What started in 1981 with our five co-founders and their Christmas card lists has bloomed into a global humanitarian community that impacts hundreds of thousands of families around the world. It’s Unbound’s 35th Anniversary Nov. 20, and we want you to celebrate with us! Follow along during these next five weeks as we share stories about our history and all the amazing people that make up the Unbound community. We guarantee you’ll learn something new.
The story of Bob’s walks might be one of those new things. In 2011, at age 75, Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen finished a walk from Guatemala to Chile as a show of solidarity with the people of Unbound, after having walked from Kansas City to Guatemala 15 years earlier. Upon completing the second walk, Bob said, “The adventure is just beginning.”
That’s the spirit with which we celebrate our 35th anniversary, honoring our past and looking forward to the adventures ahead. You’ll learn more about Bob’s walks in coming weeks, along with reflections from sponsored children and elders and their families. And you’ll learn about how the organization bloomed over the years from the very first sponsored child to supporting 310,000 children and elders.
Follow along with us here on the blog, on Facebook and Instagram, and look for a special issue of the Living Unbound magazine in your mailbox in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll stay tuned and celebrate with us.
Cynthia (right), pictured with her mother, Pamela, has been sponsored by Donna in Arkansas since 2012. Sponsorship benefits help children like Cynthia stay healthy through good nutrition and durable homes.
Families around the world work hard to keep their children healthy and Unbound is committed to partnering with them. From daily nutrition to recovery from major illnesses, the health benefits that result from Unbound sponsorship are many. On National Child Health Day Oct. 3, we celebrate the efforts of the Unbound community in improving the health of children around the world. Read more
Ramil, Domnick and Anita in front of their home in the Philippines.
Ramil wakes up at 4:30 every morning and ventures out on the sea to catch fish. Twice a day he heads out on the waters surrounding the Philippines for one reason: to support his family.
The father of seven children, including 10-year-old Romnick who is sponsored through Unbound, Ramil sees his job as a fisherman as the best way to provide for his family. After his first round of fishing for the day, his wife, Anita, sells the fish in the market while Ramil goes back out to bring in another catch.
Ramil has been doing this for 20 years.
Jaileen works on a project for Communications as part of her internship.
By Jaileen Guadalupe Escalante, a junior at Cristo Rey Kansas City High School and an Unbound intern
I am 16 years old, love the color pink, volleyball, track and field, and traveling.
I’m a very active, happy person, always smiling and caring for others. I don’t like being bored; in fact I believe you should try to have fun 24/7, even if things aren’t going right. That way you’ll get through everything, because being yourself makes you special.
You’re getting to know so much about me, now let’s talk about what I do at Unbound!
Romelia gathers eggs from her chickens.
For Romelia, the answer to the age-old question about which came first, the chicken or the egg, is simple. It was the chicken, with the egg following close behind. And, just in case you’re wondering what came third, the answer is the sweater.
Maria has been sponsored for five years and has a spirit of serving others — even when she’s not feeling well, she does her best to care for her community members as a midwife.
Maria is a calm and shy sponsored elder who loves to dance. She lives in El Salvador with her husband in an adobe home — surrounded by beautiful flowers and mango and avocado trees — with a dog, cat and even a few pet parrots. At age 80, she serves her community as a midwife and caretaker — a role she’s had for decades.
Maria joined the Unbound community in 2011, when she was sponsored by Gary from Missouri. The support from Unbound has been a great boost to her health and quality of life.
Jeba Mathi loves her job as a social worker for Unbound in Trichy, India, where she was raised by her grandmother and was a sponsored child herself.
Jeba Mathi is a social worker for Unbound in Trichy, India, and a former Unbound sponsored child. Jeba was raised in India by her grandmother, and had a special connection with her sponsor who was raised by her grandmother, too.
Through supports groups and livelihood programs, Unbound supports the hard-working parents of sponsored children around the world to help them develop their natural talents, so they can create sustainable sources of income to support their families and work their way out of poverty.
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Griselda plays wind instruments in a popular all-women’s music group called Enclave. She listened to the group on the radio as a child and later fulfilled a dream of playing with them. She’s now the group’s youngest member.
From traditional folkloric music to hip-hop, sponsored friends around the world are practicing their favorite forms of music and using music to better their worlds and bring peace of mind.
Pritha, at the age of 13, dressed for her coming-of-age ceremony. According to Pritha, this photo was taken in a professional photographer’s studio, in front of a mirror so that the intricate braid work could be seen in the reflection.
In her role as program director at Unbound, Pritha visits sponsored child Antony at Antony’s home in India.
By Pritha Hariharan, program director for Unbound’s international programs
Picture this: a young girl of 13 fully decked out in a brand new sari. All the gold her family can afford hangs on her ears, around her neck, her wrists, her ankles and even her waist. She is the center of attention — all the ladies of the family and the neighborhood mill around her. Some bring gifts, others bring food, but everyone is congratulating her and her parents.
She isn’t quite sure why she’s been put in the spotlight, but she’s enjoying it for now. The male siblings are feeling left out, and for the first time in their lives they can’t figure out why the sister is getting all the attention.
Middle school graduation?