By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Kenyan women from diverse faiths work together in Unbound mothers groups to empower each other and lift their families out of poverty.
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.
Looking at this photo, you might see a work of art. A sculpture carefully crafted, textured and painted to convey a new meaning for each new angle it’s viewed from. Or maybe, and more accurately, you see a mushroom farm.
For Guatemalan mother Ana, this mound of chopped corncobs, corn husks and mushroom cultures represents another step toward economic self-sufficiency.
Johanna (middle front) danced with her mom (left front) and other mothers at a Family Day celebration.
Mothers groups and staff of the Hogares de Solidaridad subproject in Bogota, Colombia, recently organized a Family Day celebration. With food, face painting and dancing, there was a lot to do for everyone that attended.
For 11-year-old Johanna, the day was extra special. Her mom, Alejandra, and the members of her mothers group choreographed a dance to traditional Colombian music. They were one dancer short, however, so Johanna got to join in.
“I had a lot of fun because I had the chance to dance with the other mothers and we supported each other,” Johanna said. “We had good coordination, and I had a great time.”
Sponsor someone from Colombia today!
Doris, a 12-year-old girl from Peru, is waiting for a sponsor.
By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director
A confident smile is the first thing you notice about Doris. It lights up the home where she lives with her mom, dad and baby brother.
It’s a tiny but tidy two-room space. An American visitor might notice the walls are covered with cardboard to insulate against cold weather.
Doris wants to be an engineer so she can design homes that are much sturdier than the one she lives in.
“When you are an engineer you get to draw,” Doris explained. “And I like to draw houses.”
A street running through India’s Rasoolpura slum.
Mothers of sponsored children visit the bank together to withdraw funds to pay their children’s school fees.
Mothers work together to plan their budgets before going to the bank.
Unbound staff members look over the budgets proposed by the mothers.
For many living in poverty in places like India’s Rasoolpura slum, thoughts of saving money and having a bank account are distant dreams. Many have never even stepped foot inside a bank.
In India, Unbound sets up individual bank accounts for sponsored children and youth in which funds sent by sponsors are deposited. For children who are underage, the mothers manage the bank accounts. The mothers work with each other and the Unbound staff to make budgets and plan how the funds will be used for their children’s best interests.
Having a bank account is an empowering, uplifting experience for the mothers.
Read more about their experience here.
And now, for your enjoyment, our top 10 stories about mothers! In no particular order.
Shaheen works in her shop with one of her daughters.
Heena, a CFCA sponsored child, with her father and younger sister in their bangle store.
Before her daughter joined CFCA, Shaheen knew how to sew, but did not have the equipment to do so. Through CFCA mothers groups, Shaheen gained confidence, friendship and a new sewing machine, which is helping to support her family.
Jesintha, left, and Prakash at their food stand, Curry Point.
CFCA strives to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. The Hope for a Family program aims to partner with families so that over time they may rely less on benefits from CFCA and more on their own income-generation activities to meet their basic needs.
We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Prakash and her sister Jesintha ó enjoy!
In 2010, my sister, Jesintha, and I started a food stand called Curry Point.
We prepare food items like dal, sambar, potato fry, brinjal curry, tomato pickle and chapattis (Indian bread) and other foods. We sell our meals at reasonable rates, so it is affordable for many.
I am Prakash. My sister and I are part of a mothers group in Hyderabad, India. She has a son sponsored through CFCA, and my son is sponsored as well.
My sister and I both took out a loan from each of our mothers groups to start this curry business. Read more