Tag: community

Nov 9 2015

Working in solidarity

Tabata, front row, middle, and her family with the mothers group that reached out to help them. They are standing in front of the family's home.

Tabata, front row, middle, and her family with the mothers group that reached out to help them. They are standing in front of the family’s home.

Families who are part of the Unbound sponsorship program are often found at the frontlines of creating positive change in their own communities. And one such example exists in Ecuador.
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Oct 7 2015

Meeting Unbound’s co-founder changed boy’s life

Virgilio's big smile provides a glimpse into his joyful personality.

Virgilio’s big smile provides a glimpse into his joyful personality.

Unbound’s late co-founder Bob Hentzen impacted many lives through his tireless service to the world’s marginalized people. One person whose life changed after meeting Bob is a 12-year-old boy named Virgilio who lives with a disability.
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Oct 2 2015

Fighting social isolation among elders

Juana, a sponsored elder in Mexico.

Juana, a sponsored elder in Mexico.

With age comes wisdom but also the risk of social isolation. Many elders across the globe may go days or weeks without speaking to anyone. Elders who live in poverty and face loneliness are at an even greater risk of depression and deteriorating mental health.
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Sep 18 2015

A chain reaction

Small acts of kindness, from holding a door open to paying for another person’s cup of coffee, can create a bright spot in someone else’s day. Studies have even shown performing acts of kindness can positively impact a person’s health. But mostly, performing these acts can bring a community together.
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Maria prepares corn her husband brought home from his work in agriculture.
Sep 14 2015

Building a family, creating a community

Maria prepares corn her husband brought home from his work in agriculture.

Maria prepares corn her husband brought home from his work in agriculture.

Like most moms, Maria is a busy woman. Cooking, cleaning and getting her children ready for school are just a few of the things that make up her daily routine. Maria is also involved in starting her own business and improving the health and wellness of her community. It’s a full plate, but she’s excited about each opportunity that comes her way.

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Sponsored child Everth and his mother, Carmen.
Jul 6 2015

Beautifying a community

Sponsored child Everth and his mother, Carmen.

Sponsored child Everth and his mother, Carmen, participated in a neighborhood clean-up day organized by Unbound staff in Nicaragua. Along with other families they collected materials from the streets for recycling or proper disposal.

The city of Estelí, Nicaragua, is a troubled one. Many families served by Unbound live in one of its neighborhoods that is unsafe and run-down.

The neighborhood is underdeveloped. Its dirt roads run with raw sewage. A majority of the sponsored children attend a school on the main road in the neighborhood, an area that has a lot of garbage strewn about.

But the community is trying to make small steps forward, and Unbound is helping residents work toward creating a safer and cleaner neighborhood.

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Jolly, a member of the fathers group in Unbound’s Cardona program, cuts water hyacinth stalks to be made into sandals and other wearable goods. Once a fisherman, Jolly has found a new source of income in the water hyacinth initiative.
Jul 1 2015

A green initiative

Water hyacinths, a persistent pest, clog waterways, kill fish and rob sunlight from native aquatic plants in lakes all over the world.

A community in the Cardona area of the Philippines, just outside Manila, experienced such an infestation. In 2012, when Charito L. and her family joined the Unbound program, her husband wasn’t able to continue his job fishing because of the plant. It became increasingly difficult to support their family.

“My source of income way back then was selling fishes but, because of the huge number of water hyacinths in the lake, the fishes died out,” she said.

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Fatuma and her daughter Fosia, an Unbound sponsored youth.
Jun 17 2015

Fasting for Ramadan

Fatuma and her daughter Fosia, an Unbound sponsored youth.

Fatuma and her daughter Fosia, an Unbound sponsored youth.

Most of the major religious traditions of the world have an appreciation for fasting. While they vary in specific practices, the religions share a recognition of fasting as a sacred discipline that teaches self-control and respect for the gift of sustenance.

Muslims are about to enter into Ramadan (June 17-July 17), the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which they fast daily from dawn to sunset. Ramadan commemorates the presentation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad and is considered one of the most important observances of Islam.

Fatuma is a single mother of nine children, two of whom are sponsored through Unbound. She and her family live in Kenya and are devout Muslims. Recently Fatuma shared with us what Ramadan means to them.

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More than 1,500 sponsored children and youth participated in the 2015 Bob Hentzen Memorial Sports Day organized by Unbound staff in Hyderabad, India.
Apr 13 2015

The joy of 1,500 sponsored kids in India at play

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.

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Flor helps tend an herbal and vegetable garden with other elders near Quezon City, Philippines.
Mar 25 2015

Growing a community

By Scott Wasserman, president and CEO of Unbound

At the age of 74, Flor tends Unbound’s community herbal and vegetable garden near Quezon City, Philippines. Her home is made of hollow blocks, a cement floor and a roof of galvanized iron sheets. She has no electricity and draws her water from a community well.

She used to support herself by scavenging recyclable materials from a local trash dump. Since 2002, her sponsorship has allowed her to meet with other sponsored elders at their garden to enjoy community and recreation.

On the day we visited, an Unbound social worker led a conversation with Flor and her friends about elder rights. They learned to identify and resist abuse.

After the social worker’s presentation, Flor led us through Unbound’s community garden. She identified each plant and described its medicinal qualities. Some plants are believed to help with colds or headaches. Others fortify the heart. Some heal inflammation or wounds.

Flor works as an informal healer. Families call her to help with their illnesses, and she prescribes natural herbal cures.

She charges her neighbors whatever they can afford, even if it’s only one Philippine peso, or about 2 cents. She asks that they pay something: Flor believes that paying for her services aids in the healing process.

Regardless of the efficacy of her herbs, her visits uplift her neighbors. A poor, ill neighbor living in a dark home can count on Flor to deliver a smile along with her freshly picked flowers and herbs. With her gift of springtime warmth for her homebound neighbors, Flor lives up to her name, which means “flower.”

Become an uplifting presence. Sponsor an elder today.