Tag: health

Oct 2 2015

Fighting social isolation among elders

Juana, a sponsored elder in Mexico.

Juana, a sponsored elder in Mexico.

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.
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Aug 14 2015

A thousand kisses from Rufino

Rufino, right, with his wife, Teresa.

Rufino, right, with his wife, Teresa.

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.

Aug 3 2015

Living a beautiful life

Jose, a sponsored child in Guatemala.

Jose, a sponsored child in Guatemala.

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.”

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Jul 24 2015

Parents’ 3 keys to a happy home

Beautiful smiles fill the home of Carlos (left) and Ena (second from right), shown here with three of their children, Carlos Elias (second from left), Cesar Gabriel (center) and Laura Valeria.

Beautiful smiles fill the home of Carlos (left) and Ena (second from right), shown here with three of their children, Carlos Elias (second from left), Cesar Gabriel (center) and Laura Valeria.

At Unbound, we believe parents know what’s best for their children. Our programs are designed to support parents in providing for and raising their children. In recognition of Parents’ Day July 26, we bring you the story of a family in El Salvador striving to do their best for their children and help them grow up to be good people.

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Sponsored child Everth and his mother, Carmen.
Jul 6 2015

Beautifying a community

Sponsored child Everth and his mother, Carmen.

Sponsored child Everth and his mother, Carmen, participated in a neighborhood clean-up day organized by Unbound staff in Nicaragua. Along with other families they collected materials from the streets for recycling or proper disposal.

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.

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Marjorie and Ulises
Apr 29 2015

Family shows autism is no barrier to a dream

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.

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World Toilet Day
Nov 19 2014

World Toilet Day: Solving the sanitation crisis

World Toilet Day

This latrine in Uganda afforded no privacy and is no longer usable.

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.

Keep reading

Sponsor a child
Sep 29 2014

“Disability is not inability”

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph, 22, is a sponsored student in Kenya. When he was 2, Joseph’s parents noticed that he wasn’t able to do some of the same things other children his age could. By the time he was 3, he was unable to walk or move around.

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impairs movement and is caused by brain damage during development.

Joseph underwent surgery to help straighten his legs. He also received physical therapy and used crutches for some time. In all, he spent four years in the hospital being treated for his condition.

Joseph was finally able to join primary school at the age of 7. He was one of the best students in the class.

Joseph’s parents found it hard to get by with Joseph’s medical expenses, four children in school and no steady income. Unbound staff in their area learned of the family’s situation, and in 2002 Joseph was sponsored. The support he received from his sponsor meant his parents could continue paying for his education.

Joseph’s schooling, however,  was interrupted in fourth grade when he had to have another surgery.. He spent another year in the hospital, which meant he had to repeat fourth grade. Despite the difficulties, he continued to excel when he returned to school and even managed to score highly on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

With his high scores, Joseph received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, which combined with his sponsorship benefits meant his parents could send him to a better secondary school.

The first secondary school Joseph attended wasn’t the best fit. His condition made it difficult for him to write, which made it hard to keep up with the other students. But it was the negative treatment he received from some of his classmates that was the biggest challenge.

Seeing his struggles, Joseph’s parents decided to transfer him to a school that specialized in teaching students with disabilities. Being among others who faced similar challenges boosted Joseph’s self-confidence.

Joseph, from Kenya

Joseph walks around his classroom full of students.

Joseph recently graduated secondary school with good grades, and plans to pursue a degree in business administration from Kenyatta University. While he waits to get into the university, Joseph puts his time to good use.

He volunteers at his old primary school teaching math and Kiswahili, and he helps out at the Unbound office near his home.

When giving advice to younger students, he keeps it simple. “Disability is not inability,” Joseph said. “Work hard and stay focused.”

Donations to Health help provide equipment and therapeutic devices to sponsored friends with disabilities, along with many other health related initiatives.

World Malaria day
Apr 25 2014

Make a difference on World Malaria Day

Today is World Malaria Day, and Unbound gives thanks to all those who make an effort to combat this potentially deadly, but preventable disease. Through sponsorship, Unbound is creating change to prevent and treat malaria. Click here to read more about the fight against malaria.

Want to help? Sponsor someone today and help give them access to resources to prevent malaria.

bokashi balls
Apr 21 2014

Earth Day in the Philippines

Tomorrow, Aprill 22, is Earth Day, and Unbound sponsored friends and their families in the Philippines are celebrating with bokashi balls.

No, it isn’t a new healthy cereal to help cleanse your system. But it will help cleanse rivers and other freshwater resources.

“Bokashi” is a Japanese term that means “fermented organic matter” and refers to a system developed in Japan that uses beneficial micro-organisms to break down toxins and food waste. Bokashi balls can improve the life of the river and help restore it to its proper ecological balance.

Unbound’s Antipolo project in the Philippines has been making bokashi balls since 2009 and started to see positive environmental effects in area rivers where the mudballs have been utilized..

Click here to read more about bokashi balls.