Maria
Jun 12 2015

Maria shares wisdom for a joyful life

Maria, a sponsored elder living in Mexico.

Maria, a sponsored elder living in Mexico.

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.


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sponsored girls and scholars in India.
Jun 10 2015

Program evaluation: ‘What’s in it for me?’

Melissa, center, interviews the mother of a sponsored child, left, with a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala.

Melissa, center, interviews the mother of a sponsored child, left, with a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala.

By Melissa Velazquez, international evaluation and systems manager

A few years back, I sat with a group of local Unbound staff in our office in the Dominican Republic to talk about program evaluation. These individuals work day in and day out with limited resources to connect with sponsored individuals and their families, ensuring that initiatives and activities are moving forward in honest, sustainable and empowering ways.

They have a lot on their plate, and that day they had one question for me: “Why should we care about evaluation?”
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Lucy enjoys a mug of hot porridge.
Jun 8 2015

A mug full of love

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.

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Florence Wanza
Jun 5 2015

From badly burned to money earned

Designing and creating fashionable jewelry can be challenging, but for Florence it’s the perfect career. Florence was badly burned when she was young, leaving her with little use of her hands. But she doesn’t let her disability define her life. She chose her career, and it’s helping her earn a living for herself and her three children.

Julia and her daughters, Maria (left) and Ondina (right), sell bread they made using a family recipe.
Jun 3 2015

Family tradition making dough — recipe

Julia learned the art of making bread from her mother-in-law. It’s a family tradition that has long been part of her husband’s family, and Julia is happy to keep it going. But for this Honduran family, baking bread isn’t just about keeping a tradition alive. It’s about moving the family forward in life.

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Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.
Jun 1 2015

‘Thank you for what you are about to be in my life’

Jorge in his favorite spot.

Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.

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.


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May 29 2015

‘Blame it on the poor’

Luis Cocón, communications liaison, shares a laugh with sponsored children.

Luis Cocón, communications liaison, shares a laugh with sponsored children.

By Luis Cocón, Unbound’s communications liaison in Guatemala

“They should have never been born.”

“It’s the mothers’ fault that our country is the way it is — so underdeveloped.”

“She doesn’t understand that giving birth to one child after another only multiplies poverty. Now there is yet another digit in malnourished children statistics.”

Typical comments from some of the very powerful in my country.

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Topeka sponsor Christie Appelhanz and her daughter, Kate, often go for runs together.
May 27 2015

$40 for turning 40

Topeka sponsor Christie Appelhanz and her daughter, Kate, often go for runs together.

Topeka sponsor Christie Appelhanz and her daughter, Kate, often go for runs together.

Sponsor Christie Appelhanz is starting her birthday celebration a couple days early. Not with a big party or a fancy dinner, but by running for charity. She’ll be visiting Kansas City on June 5 to take part in the Hospital Hill Run as an Unbound Trailblazer.

“Hospital Hill Run is special because the 5K takes place two days before my 40th birthday,” Christie said. “Instead of gifts, I’m asking friends and family to contribute $40 to Unbound.”

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Go to Instagram and enter to win this tote bag and tumbler!
May 25 2015

Enter to win Unbound gear on Instagram

Go to Instagram and enter to win this tote bag and tumbler!

Go to Instagram and enter to win this tote bag and tumbler!


It’s contest time again! We are doing an Instagram giveaway for an Unbound tumbler and tote bag. Get out your device and go to Instagram to enter. Here’s how:

1. Find @UnboundOrg on Instagram and follow us.

2. On our Instagram page, look for the image pictured above and “Like” it.

3. Then tag two friends in the comments.

That’s it. All entries will be checked twice. The winner will be announced on 5/29 (contest ends 5/28, 11:59 p.m. (CST)). The winner will be chosen at random and will be tagged in the comments of the Instagram post. The winner must send a direct message via Instagram to @UnboundOrg to redeem the prize.

Please note: This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Instagram. By entering you are confirming that you release Instagram of any/all responsibility and that you agree to Instagram’s terms of use. Open to U.S. followers only.

Good luck!

Manuel and his wife Natividad. Manuel was sponsored through Unbound in El Salvador.
May 25 2015

Manuel’s song

Manuel and his wife Natividad. Manuel was sponsored through Unbound in El Salvador.

Manuel and his wife Natividad. Manuel was sponsored through Unbound in El Salvador.

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.”

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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 […]

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