Roy does laundry on a weekend visit home from college.
For many U.S. college students, going home on the weekends to do laundry is a time-honored tradition. The time waiting between loads is a chance to catch up with family, friends and pets, or maybe doing some homework.
Twenty-year-old Roy is from a rural area of the Philippines and is studying education at a nearby university. He is sponsored through Unbound, which helps him meet the costs of attending college. Though he goes home every Friday, and laundry is involved, his weekends look a bit different than those of many U.S. students.
Roy’s weekends are filled with farming and doing other chores in order to earn a weekly income. He returns to school on Sunday afternoon, or sometimes very early in the morning on Monday, to attend class.
When it comes to doing laundry, Roy and his family rely on their surroundings. Their home is located at the base of a mountain. One of the mountain streams provides water and plenty of rocks for washing clothes.
Roy knows how to work hard and applies that to his studies as well as his weekend work. He hopes to be a teacher when he completes his education and is creating more opportunities for himself and his family through his studies.
Click here to support the higher education goals of students around the world.
Marjorie with her son Ulises at their home in Costa Rica.
Autism affects one in 68 children, and it’s one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the last 20 years.
April is Autism Awareness Month — a month dedicated to educating the public about autism and helping to create a safer, happier world for those challenged by this disorder. Unbound sponsorship offers support to families around the world who are impacted by autism.
Ulises is a 22-year-old sponsored youth who has autism. He lives in Costa Rica with his mother, Marjorie, who takes care of him.
“My dream is that one day he would do things on his own, so he would be independent when I’m no longer with him,” Marjorie said.
In 2014, Unbound was a GreatNonprofits Top-Rated organization. We need your help to achieve this honor again in 2015.
To be a top-rated nonprofit, we just need 10 new positive reviews with a 4- or 5-star rating between now and Oct. 31. Maintaining a high rating on review sites like GreatNonprofits helps raise awareness about Unbound and the work we do to help families fight poverty.
Click here to view the Unbound page on GreatNonprofits and write a review. Need some inspiration? Sponsor Margaret Bristow left this wonderful review for us last year:
Living in Kenya as a widow with six children hasn’t been easy for Mary. Aside from dealing with emotional loss and a lack of income, Mary and her children often faced disapproval.
“I have had to deal with negativity from the society that mistreats widows and single mothers,” Mary said. “I have had to overcome self-pity over my situation and that of my children — that has been the greatest challenge. Trusting in God and in a brighter future is what keeps me going.
“I am just grateful that Unbound stepped in when all my hope was lost,” she continued. “They sympathized with my situation and two of my children got sponsored. … I am also hopeful that with the help of the small mothers group loaning system I will be able to start up a livelihood business in the near future.”
A portrait of Archbishop Oscar Romero hangs in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior in San Salvador, El Salvador, where Romero is buried.
Victor Mendez, a member of the accounting team in Unbound’s San Salvador office.
By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor
On May 23, the Roman Catholic Church will formally beatify Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran archbishop who was murdered in 1980. In Catholic tradition, beatification is the last and most significant step before canonization, the official recognition of a person as a saint.
But while Romero has yet to be officially canonized, as far as the people of El Salvador are concerned, his sainthood has never been in doubt. Since his assassination in1980, they have revered him, in a very personal way, as their patron saint and a martyr for the cause of the poor.
Victor Mendez, a member of the accounting team in Unbound’s San Salvador office, understands and shares in the joy with his fellow Salvadorans as they prepare to celebrate Romero’s beatification. As a member of a generation that grew up hearing stories of the martyred archbishop — and one who now works with those living in poverty — he appreciates the significance of this event for his people.
Victor sees the formal recognition of Romero as a Salvadoran success story.
Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team, from left: Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, Lydia Leffelman, Clair Paul, Laurel Harrold and Maureen Ortiz.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we checked in with Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team. It’s their happy duty to support the efforts of volunteers who are willing to help find new sponsors in their local communities. The team calls these dedicated supporters “ambassadors,” and they are an invaluable part of Unbound’s outreach efforts.
Though the team spends much of their time finding volunteers to assist Unbound preachers at weekend church presentations, ambassadors contribute in a number of other creative ways as well.
Team member Clair Paul appreciates their devotion.
“I find the passion of our volunteers very inspiring,” she said. “It’s obvious they care so deeply for their sponsored friends and want their family and friends to have the experience they’ve had with Unbound.”
Ines, 66, recites one of her poems for a group of visitors.
April is National Poetry Month in the United States. To celebrate we asked sponsored friends if they had any poems they’d like to share. Ines, 66, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador. Despite leaving school after the sixth grade, she has an amazing talent for poetry.
Ines often performs poetry for awareness trip travelers and was glad to share her poetry, and its inspiration, with us.
More than 1,500 sponsored children and youth participated in the 2015 Bob Hentzen Memorial Sports Day organized by Unbound staff in Hyderabad, India.
Sponsored teens dig in their heels in an effort to win a game of tug-of-war.
Children and teenagers living in poverty don’t often get the chance to participate in organized sports. Participation fees and equipment costs add up, making sports a low priority for families struggling to afford basic necessities. So when Unbound staff in Hyderabad, India, organized the Bob Hentzen Memorial Sports Day, more than 1,500 kids sponsored through Unbound showed up for the event.
For Sarita Mendanha, program coordinator for Unbound in Hyderabad, the sports day is “extremely important to the India program because it builds team spirit, … [a] winning attitude [and] pride to carry away specially designed awards.” She also views the sports day as a way to build rapport between Unbound staff and the families they serve.
The day consisted of 15 different track and field events, such as tug of war, sack races, the traditional Indian game kho kho, shot put, discus throw and 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter dashes. Unbound staff had help from scholars and the participants’ mothers, and sports professionals were on hand to referee.
Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Kenyan women from diverse faiths work together in Unbound mothers groups to empower each other and lift their families out of poverty.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Editor’s note: There have been no reports of youth sponsored through Unbound being affected by the April 2 terror attack on Garissa University College in Kenya.
As the long Easter weekend approached, we were excited and busy making plans on how best to enjoy the holiday with loved ones.
Then we got the news that Garissa University College in the northeastern part of Kenya was under siege. The school is part of the Moi University system.
Terrorists had taken over the Garissa campus. With guns and knives, they took the young lives of 148 students.
Easter celebrations were dampened. The mood was somber as the whole nation was thrown into mourning. Our Kenyan flag, flying at half-mast, served as a symbol to honor the lost lives.
The news media reported that terrorists targeted students who were not of the Islamic faith. Tensions between Christians and Muslims heightened, even while leaders from both faiths condemned the attacks.
Unbound-Kenya serves beneficiaries from both Christian and Islamic religions. As a program, Unbound serves the two religions without favor. Members interact and live harmoniously with each other. Some have formed great friendships, thanks to the Unbound mothers groups. Continue reading
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa Editor’s note: There have been no reports of youth sponsored through Unbound being affected by the April 2 terror attack on Garissa University College in Kenya. As the long Easter weekend approached, we were excited and busy making plans on how best to enjoy the holiday with loved ones. Then we […]