Jéssica sits in the doorway of her home in Mexico.
Mar 23 2015

‘My humble gift for [my sponsor]’

Thinking of her childhood home, one thing stands out for Jéssica.

“We could see the stars at night,” she said.

That was only because the roof on her home was so bad she could see the sky through the holes.

Jéssica, now 24, lives with her parents and four siblings in Mexico. And she remembers finances were tight at home.

“I could not have things that I wanted and needed,” she explained. “I recycled notebooks, school supplies, school bags and anything I could for the following year.”

While her friends were out having fun, Jéssica could be found packing groceries at the local supermarket, earning $6 USD on a good day, to help her parents make ends meet. She was just 13.

But something changed six years ago.

David became her sponsor.

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Rosa and her 15-year old daughter, Dayani.
Mar 20 2015

Living with Down syndrome while facing poverty

Rosa and her 15-year old daughter, Dayani.

Rosa and her 15-year old daughter, Dayani.

By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director

Down syndrome is a diagnosis no mother hopes to hear.

For parents living in the poorest barrios of Honduras, it is sometimes just too much to bear.

“The doctor told me it would be different and difficult to raise her,” Rosa said about Dayani, her 15-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. “There are no schools and no help for children with special needs.”

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Mariam harvests vegetables from her garden. The vegetables are her only source of income.
Mar 18 2015

Urban farming in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, with more than 4 million people calling it home. As the country’s main urban center, Dar es Salaam might not seem like the most obvious choice to make a living as a farmer. But for a handful of families in the Unbound program, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Though much of the city is crowded and land is limited, some have etched out space along river banks and in the swampy areas of the city to plant vegetables.

Mariam, whose daughter Sauma is sponsored through Unbound, is one such enterprising individual. Her husband’s income isn’t steady, and with three children to raise, it can be difficult.

So Mariam started a vegetable garden.

With Dar es Salaam’s climate, she’s able to grow produce all year round. The vegetables she plants typically take 3-6 weeks to mature, giving her a steady source of income.

Parents like Mariam are finding ways to use their environments in innovative ways to support their families and take steps toward lifting themselves out of poverty. Donations to Microfunding help support these goals and give a good idea the extra financial boost it may need to get started.

Guatemala staff members Yovany, Brenda and Chico enjoying the spirit of St. Patty's Day.
Mar 16 2015

Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day!

Guatemala staff members Yovany, Brenda and Chico enjoying the spirit of St. Patty's Day.

Guatemala staff members Yovany, Brenda and Chico enjoying the spirit of St. Patty’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, and many will be donning their green to celebrate (and avoid being pinched). Last year, some of our staff members in Guatemala got into the spirit and snapped this photo.

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Hop over to our Facebook page and share a photo of your St. Patty’s day gear.

Wishing you all a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day from Unbound!

Barclay Martin speaking to high school students about "Rise and Dream."
Mar 13 2015

How 13 Philippine teens gave U.S. students a lesson

Letters are an everyday part of the Unbound program — they’re the bridge that connects people throughout our world. Hundreds of thousands of letters from sponsored friends pass through our Kansas City headquarters each year on their way to sponsors. With all the correspondence that passes through our office, some letters still come as a surprise.

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Juan and his mother
Mar 11 2015

Academic achievement a family affair

Juan completes his homework using his new laptop computer.

Juan completes his homework using his new laptop computer.


Sometimes, smarts just run in the family.

Juan, age 11, has been showing off his smarts for the past few years. He was recognized recently with an Education Excellence Award from Unbound in the Dominican Republic.

The Unbound staff in the Dominican Republic created the Education Excellence Award to recognize students who achieve grades with an average 80 percent or higher in every subject and get good reports on their behavior and overall participation.

Students who qualify are invited to a ceremony where they eat lunch, receive medals and watch artistic presentations. The student with the highest award wins a brand new laptop computer.

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Dayanna, 8, from El Salvador.
Mar 9 2015

Help Dayanna find a sponsor


There’s a lot to learn about Dayanna. She’s 8 years old, lives in El Salvador, likes the color pink and playing with her sister, and she has a cat named Lunasol.

Dayanna’s in second grade and her favorite subject in school is math.

“One day, the teacher assigned as homework to write all the numbers up to 300, but I wrote until 309,” Dayanna said.

Karla, Dayanna’s mom, wants to see both her daughters graduate, but the family’s situation makes providing an education difficult.

“We try to make an effort in sending Dayanna to school,” Karla said, “but education is something that is difficult for us [to afford]. My husband works, but it isn’t enough.

Keep reading to learn how you can help Dayanna

Sushela from India
Mar 6 2015

Embodying International Women’s Day

By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director

Sushela comes from the lowest, poorest caste in Indian society. Traditionally they have been forced to sweep the streets and clean other people’s latrines by hand. Under the caste system, Sushela shouldn’t be allowed to attend religious festivals alongside her social superiors. She could never be invited to their homes. It would be unthinkable for a person of her caste to share a cup of tea with the next one up.

Add the fact she was forced into marriage as a teenager to a man she didn’t know, expected to cook and clean for his family and was isolated under the less-than-loving supervision of her mother-in-law, you might believe Sushela leads a miserable life.

Wrong.

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Ask sponsor services
Mar 4 2015

Ask Sponsor Services: Online features

Ask sponsor services

Our Sponsor Services department often gets questions from sponsors and donors about what they can do online. Can I pay for my sponsorship, can I write to my sponsored friend, can I update my credit card/address/other information?

On Unbound.org our supporters can do all of those things, and more; you just need to register.

Go to unbound.org/register. You’ll need three pieces of information to set up your account: your member ID, your name exactly as it appears on your Unbound address label and your ZIP code.

Keep reading to learn more about our online features

Yuda from Uganda
Mar 2 2015

From poverty to publishing: Ugandan student’s success

Yuda has always had a love of education, and was smart even as a young child.

His father, Maurice, is a primary school teacher in rural Uganda, and education was encouraged. Unfortunately, Maurice’s income as a teacher wasn’t always enough to cover school fees and other family needs.

As the fifth child among eight siblings, Yuda said, “[the] chances of me joining school were slim because of money problems.”
In Uganda, as in many other countries, students must pay fees to attend public school. If the fees aren’t paid, the child is refused schooling. This was the future facing Yuda and his siblings.

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Yuda has always had a love of education, and was smart even as a young child. His father, Maurice, is a primary school teacher in rural Uganda, and education was encouraged. Unfortunately, Maurice’s income as a teacher wasn’t always enough to cover school fees and other family needs. As the fifth child among eight siblings, Yuda said, “[the] chances of […]

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