For many, the mother is the heart of the family. She’s often the one who kisses scraped knees, soothes fevers and offers a shoulder to cry on. The importance of a mother’s role was on the minds of Unbound staff members in Santa Barbara, Honduras, when they realized mothers in rural areas were not receiving adequate health care.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. And when detected early, the five-year survival rate is 100 percent.
For many living in poverty with no health benefits, early detection and proper care isn’t an option.
With age comes wisdom but also the risk of social isolation. Many elders across the globe may go days or weeks without speaking to anyone. Elders who live in poverty and face loneliness are at an even greater risk of depression and deteriorating mental health.
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.
Rosa gave birth to Jose at her home in Guatemala. When he was just 2 weeks old, she realized something was wrong.
“His skin seemed fragile and it did not look normal,” she said. “It looked like nylon skin. … We decided to take him to see a doctor. They said he was born with this dry skin illness named ichthyosis.”
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.
Autism affects one in 68 children, and it’s one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the last 20 years.
April is Autism Awareness Month — a month dedicated to educating the public about autism and helping to create a safer, happier world for those challenged by this disorder. Unbound sponsorship offers support to families around the world who are impacted by autism.
Ulises is a 22-year-old sponsored youth who has autism. He lives in Costa Rica with his mother, Marjorie, who takes care of him.
“My dream is that one day he would do things on his own, so he would be independent when I’m no longer with him,” Marjorie said.
By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director for Unbound
The United Nations has designated Wednesday, Nov. 19, as a day to talk about toilets.
At first glance it may seem an odd topic to dwell on for a day. Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about toilets.
Unless you happen to be one of the people without access to one.
According to the United Nations, almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrheal diseases.