Gaby spends part of her volunteer time with Unbound in the correspondence department in El Salvador.
Many obstacles keep children living in poverty from reaching their full potential.
Gaby was raised by a single mother in a rural region of El Salvador, so the odds were already against her.
Gaby’s father passed away, leaving her mother, Dina, as the sole provider for Gaby and her four siblings. Dina’s income as a baker fluctuates, as her wages depend on how many orders she gets and how much bread she sells daily.
Bryan, 12, from Guatemala.
Beaming with pride and a smile that constantly says, “I can do it,” 12-year-old Bryan enjoys a grand accomplishment for a boy his age.
For the third year in a row, Bryan has earned the distinction of being valedictorian at his grade school in Guatemala, a feat that is even more impressive when you consider only one student gets to have that honor each year.
Excelling at school might be difficult for a lot of students, but not many have faced the sort of obstacles that Bryan has had to overcome.
Tanzanian twins Clementina and Clecencia with some of their golf trophies.
On the golf course, twin sisters Clementina and Clecencia from Tanzania rely on hard work and determination to stay on par with their peers.
“People believe that the game of golf is for the rich only, but that is not true,” Clementina said. “We are not rich, but we are good players.”
By Larry Livingston, senior writer
In Catholic tradition, a holy year is a time of special prayer, pilgrimage and grace. They normally occur every 25 years, but there can be exceptions for special occasions.
2016 is one of those exceptional years, with Pope Francis proclaiming this The Holy Year of Mercy. During this time, the pope has invited not only Catholics but all people of goodwill to enter into deeper reflection on the concept of mercy.
So let’s reflect a bit, through the lens of Unbound.
By Loretta Shea Kline, managing editor for Unbound
Jolita wears the cultural dress of the Dumagat indigenous community at a ceremony where she received recognition as one of 10 Outstanding Elders of the Philippines.
Sponsored elder Jolita helped three generations of women in the Dumagat indigenous community give birth. For her efforts, she received recognition as one of the Outstanding Older Persons of the Philippines.
Ana and Katherin go for a walk in their neighborhood.
Ana helps Katherin with her homework.
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions: eat healthy, get organized, save more, forget less. Even with the best of intentions, many resolutions fall by the wayside. If you’ve made a resolution, we want you to achieve it. Let the story of one mother’s personal transformation inspire you to succeed in your own goals for 2016.
“Defensora de la Familia,” or “Defender of the Family.”
Although the map says it’s not far from the Unbound coordinating office, it takes nearly two hours to reach the dusty Manchay region outside of Lima, Peru.
The community is situated on a steep hill, and when the wind picks up the dust swirls in a fury.
Several women begin to gather outside a small office and their bright red vests stand out as the group gets larger. Stitched prominently on the back of each vest are the words, “Defensora de la Familia,” or “Defender of the Family.”
Shija stands next to the sign he painted for Unbound’s coordinating office in Tanzania.
Shija, an Unbound sponsored youth in Tanzania, shows artwork he created.
Shija walked up and stood beside the sign he painted. It read, “UNBOUND,” and colorful figures formed the logo beside the name.
Shija, a sponsored youth, painted the sign at the request of the local office in Tanzania. The staff knew he would be a good candidate for the job because he’s an artist who’s going to school for fine arts and graphic design.
Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.
Adilia, a sponsored youth in El Salvador.
Yuda, now 27, holds two economics textbooks he authored.
Manish and his mother, Shakuntla.
Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team, from left: Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, Lydia Leffelman, Clair Paul, Laurel Harrold and Maureen Ortiz.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we thought it would be good to have an encore presentation of some of the stories we featured on the Unbound blog in 2015.
Each of these stories reflects gratitude, expressed in many ways and for a variety of gifts. They represent just a few of the hundreds of stories we have presented over the years about people for whom thankfulness is not just an occasional sentiment but a virtue that marks every day of their lives.
Jacinta Wanjiku, Unbound staff member in Nairobi, stands outside the church where the papal Mass will take place.
The Kangemi slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, where Pope Francis will visit.
Millions of people around the world live in slums on the edges of large cities. Generally ignored by their local governments and avoided by those with the means to live elsewhere, these people are the very embodiment of what it means to be marginalized.