Tag: Kenya

Apr 24 2017

‘Unbound gave me hope’

Kenyan youth's poetry inspired by school, sponsorship

April is poetry month, and what better way to celebrate than by sharing a poem written by someone sponsored through Unbound?

Brigit is a 15-year-old sponsored youth from Kenya. She’s been reciting poems in school since first grade, which helped her develop an interest in writing her own poetry. Once sponsored, her poems were often inspired by Unbound.

“The support from the program has enabled me to see life differently, with a great meaning, thanks to Unbound,” Brigit said.

Brigit’s been sponsored by Karleen from Indiana since 2012. She wrote the following Unbound-inspired poem when she was just 13 years old.

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Veronica serves up a bowl of soup.
Mar 29 2017

Cooking up a business

Veronica serves up a bowl of soup.

Veronica serves up a bowl of soup.

It’s often said that the journey is more important than the destination. Veronica’s story demonstrates that sometimes the destination is pretty nice, too.

Veronica lives in Kenya. Widowed at a young age, with two young sons to support, her life was a struggle.

“It was very difficult,” she said. “My husband died when the boys were still very young. Food, clothes, shelter, everything was hard to come by. Looking back, I do not know how I made it through. I had to go back to my rural village, because I had no means to make ends meet. I had no one to depend on. I felt alone.”

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Sponsored elder Bernard (center) joins Unbound Kenya communications liaison Regina Mburu (left), and Larry Livingston (right). Bernard, who is blind, was featured in a previous blog post.
Mar 27 2017

Old insights from a new place

Sponsored elder Bernard (center) joins Unbound Kenya communications liaison Regina Mburu (left), and Larry Livingston (right). Bernard, who is blind, was featured in a previous blog post.

Sponsored elder Bernard (center) joins Unbound Kenya communications liaison Regina Mburu (left), and Larry Livingston (right). Bernard, who is blind, was featured in a previous blog post.

By Larry Livingston, senior writer

I recently traveled to Kenya. My main reason for going was to meet people sponsored through Unbound and listen to their stories. I also wanted to meet members of our staff in Kenya and learn how they work with the families.

Since I’ve returned, several people have asked me what I learned from the trip. I have a hard time answering that question at this point, mostly because I need time to sort out my memories, feelings and insights. Like last year’s Christmas tree lights, they’re going to take a while to untangle before they can be illuminated.

Besides, as I get older I find that the most meaningful insights I take away from travel experiences aren’t new. Rather, they’re reminders of universal truths that I had either forgotten or, perhaps, taken for granted. Those insights are always more about people than things. They’re also, in a way, about God.

Here are some ‘old’ insights I took from my trip to Kenya.

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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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Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son's dream.
Aug 15 2016

Speeding toward success

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son's dream.

Oscar (left) is a 12-year-old who is sponsored through Unbound and has found his new passion — speed roller skating. His father, Geoffrey (right), is proud to support his son’s dream.


Kenya is a hub for a surprising sport — speed skating. But it’s not the kind on ice that you might be more familiar with because of world-renowned athletes like Apolo Ohno. This is the kind on wheels that happens in bumpy alleyways and paved roads, and is growing in popularity among Kenyan youth.

For kids across the globe of all ages, the ability to participate in sports from a young age provides great opportunities for learning, discipline and independence. With education at the forefront, Oscar, a 12-year-old sponsored boy in Kisumu, Kenya, was able to start speed skating as a result of the freedom that Unbound sponsorship provided him and his family.

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Lucy enjoys a mug of hot porridge.
Jun 8 2015

A mug full of love

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Smoke from the cooking fire filled the small kitchen as the contents of a cooking pot boiled. The fire was built between three large stones, with the pot balanced on the edges of the stones, above the fire.

This is what I saw when I visited with Lucy, one of the elders sponsored through Unbound in Kenya. As I made my way to her home, I noticed her well-kept compound and the sound of her singing.

“Welocamu na wakinya guku kwa cucu, siti downi,” Lucy sang.

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Kenyan mothers from diverse faiths work together through Unbound mothers groups.
Apr 10 2015

Kenyans mourn while standing against violence


By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Editor’s note: There have been no reports of youth sponsored through Unbound being affected by the April 2 terror attack on Garissa University College in Kenya.

As the long Easter weekend approached, we were excited and busy making plans on how best to enjoy the holiday with loved ones.

Then we got the news that Garissa University College in the northeastern part of Kenya was under siege. The school is part of the Moi University system.

Terrorists had taken over the Garissa campus. With guns and knives, they took the young lives of 148 students.

Easter celebrations were dampened. The mood was somber as the whole nation was thrown into mourning. Our Kenyan flag, flying at half-mast, served as a symbol to honor the lost lives.

The news media reported that terrorists targeted students who were not of the Islamic faith. Tensions between Christians and Muslims heightened, even while leaders from both faiths condemned the attacks.

Unbound-Kenya serves beneficiaries from both Christian and Islamic religions. As a program, Unbound serves the two religions without favor. Members interact and live harmoniously with each other. Some have formed great friendships, thanks to the Unbound mothers groups.
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A sponsored elder
Feb 18 2015

Proud and dapper

A sponsored elder

A sponsored elder near Meru, Kenya.


Sara Asmussen, Project Specialist for Unbound in Kansas, sent us this picture from her travels in Africa. She was visiting the offices in Meru, Kenya, and visiting homes of sponsored friends in the program. One day, they were traveling to a community and met the gentleman pictured above.

“The staff there explained to me that he is a group leader of the sponsored elderly in his area,” Sara said. “We commented on how sharp he looked. He smiled and said that it was because of Unbound that he is able to have clothes like this and take care of himself.”

Unbound is the only major sponsorship organization that offers sponsorship opportunities for the aging. Access to medical care and nutritious food fills significant gaps in countries with no safety nets for their oldest citizens.

And the Unbound community remedies the all-too-common loneliness faced by elders through support groups, recreational activities and more.

Show your support by sponsoring an elder through Unbound.

Jospeter
Feb 2 2015

A close-up view of hunger

By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa

Regina is from Kenya and works out of Unbound’s Nairobi office. She recently visited families served through Unbound’s Meru program in central Kenya. The region has experienced severe drought over the last several years, and a report from Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority estimates 1.5 million people are in need of immediate food assistance.

The drive to Kenya’s vast Tharaka-Nithi County, south of Meru, was marked by rough terrain. The ride was bumpy, and at times I had to hold on tight to my seat as the driver maneuvered around huge rocks on our path.

The sun was fierce, scorching the land. Beads of sweat rolled down my face as I looked through the car window, and all I could see were tracks of land covered in dust.

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