Callie, 10, from Grandview, Mo., takes part in the #UnboundSelfieDay.
Mar 21 2016

5 creative ways kids give back with Unbound

Callie, 10, from Grandview, Mo., takes part in the #UnboundSelfieDay.

Callie, 10, from Grandview, Mo., takes part in the #UnboundSelfieDay.

Parents who give time or money to charity set an important example for their kids. They teach their kids about gratitude and compassion while developing the next generation of leaders and social entrepreneurs.

Unbound offers a personal way to help people living in poverty through one-to-one sponsorship. It’s a great way for a family to give back together.

It can also be good for your child’s happiness.

“Research shows that giving to others benefits not only the recipient, but also the giver,” said Michael Norton, of Harvard University’s business school and coauthor of ‘Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending.’ “In countries all over the world, and in children as young as 3 years old, we’ve found that giving makes givers happier.”

Kids want to make the world a better place. Here are five creative ideas from kids who’ve helped families living in poverty.

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Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.
Mar 18 2016

The power of personal goals

Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.

Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.


Over the last decade Unbound has been shifting more and more of the decision-making power into the hands of the families we serve. We believe that families know best what they need and when, so creating a program that is personalized to each family just made sense.

As part of that shift, our local staff have focused on providing guidance to the families on making budgets and goals for how they want to utilize their sponsorship benefits.

Personal program goals put into action a belief in the decision-making power of individual sponsored members. For this reason, goal setting and goal orientation are an important part of living out many other Unbound program characteristics. A personal goal is simply a specific dream about how someone’s life or situation will be in the future. A goal could be related to someone’s future career, education, health status or economic situation.

Staff members from our office in Antioquia, Colombia, came together to share the process they went through when transitioning to the method of using personal program goals.

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Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.
Mar 16 2016

A home for her heart and work for her hands

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.

Maria Sabina and her son Ronny in their home in El Salvador.


The next time you are at a child’s birthday party and the kids are swinging wildly at a piñata, take a moment to think about Maria Sabina. That brightly colored donkey, fish or bird might just have been made by her own two hands.

The mother of a child in the Unbound sponsorship program, Maria Sabina lives with her husband and two sons in a village in north-central El Salvador. Her son Ronny, 10, has been sponsored by Jackie in Florida since 2012.

Maria Sabina belongs to the Unbound mothers group in her community. As in other locations throughout the Unbound world, her group provides a structure for the mothers of sponsored children to come together and offer each other moral and emotional support.

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Mary applies a henna design for Unbound staff member Catherine Materu.
Mar 14 2016

Youth uses henna to pay for school

Mary, 17, from Tanzania

Mary, 17, from Tanzania


For a long time, Mary’s interest in art was simply a hobby. As a young girl, watching others draw henna designs on skin fascinated her. Now she uses this hobby as a way to earn money for school.

Seventeen-year-old Mary is an Unbound sponsored youth living in Tanzania. Because her parents separated when she was young, Mary and her siblings went to live with their aunt after their mother passed away last year.

“I used to depend on my mother for everything,” Mary said. “When she passed on, things changed. My aunt does her best to take care of me, but she also has her children, making it difficult for her to provide for all of us.”

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Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy's mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.
Mar 11 2016

Committed to a spirit of service

Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy's mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.

Myra (right) meets with sponsored child Sindy (center) and Sindy’s mom, Rosalina, and baby sister, Vivian, outside their home in Guatemala.

Myra is an exuberant, kind woman driven by a deep desire to make the world a better place. Born in Guatemala and raised in a strict but lovingly tight-knit family, her rigorous education has shaped her into a disciplined and focused individual. These traits make her a valuable member of the Unbound family.

“My greatest satisfaction is being with the people,” Myra said. “I have a personal desire to see others reach their potential. I believe that every day and every person that touches your life is a learning opportunity.”

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Ariel, 21, a former sponsored member and current staff member in the Philippines.
Mar 9 2016

Where are they now: Ariel

Ariel, 21, a former sponsored member and current staff member in the Philippines.

Ariel, 21, a former sponsored member and current staff member in the Philippines.

A healthy dose of community, perseverance and hope go a long way in combatting the daily struggles of those facing poverty. Unbound’s sponsorship program prescribed that remedy for Ariel from the Philippines.

Billy and Mary Lou from Arizona sponsored Ariel when he was just 7 years old, which unlocked a world of opportunity he never knew.

“I had faced a lot of hindrances in my life, many problems, trials and conflicts,” Ariel said. “Problems in family and school made me strong and responsible enough to stand up on my own.”

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Nathalie helps her mother, Martha, make empanadas.
Mar 7 2016

Creating a legacy

Nathalie helps her mother, Martha, make empanadas.

Nathalie helps her mother, Martha, make empanadas.

Colombia has a long history of violence between government forces and militant groups. But increasingly there seems to be hope of a more lasting peace between the Farc rebels and the government, with the possibility that a deal could be signed later this month and the implementation overseen by the UN, according to the BBC. Though peace may be close, the decades-long conflict has created a huge impact, especially for families like Martha’s.

Martha and her family are originally from Antioquia, Colombia, and are part of a large number of internally displaced people.

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BryanFeaturedImage
Mar 4 2016

All you need is to see your future

Bryan, 12, from Guatemala.

Bryan, 12, from Guatemala.

Beaming with pride and a smile that constantly says, “I can do it,” 12-year-old Bryan enjoys a grand accomplishment for a boy his age.

For the third year in a row, Bryan has earned the distinction of being valedictorian at his grade school in Guatemala, a feat that is even more impressive when you consider only one student gets to have that honor each year.

Excelling at school might be difficult for a lot of students, but not many have faced the sort of obstacles that Bryan has had to overcome.

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Some of the tools needed to make hablon.
Mar 2 2016

Weaving a promising future in the Philippines

From left: Sponsored elder Florfina and moms Eliza and Lorna learned about hablon weaving.

From left: Sponsored elder Florfina and moms Eliza and Lorna learned about hablon weaving.

Woven into every sponsorship story are personalized solutions to overcome poverty and get ahead.

That story is no different for Eliza from the Philippines. Her 20-year-old son, Christian, has been sponsored through Unbound since 2004. But with seven other children at home, getting ahead in life remains a challenge. Their family’s only income comes from her husband’s farming.

Eliza is able to send Christian to school with the support his sponsors, Janet and Tim from Kansas. She also uses the sponsorship support to supplement her family’s nutritional and other daily needs.

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John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.
Feb 29 2016

Small shop, big dreams

John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.

John, 60, is the father of a young woman sponsored through Unbound in Uganda.

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

In a small village in rural Uganda, we visit John at his small shop. He cheerfully, pulls up chairs for me and the Ugandan staff member accompanying me on my visit. John’s daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound.

I glance around the shop and see that the shelves are filled with neatly arranged goods.

A customer walks in and John excuses himself. John serves the customer in a polite manner. I can tell that he enjoys his work as a shopkeeper by the way he carries himself.

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By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa In a small village in rural Uganda, we visit John at his small shop. He cheerfully, pulls up chairs for me and the Ugandan staff member accompanying me on my visit. John’s daughter Christine is sponsored through Unbound. I glance around the shop and see that the shelves are filled with […]

Around the world with Unbound