Tag: education

sponsored girls and scholars in India.
Jun 10 2015

Program evaluation: ‘What’s in it for me?’

Melissa, center, interviews the mother of a sponsored child, left, with a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala.

Melissa, center, interviews the mother of a sponsored child, left, with a social worker for Unbound in Guatemala.

By Melissa Velazquez, international evaluation and systems manager

A few years back, I sat with a group of local Unbound staff in our office in the Dominican Republic to talk about program evaluation. These individuals work day in and day out with limited resources to connect with sponsored individuals and their families, ensuring that initiatives and activities are moving forward in honest, sustainable and empowering ways.

They have a lot on their plate, and that day they had one question for me: “Why should we care about evaluation?”
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Faith, an Unbound sponsored youth and scholar in Kenya.
May 20 2015

Gotta have Faith

Faith, an Unbound sponsored youth and scholar in Kenya.

Faith, an Unbound sponsored youth and scholar in Kenya.

When most girls her age were playing with dolls, Faith was wondering where she and her sister would get their next meal.

Faith was 7 when her father passed away. Three years later her mother grew ill and died, leaving Faith at 10 years old to care for herself and her younger sister.

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Roy does laundry on a weekend visit home from college.
May 1 2015

Laundry on the weekends

Roy does laundry on a weekend visit home from college.

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.

Purity, 11, from Kenya.
Apr 6 2015

Help Purity find a sponsor

Purity’s morning routine in rural Kenya looks similar to that of many fourth graders in the U.S. — with a few important differences.

After her mom, Jane, wakes her at 6 a.m., Purity washes her face, gets dressed, eats breakfast, brushes her teeth and walks 15 minutes to school. But here’s where it’s a bit different.

The water Purity uses to wash her face and brush her teeth comes from an outdoor pump. Her mother makes breakfast over a wood fire. The home doesn’t have a latrine, and Purity has to go to a neighbor’s to use the bathroom.

“Digging a deep pit [latrine] costs money, which we do not have,” Jane shared. “… It has not been easy.”

Purity lives in a town about an hour outside Nairobi with her parents and three older brothers. Jane is a cook at a local school, and her husband sometimes gets jobs working on farms. Their combined income is only about $30 in a good month, and isn’t enough to support the family of six.

Covering school fees for Purity and her brothers is increasingly difficult. Their eldest son completed high school and would like to go on to college, but funds are too tight for him to do so.

Jane has seen the positive outcomes being part of the Unbound program has had for many of her neighbors, and hopes her family can experience the same. She knows sponsorship will help cover Purity’s school fees, making it possible for her to stay in school.

“I want Purity to have the best education,” Jane said. “I want her to study up to the highest level of education. I am sure with a good education, her future will be bright.”

Despite the hardships her family faces, Purity is still a very happy little girl. She enjoys school, where her favorite subject is science, she loves playing with her dogs and dreams of becoming a teacher someday so she can “teach children things that they do not know.”

When asked if she had a best friend at school, Purity said, “I do not have a best friend. I just have many friends who I play with. I like playing with everyone.”

Purity turned 11 yesterday. Make her birthday extra special this year by helping her get a sponsor.

Editor’s note: Since the publication of this post, Purity has been sponsored. Thank you for making her birthday special. Click here to view others still waiting for a sponsor.

Rita, 24, from Kenya.
Apr 1 2015

Changing mindsets on educating girls

Rita, 24, from Kenya.

Rita, 24, from Kenya.

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Twenty-four-year-old Rita recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in gender studies, sociology and political science from a renowned university in Kenya. She has worked hard to reach what she considers one of her greatest achievements, despite the many challenges she faced growing up.

Rita was born and raised in a remote area of central Kenya outside of Meru. Her father was polygamous, and her mother, Beatrice, was the third wife. She grew up with her 17 siblings. Rita’s mother worked as a teacher and her stepmothers were housewives.

In the traditional African setting, a man is allowed to take as many wives as he wants and sire as many children as he is able. A man’s worth was measured by the number of wives he had and the children borne to him.

“It was not easy growing up in a mixed family,” Rita said. “When my father passed on, life became unbearable.

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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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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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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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Unbound scholar
Feb 9 2015

Moving forward with Education support

Education is at the heart of everything Unbound does. For children in the Unbound community, education is a road out of poverty.

Unbound’s Education support helps students stay in school when it becomes financially impossible to continue. Small contributions can go a long way. What may seem like a minor obstacle may be the deciding factor between a student dropping out and staying in school.

Rosa, from Guatemala, faced a decision about dropping out shortly after entering middle school.

Sitting in her humble living room on old car seats covered in blankets, she recounted her story.

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