank you letter to many of the Unbound Kenyan staff he met on his trip. This piece is pulled from that letter.

Read Bob’s trip reflection.

Trip coordinator Diana Loera (center) dances and celebrates with Unbound staff members Cristina Hentzen (left) and Maureen (right) on an Unbound awareness trip to Guatemala.
Jul 11 2016

Meet the awareness trip team — Part 2

This is the second part to our post about our awareness trip team in Kansas City. These amazing staff members are dedicated to making sure our travelers have all the information they need to have a great trip and a chance to learn more about Unbound’s work. Learn about the trips team, and then check out upcoming awareness trips with Unbound.
Get to know the team

This is the second part to our post about our awareness trip team in Kansas City. These amazing staff members are dedicated to making sure our travelers have all the information they need to have a great trip and a chance to learn more about Unbound’s work. Learn about the trips team, and then check out upcoming awareness trips with […]

Around the world with Unbound