On Oct. 17, 1987, more than 1,000 people gathered in Paris at the site where the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights had been signed 39 years earlier. They came to publicly affirm their belief that being forced to live in extreme poverty is a violation of those essential rights. Five years later, the United Nations formally designated Oct. 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Ambrocia learned how to embroider when she was just 10 years old.
“My neighbor Emilia showed me the skills,” Ambrocia said. “I remember her words, ‘Learn because you never know when it may come in handy.'”
And at the age of 47, this Guatemalan mom is using the skill she learned all those years ago from a kind neighbor to support her family.
Perhaps nothing says more about Unbound’s culture of learning than our movement toward small, community-based groups within our programs. The families themselves taught us that when those who are systemically disadvantaged come together, great things can happen.
Local Unbound program staffs discovered early on that small peer groups were ideal for building trust and an environment of mutual support within a larger community. They found that the ideal size was about 25 members — large enough to feel empowered but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy.
Joy in culture
Madelen, a formerly sponsored child, participates in a traditional dance with the Unbound community in Quibdo, Colombia.
By Paul Pearce, director of global strategy for Unbound
Empowerment is a driving principle of the Unbound program and looks different in each of our families. So we need a nimble set of program activities, benefits and services to adapt to each family situation.
In a recent evaluation conducted with Filipino and Guatemalan youth, empowerment was seen as the attainment of education and having a good character or set of values to navigate the world. In one study, the ability to even imagine goals was described as a significant outcome.
Yesterday, on Oct. 11, the world celebrated International Day of the Girl. The day was made official by the United Nations in 2011, and was created “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
Unbound celebrates girls and women on Oct. 11 and every other day of the year. We provide encouragement and support for moms through Unbound mothers groups. We provide loans to mothers so they can start start small businesses and we support girls and young women as they pursue and continue their educations.
Check out these stories from Unbound about girls and women building a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
A taxi driver’s life can be dangerous. Unknown passengers, unsafe locations, heavy traffic, severe weather and the time of day can affect the outcome of each fare. But when the taxi driver is a woman living in Bolivia, accepting fares on a graveyard shift, the danger is much greater.
Unbound believes in empowering women. Our mothers groups began in India and now help women around the world gain vital financial support, education and confidence. We encourage all efforts in India to keep women and girls safe so that they may continue to drive positive change in their communities. Help us.
By Dan Pearson, director of international programs at Unbound
India can be a dangerous place to be a girl.
Rape, abuse, dowry customs, child labor and infanticide are part of a tragic legacy in this country that is also full of bright minds and a rich cultural heritage.
The savage gang rape of a young woman unfortunate enough to ride the wrong bus in New Delhi 18 months ago took women’s rights to the streets where thousands marched on the presidential palace.
India’s important national elections being held over the next few weeks will tell us whether the outcry will lead to any significant change.
I hope so. But I have my doubts.