Gaby spends part of her volunteer time with Unbound in the correspondence department in El Salvador.
Many obstacles keep children living in poverty from reaching their full potential.
Gaby was raised by a single mother in a rural region of El Salvador, so the odds were already against her.
Gaby’s father passed away, leaving her mother, Dina, as the sole provider for Gaby and her four siblings. Dina’s income as a baker fluctuates, as her wages depend on how many orders she gets and how much bread she sells daily.
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.”
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.”
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.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Regina Mburu, the communications liaison for Unbound in Africa, recently visited sponsored friends and families served through our Kampala, Uganda office. One of the young men she interviewed is 24-year-old Simon, a sponsored youth currently pursuing his higher education goals.
Ingrid (right) and her mother Maria in their home.
Ingrid lives in Guatemala, where, according to the World Bank’s source Barro-Lee, on average girls complete about six years of schooling. In 2015, she graduated as a certified bilingual education teacher. Luis Cocon, communications liaison for Unbound in Guatemala, had the opportunity to meet Ingrid and hear her story during her final year of school before graduation.
Haji, holding his prized soccer shoes, shares a joyful moment with his grandmother, Tendeje.
Imagine the combined enthusiasm of Americans for the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball if it was focused on a single sport. That comes close to describing the passion people in many countries have for soccer.
Haji is a 15-year-old Tanzanian boy who has been sponsored for four years. Like many youth, he’s passionate about the sport most of the world calls football. What makes his story exceptional is that he has the skill to go along with the passion.
Mayra, an Unbound scholar, at home with her mother, Patricia, in Guatemala.
Sometimes it’s difficult to see the true impact of your contribution, especially when you contribute to a program helping many, like our Education program, without knowing who will actually benefit from your contribution.
With a sponsorship, you have the chance to pick the person you want to help, and you can build a relationship through photos and letters. But when you make a contribution to the Education program, who gets to continue their schooling?
Mayra from Guatemala and Cristian from Colombia are just two of the many students who receive scholarship assistance from Unbound’s Education program to continue their schooling.