When Jorge joined the Unbound program nearly eight years ago he was just 11 years old. He and his family lived in a small town two hours outside of Monterrey, Mexico. The six family members lived in a home with only two rooms, one for sleeping and the other for everything else.
Rufino is an elder in Bolivia waiting for a sponsor, and he’s ready to send his sponsor some love.
“I would appreciate, respect and be forever grateful to my sponsor,” Rufino said. “I would say to come here, I would like to hug you and give you a thousand kisses.”
Rufino is 69 years old and lives with his wife in a small one-room home. He is blind in one eye and his wife has hip problems. Because of their health concerns, the pair is unable to work and find it difficult to meet their basic needs. At times, they don’t even have enough to eat.
“I try to visit the [Unbound] office to see if I already have a sponsor,” Rufino said. “I think receiving someone’s friendship and support brings great joy to the heart.”
Rufino likes taking care of his plants and his wife, Teresa. On the weekends he watches soccer games at the local field. Since he’s lost much of his vision, though, he’s no longer able to read, an activity he used to enjoy.
Rufino dreams of living the rest of his life happy with his plants and his wife. He just needs a sponsor to help him through his twilight years.
A sponsor for Rufino would mean he and his wife would have a meal on the table, medical care and emotional support from their community and sponsor.
Editor’s note: Since this blog was published, Rufino has found a sponsor. Click here to find other elders waiting for a sponsor.
If home is where the heart is, Beneranda’s home has always been the small patch of Nicaraguan farmland she inherited from her father. But for most of her adult life, it was a home without a house.
Teresia always had an interest in beaded items and was curious about how they were made, so when the opportunity arose to learn beading, she jumped at the chance.
Milestone moments don’t happen every day. For Jolly, a sponsored youth in the Philippines, graduating from college is one of his happiest memories. While most graduates walk toward the stage to get their degrees, Jolly was walking toward his mom.
“When my name was called by the host in our graduation, my mother was clapping her hands,” said Jolly, a sponsored youth living in the Philippines. “I was the one who got her hand and we walked together up the stage. She was the one who put the medal on my neck. I was so happy that moment,” he said.
The city of Estelí, Nicaragua, is a troubled one. Many families served by Unbound live in one of its neighborhoods that is unsafe and run-down.
The neighborhood is underdeveloped. Its dirt roads run with raw sewage. A majority of the sponsored children attend a school on the main road in the neighborhood, an area that has a lot of garbage strewn about.
But the community is trying to make small steps forward, and Unbound is helping residents work toward creating a safer and cleaner neighborhood.
The old adage, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” rings true for Maria’s family.
She and the other six members of her family work hard reclaiming items from the streets of their Mexican neighborhood.
“First, I am a mother. This is my first and most important job,” Maria said. “I enjoy doing overtime mother’s work, even if I don’t get paid for it,” she laughed.
But in order to pay the bills, Maria has a very different job — she is a pepenadora or one who searches through trash for a living.