Tag: family

Image of a woman in Uganda shoveling compost.
Jul 1 2017

Parents increase benefits using the power of community

Groups in Uganda, Philippines provide support and encouragement

Image of a woman in Uganda shoveling compost.

Maxensia shovels compost made from pig manure produced on her farm in Uganda. She uses it to fertilize her coffee plants. Maxensia’s son, Lawrence, 21, is sponsored by Albert in Washington.

Maxensia, a widowed mother of eight, tends to her coffee plants in a village in Uganda. Nearby, 11 pigs sunbathe in a sty built of rough wood.

At age 50, Maxensia has become an entrepreneur. Her pig farm is growing, and she also runs a small coffee farm.

After her husband died 17 years ago, Maxensia struggled to provide for her children’s basic needs. Her son, Lawrence, was sponsored in 2006, and she joined the Unbound support group for parents of sponsored children. Through the group, she got a boost toward economic self-sufficiency.

“I have gained a lot by being a member of the group,” Maxensia said. “I have been empowered to improve my life and that of my family.”

In Uganda, like in many other countries where Unbound works, parent groups serve as the foundation of the sponsorship program for children. When a child is sponsored, parents or guardians join the local group. They receive training from Unbound staff, save money by making small contributions to the group savings and gain access to loans. In parent groups, the impact of sponsorship is multiplied through the power of community.

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An image of a woman filling out a workbook.
Jun 23 2017

Child accounts offer the most flexibility for families

Making sponsorship benefits personal

An image of a mother holding her son on her lap.

Maria and her 8-year-old son, Samuel, who is sponsored by Curtis and Susan from Louisiana, share a tender moment outside their home in Colombia.


A mother looks out at her neighborhood as the light creeps over the mountains, the crowing of roosters filling her ears. Her home sits high on a mountain, the city of Medellín sprawling before it.

The mother’s eyes pass over the half-finished wall at the front of her house. She and her husband have been building their home a little at a time over the years, and now have four finished rooms and a bathroom with running water.

She turns from the waking city and enters her home, ready to start breakfast. But first she peeks in at her four sleeping children in their shared bed. Soon they will be awake and getting ready for school.

A soft beeping fills the room as the mother turns to the cooktop. She takes her phone from her pocket and sees a small light flashing to indicate a new message.

The mother smiles as she reads the message. The monthly benefit money from Unbound was just delivered to her child’s sponsorship account, and she and her family already have a plan for how to use it to better their lives.
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An image of Blanca wearing her running medals.
Jun 12 2017

Running for love

Guatemalan mom dedicated to family, sport


People go running for many reasons. Some do it to get healthy, some for the competition and some to support a cause. Blanca is a 29-year-old mom of four living in Guatemala whose daughter, Berberlin, 13, is sponsored by Wayne from Montana. Blanca is also a runner. Her main reason for running is simple: to support her family.
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Image = Emma with her sons, Jekim and Mark, and her husband, Danilo.
May 24 2017

Living Unbound: It’s difficult to overcome poverty without backup


By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor for Unbound

One reason it’s hard for families in poverty to get ahead is the lack of a financial cushion.

An illness, a natural disaster or a job loss can mean starting over when you have little or no savings. That vulnerability is something Unbound helps families address with support from sponsorship.

Our programs around the world help families build their capacity for personal and economic growth. Local staff works with families to set goals and make plans to achieve them. The aim is for families to be able to meet their basic needs through a combination of income they earn, access to capital and sponsorship benefits.

A key component on the path to self-sufficiency is savings.
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Apr 28 2017

Mothers invest in their children and community

Image = Emiliana and her daughter, Kenia, outside their home in Guatemala.

Emiliana and her daughter, Kenia, outside their home in Guatemala.

Mother’s Day is a special time for Unbound. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate the mothers in our lives and in our Unbound community.

Mothers are at the heart of the Unbound program. To put it simply, we believe in the wisdom of mothers. And honoring that wisdom is a key principle of how we operate.

In the countries where we work, mothers are most often the primary caregivers of their children. They work tirelessly to provide for their children the best opportunities for a happy, healthy life.

In a community in Guatemala, one expression of this care is a monthly neighborhood cleanup.

“We decided to do monthly cleanup activities because we wanted to have a nicer environment and we wanted to teach our children the importance of a clean community,” said mom Emiliana, whose 14-year-old daughter, Kenia, is sponsored through Unbound.

Emiliana leads an Unbound mothers group, in which 12 to 15 mothers of sponsored children gather monthly to discuss issues in their community, pray together and talk about their involvement in Unbound. She also serves as coordinator for the three additional mothers groups in her community.

The mothers work together to invest in their community and their children.

