Families displaced by volcano wait with unease
Sponsored youth Crisla and her mother, Maria, stay in a shelter after being displaced by the Fuego volcano eruption.
After most natural disasters, people are eventually able to go back home, clean up the material damage and rebuild their lives. The losses of loved ones, valued possessions and means of earning a living take longer to heal, but being home is always a good beginning.
The people displaced by the June 3 eruption of the Fuego volcano in south-central Guatemala hope to be able to go home soon, but for many when — and even if — that will happen is far from certain. Many towns and villages are still considered uninhabitable. Volcanic ash, exacerbated by heavy rains, continues to be a health hazard and toxic material still flows intermittently down the volcano’s southeastern slope. Conditions in some places have only recently become tolerable enough for recovery efforts.
According to Reuters, the official Guatemalan disaster agency, CONRED, said on Sunday that search efforts have been permanently suspended in the most heavily impacted areas of the Escuintla municipality, which are still considered at high risk.
Meanwhile, more than 4,000 people were being housed in shelters or staying with family members or friends, according to an estimate by the Guatemalan health ministry. That number included about 150 members of the Unbound community.
In our Antipolo program in the Philippines, like in many of our Unbound communities around the world, staff members represent a leadership style we call Gentle, Balanced Leadership or GBL, which supports not only their fellow coworkers, but also extends to the families they serve. Staff members in Antipolo worked together to create this reflection outlining how GBL manifests itself in their program.
Malou Navio (center), coordinator for Unbound in Antipolo, speaking at a parent leader training session.
“With this form of leadership, we believe the pilgrim family of Unbound will continue at a sustainable pace to be a liberating force of love in our world today.”
— Bob Hentzen, co-founder of Unbound
Unbound’s Antipolo teams work with 8,400 families in marginalized urban, rural and indigenous communities. The families are organized into small neighborhood groups called kapitbahayans. More than 1,000 parents of sponsored children are leaders in their communities.
Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Regina taking a photo of sponsored child Dennis outside his home in rural Meru, Kenya.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
The best moments in my journey with Unbound have been those spent with the families in their homes, talking and interacting.
I see a sparkle shining brightly in the eyes of the children I have had the pleasure to meet and talk to as they share with me their dreams and hopes for the future.
“When I grow up, I would like to board an airplane and go to America and become as famous as Lupita Nyongo,” said Cecilia, a little girl I met on one of my field visits.
It is through the eyes of children like Cecilia that I find my own strength.
Sponsored children and their families gather together for a family fun day.
Do you ever wonder how your family can build stronger bonds together?
Maybe you have something like a family fun day involving board games or going to the park?
A CFCA community in the town of Sopo in Colombia understands that sharing and group activities help build strong families.
Take a look at the changes CFCA has made in the lives of sponsored friends and their families in Colombia.
Local CFCA staffers encourage sponsored children and their families to spend quality time together by playing interactive games such as basketball, board games, soccer and ping pong.
The CFCA community in Sopo received help from the mayor’s office to support this recreational program.
Sponsor Margaret Looper was recruited to help distribute bags of food to CFCA families one day during her mission awareness trip to Bolivia. She was surprised by how important a simple bag of groceries is to families in need.
Watch more trip testimonials
Hunter Hardin gets to know his friend during a day of fun in Honduras.
A Philippines community puts on a special performance for Colleen Gawley.
A CFCA mission awareness trip is an uplifting experience that will deepen your connection with your sponsored friend and open your eyes to the potential of sponsored members and their families. Spaces are still available on some 2009 trips. Check our trip calendar >