From all of the Unbound communities around the world, we wish you a very merry Christmas.
Christmas parties for sponsored friends and their families are made possible through donations to the Christmas Fund. Donate today.
By Henry Flores, director of the Unbound communications center in El Salvador
During a filming trip to the Dominican Republic, the director for the shooting told me, “I want to portray the sponsored members, the poor, in a way that describes who they really are. I know what the world tells me the poor are, please tell me what they are not!”
Our general conception of those living in poverty has been modeled by what we have seen or read, creating for many a preconceived image of the poor. After 20 years working with poor people and communities in many countries, I can tell you they are not what we´ve been told.
Each year Unbound sponsors receive at least two letters and a Christmas card from the person they sponsor. But not as many letters go the other way.
There are lots of reasons for not sending a letter. Not knowing what to say (here are some useful tips), international postage can be a hassle (did you know you can send eLetters?), or maybe life is just plain hectic.
To counter that, here are six reasons from Unbound staff and sponsors on why you should be writing letters.
1. “Each day I communicate in an overwhelming number of ways: social networks, texts, emails, phone calls. However, nothing brightens my day like receiving a little piece of news from one of my sponsored friends in a faraway country. I write because I want them to have the same experience.” — Ellen Edgar, project specialist
By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator for Unbound
Sitting in the home of Yollande and her mother, Jeanne, I was given a beautiful glimpse of human potential. In a place where homes are commonly assembled with humble and often salvaged materials, their home is simple, but stately. When I commented on how lovely it felt to be in their home, Jeanne replied, “We have built our life one step at a time, including this house.”
Yollande is 21 and has been raised alongside her siblings in their neighborhood on the outskirts of Antsirabe, Madagascar. Their neighborhood’s name translates to “No Place for Lazy People.”
Welcome to Tsiratrinikamo.
By Alley Stonestreet, bilingual communications manager
Meet Luis Enrique from Costa Rica, better known as Don Quique.
An active man with a big heart, Don Quique is a former construction worker and father of four adult children and grandchildren. He spends his days cultivating his garden with natural fertilizers and making piñatas that he donates to Unbound for birthday parties.
You could say Don Quique isn’t your typical sponsored friend. He’s neither a child nor an elderly man, but he is sponsored. Why?
Unbound does not limit itself when it comes to helping people in the communities we serve. We invite people of goodwill to be part of the Unbound program. This includes those who find themselves in need of assistance because of a disability — physical, mental or otherwise — regardless of their age.
And Don Quique needed that support.
After a brain tumor, two aneurysms and complications from surgery, Don Quique lost his sight several years ago.
He discovered Unbound through one of his grandchildren.
Each year we share hundreds of photos from our staff members around the world. A window into another person’s life, each photo tells a unique story.
We shared a ton of amazing photos in 2014. Here are 14 of our favorites.
By Larry Livingston, senior writer/editor
This month, in cities and towns all over the U.S., Unbound sponsors will be receiving Christmas cards from their sponsored friends. A small expression of cheer, gratitude and creativity, these cards have become a cherished Unbound tradition. But what sponsors may not realize is that when their card arrives in their homes it is at the end of a very long journey.
In most of our 21 countries, the process of creating Christmas cards begins in the summer. Following a few practical guidelines set by the Kansas office, the various project staffs form their individual plans. Some will create themes or design templates, while others set wider parameters that allow for more personal creativity.
Massachusetts sponsor David Scarpello has gone on three Unbound awareness trips to Honduras since 2007. On his latest visit earlier this year, he decided to take his 13-year-old son, Nick. From his own previous experience, David knew the awareness trip could be a good learning tool.
“I wanted [Nick] to have an appreciation and better understanding of what growing up in poverty is,” David said. “I hoped it would give him a greater appreciation of what he has and the advantages he has growing up in the United States.”
Unbound awareness trips offer travelers the opportunity to meet the people they sponsor and see first-hand the impact our program has on individuals and communities. David started sponsoring in 2001, but it was the letter he received in 2007 from his sponsored friend Reyna that gave him the final push he needed to go on his first trip.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
She hums as she tends to her chickens — filling their bowls with water and food, her hands busy collecting eggs from the poultry house. Her smile and look of satisfaction as she goes about her daily routine tell a story of a woman whose determination stands out. Even among the strong, determined women of her mothers group.
Forty-eight-year-old Margaret lives in the sprawling slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya, with her husband and five children. As we [Unbound staff members] sat down in the tidy living room of her two-room house, made of mud and iron sheets, Margaret told us about her life.
“I have lived in this slum for the last 20 years,” Margaret said. “It is not the ideal environment to raise children in, but I have no choice. This is what my husband and I could afford.”
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa She hums as she tends to her chickens — filling their bowls with water and food, her hands busy collecting eggs from the poultry house. Her smile and look of satisfaction as she goes about her daily routine tell a story of a woman whose determination stands out. Even among the […]