Each of the four mothers groups in Emiliana’s community clean a different area every month. They clean up roads, the town square, around the church and in neighborhoods. For communities where trash collection is haphazard, these cleanups significantly improve the health and beauty of the neighborhoods where the families live.

Image = Mothers in one Guatemalan community work together to improve their environment while mentoring their children.

Mothers in one Guatemalan community work together to improve their environment while mentoring their children.

But the cleanups aren’t just about neighborhood beautification.

These efforts are a way for the mothers to spend time with their children and model for them what it looks like to proactively invest in your community.

Emiliana says the activities have helped strengthen the bonds between mother and child and have been a great way for mothers to mentor teamwork and environmental consciousness in their children.

“I am happy because we are getting positive comments from our neighbors,” Emiliana said. “I think we are not only mentoring our kids, but also the rest of our community.”

As we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day, we recognize the multitude of ways that mothers around the world invest in their children and communities. Their hard work, dedication and unrelenting service and sacrifice inspire us. We’re thankful to partner with innovative moms the world over who are working every day for a better future.

Visit unbound.org/moms to learn more about how we invest in mothers.

Eustaquia stands arm in arm with her husband, Felipe, outside their home. After his accident, she became the family's main provider.
Mar 1 2017

An eye for value that others overlook

Elder in Mexico recycles for a living

People committed to recycling recognize beauty and worth in what others discard. Some also recognize a way to generate income. Eustaquia is an elder who recycles to earn a living. Now 76, she lives in Mexico with her husband, Felipe, whom she describes as her “wonderful companion.” Together, they raised seven children, now all grown and married.

Felipe was seriously injured in an accidental shooting 14 years ago, after which he suffered debilitating memory loss and was unable to work. As a result, Eustaquia needed to find a way to earn an income and began recycling.

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Peter (left) and his family sit on the front step of their new home.
Jan 13 2017

Building dreams in Tanzania

Family goes from renting to owning

Peter (left) and his family sit on the front step of their new home.

Peter (left) and his family sit on the front step of their new home.


For many in the Unbound community, meeting basic needs such as nutrition and housing were a daily challenge before being sponsored. For parents Peter and Agnes in Tanzania, unemployment and low wages made it difficult to earn enough money to send their children to school and improve their situation in life.

That changed when their youngest son, also named Peter, was sponsored.

With the help and support of their son’s sponsor, Mary from Missouri, and local Unbound staff, the couple took an important step on their journey out of poverty — building and owning their own home.

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Ofelia stands in the kitchen of the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law in Guatemala.
Dec 30 2016

With age comes wisdom

Ofelia stands in the kitchen of the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law in Guatemala.

Ofelia stands in the kitchen of the home she shares with her daughter and son-in-law in Guatemala.

Seventy-eight-year-old Ofelia proves the age-old adage, “with age comes wisdom,” to be true.

“My first advice is to trust God,” Ofelia said. “If you want life, ask for it. Pray. Get on your knees and ask God to give you more life.”

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Mercy is proud to show off the fruits of her and her husband's work on their farm.
Dec 19 2016

Mercy works hard for her sisters’ education

Mercy is proud to show off the fruits of her and her husband's work on their farm.

Mercy is proud to show off the fruits of her and her husband’s work on their farm.


Mercy from Kenya is 29 years old, married and has three children. Mercy and her husband work hard to provide for their children along with Mercy’s younger sister, who she began caring for after her parents passed away.

“I take care of my sister, Caren,” Mercy explains. “My parents died a while back. I am the first-born in a family of six. I am charged with the responsibility of taking care of my siblings.”

Mercy takes this responsibility very seriously, but her and her husband struggled to provide for their own children and had difficulty paying Caren’s school fees on time.

“Each time I saw her chased away from school because of [a lack of] school fees, it hurt me a lot,” Mercy said. “I did not want her going through what I did. I had dropped out of school in class 8, because I had no one to help me pay my school fee.”

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Carlos outside his home in Guatemala. He rents a room constructed of corrugated metal for the walls and roof and concrete for the floor.
Dec 9 2016

A lifelong education

Carlos outside his home in Guatemala. He rents a room constructed of corrugated metal for the walls and roof and concrete for the floor.

Carlos outside his home in Guatemala. He rents a room constructed of corrugated metal for the walls and roof and concrete for the floor.

Carlos, 73, dreams of returning to college to finish his education. He started studying when he was young, but the need to earn money at a young age to help his family kept him from consistently attending classes after primary school.

“I would ride my bicycle over a narrow dirt road for an hour to get to school,” Carlos said. “It was good exercise, I was in good shape. I had strong legs. Then I worked for years in a carpenter’s shop and at a gas station.”

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