Ambrocia learned how to embroider when she was just 10 years old.
“My neighbor Emilia showed me the skills,” Ambrocia said. “I remember her words, ‘Learn because you never know when it may come in handy.'”
And at the age of 47, this Guatemalan mom is using the skill she learned all those years ago from a kind neighbor to support her family.
Perhaps nothing says more about Unbound’s culture of learning than our movement toward small, community-based groups within our programs. The families themselves taught us that when those who are systemically disadvantaged come together, great things can happen.
Local Unbound program staffs discovered early on that small peer groups were ideal for building trust and an environment of mutual support within a larger community. They found that the ideal size was about 25 members — large enough to feel empowered but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy.
When Sundari’s son Adarsh was sponsored through Unbound’s office in Hyderabad, India, things were difficult for the family. Not only are Sundari and her husband, Marreddy, responsible for taking care of their two children, but they also take care of their grandparents and Sundari’s aunt.
Marreddy is a farmer, but only has two acres of land with which to support all seven members of the family. Sundari is a housewife, and when her son was sponsored in 2004, she didn’t have any means of earning an income.
Now 18, Adarsh was sponsored by Cleaton and Corda from Louisiana, who remained his sponsors until he left the program last year when he starting working. Adarsh wasn’t the only one in the family who benefited from being part of Unbound. Through the program, Sundari had the opportunity to join a local support mothers group (SMG) called Pragathi Mahila Sangam, which means Women’s Progress Group.
Throughout our Unbound communities, mothers are at the center of their families. Our mothers groups enable parents to develop creative, practical ideas aimed at generating income and supporting their families. A small contribution to Microfunding can provide immense opportunity for a mom. Donate today.
While in the hospital recovering from surgery on her hand, 45-year-old Mirna decided she could do more with her inherent potential.
She took inspiration from her favorite book, “The Pursuit of Excellence” by Ted W. Engstrom. The book follows an eagle raised with the mentality that it couldn’t fly, until one day it sees other birds flying.
“I think I’m like that eagle,” Mirna said. “During so many years I thought I wasn’t able to do many things, until one day I decided to leave all that behind and decided to pursue my dreams and [support] my family.”
And that’s exactly what she did.
Trying something for the first time can be difficult and intimidating. It was true for Maria when she first started learning how to sew.
Maria is a mother of four living in El Salvador. She joined the Unbound sponsorship program 11 years ago when her oldest daughter, Rosa, was sponsored by Alanna and Frances from Pennsylvania.
As a part of the program, Maria joined a mothers group with mothers in the area whose children are also sponsored through Unbound. The mothers had the opportunity to learn a new skill, and they decided to take sewing classes.
At first Maria was afraid, saying, “I used to cry because I thought if I couldn’t sew that I wouldn’t make it. It was hard to learn.”
The next time you are at a child’s birthday party and the kids are swinging wildly at a piñata, take a moment to think about Maria Sabina. That brightly colored donkey, fish or bird might just have been made by her own two hands.
The mother of a child in the Unbound sponsorship program, Maria Sabina lives with her husband and two sons in a village in north-central El Salvador. Her son Ronny, 10, has been sponsored by Jackie in Florida since 2012.
Maria Sabina belongs to the Unbound mothers group in her community. As in other locations throughout the Unbound world, her group provides a structure for the mothers of sponsored children to come together and offer each other moral and emotional support.
Woven into every sponsorship story are personalized solutions to overcome poverty and get ahead.
That story is no different for Eliza from the Philippines. Her 20-year-old son, Christian, has been sponsored through Unbound since 2004. But with seven other children at home, getting ahead in life remains a challenge. Their family’s only income comes from her husband’s farming.
Eliza is able to send Christian to school with the support his sponsors, Janet and Tim from Kansas. She also uses the sponsorship support to supplement her family’s nutritional and other daily needs.
Just four years ago Sarobidy’s family was struggling to survive, living in a small wooden house in Madagascar on the little income his mother, Hasiniaina, made doing laundry and selling vegetables and firewood. His father, Léon, wasn’t able to find work.
Sarobidy attended an inexpensive local school, though the quality of the education wasn’t very good. Though the tuition only cost about $2.50 USD per month, the expense took a toll on the family’s budget.
“We were afraid to borrow money,” Hasiniaina said. “There were many times that we didn’t have food, but there was no one to help.”
Then in March of 2012, Sarobidy was sponsored through Unbound by Paul and Maureen from Ohio, and his family was able to start turning their situation around.