Luis outside the home he shares with his mom and sister in Bolivia.
Luis has spent his whole life in La Paz, Bolivia. And for 15 of his 26 years, he has been sponsored by Anna from Ohio. Being part of the Unbound program has had a big impact on his life, and the values he learned from the organization helped shape his desire to serve others through police work.
“I have this strong desire to serve, to provide a helping hand for others,” Luis said. “If I have a coin in my pocket and I see someone who needs it more, I give it to the person even though I know that I also need it. I think I’ve picked up this type of attitude at Unbound, the spirit of serving with no self-interest.
“Sponsors are great role models because they provide support for people like me just because their heart says, ‘They need it.’ … I think I joined the [police] academy with the hopes that this career could provide opportunities for me to help society.”
Gregorio at his home in a small town in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Having a sponsor would help 68-year-old Gregorio tend to some unfinished things in his life. It would also connect him and his wife with a caring community of elders and families who participate in Unbound’s program in Mexico.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a review of Unbound, we’re among the first winners of a 2016 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits. GreatNonprofits provides a platform for people to share their stories and experiences as donors and volunteers with nonprofit organizations.
We’re proud to once again be selected as a top-rated nonprofit.
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In late July, four Unbound staff members from our Kansas City office traveled 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 was 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. Check out some photos from the conference and find out who was the big winner of our Guatemala Awareness Trip giveaway!
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By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Veronica, whose daughter Rosemary is sponsored through Unbound, had to relocate after her rented home flooded. She received rent money and items for her new home as part of flood assistance from Unbound.
Veronica attempts to salvage her children’s textbooks from their flooded home.
Heavy rains pounded Nairobi, Kenya, in May of this year, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
Some families were rendered homeless while others lost their belongings. As they waited for the rains to stop, the corridors of a nearby school became their home once dusk fell.
Unfortunately, families served by Unbound in the small village of Rongai were among those affected.
“I would walk by what I used to call home and I could feel my knees get weak,” Jane, a mother of a child sponsored through Unbound, said. “I lost household belongings that I had worked so hard to buy.”
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.
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.
Members of a mothers group in Guatemala sit in front of baskets they produce to generate income. Pictured are Ana (foreground) and (in back, from left) Maria, Dora and Maria Eva.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.