Berta, mother of a sponsored child in El Salvador, and her daughter Cesia.
By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador
Mother’s Day is a special day when we celebrate and honor motherhood. In America, El Salvador and most Latin American countries, we celebrate it in May.
In our communities, mothers are the gears in the movement of love we call Unbound. I have learned many things from mothers since I started working at Unbound. They are without a doubt women that inspire me.
Living in Kenya as a widow with six children hasn’t been easy for Mary. Aside from dealing with emotional loss and a lack of income, Mary and her children often faced disapproval.
“I have had to deal with negativity from the society that mistreats widows and single mothers,” Mary said. “I have had to overcome self-pity over my situation and that of my children — that has been the greatest challenge. Trusting in God and in a brighter future is what keeps me going.
“I am just grateful that Unbound stepped in when all my hope was lost,” she continued. “They sympathized with my situation and two of my children got sponsored. … I am also hopeful that with the help of the small mothers group loaning system I will be able to start up a livelihood business in the near future.”
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.
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. Continue reading
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.
That’s how Henry Flores, director of the Unbound communications center in El Salvador, began his conversation with Ashley, a sponsored 15 year old from Costa Rica.
A difficult question to ask; an even tougher one to answer.
How could a teenager living in a poor community behind one of the largest shopping malls in the area, where she and her mother, Juana, can only see the walls that hide their reality from the beauty and fantasy of the department stores, answer a question like that?
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.”
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.
Members of the Familia Santa Martha mothers group in Colombia work in their garden.
Mothers everywhere have dealt with the age-old problem of getting the kids to eat their veggies. A group of mothers in Colombia have found a way to encourage their kids to enjoy vegetables and learn the value of hard work, all while increasing the sustainability of their families.