Angela, a sponsored elder in El Salvador.
Angela, or Angelita, as she’s called by her family and friends, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador. She’ll celebrate her 71st birthday in March, but has gone through a lot to get to such a distinguished age.
“My childhood was very humble,” Angela said. “My father worked the land; he worked in everything that he could find. We were nine siblings, seven boys and two girls. … We all stayed in one room. A friend of my family lent us that room and it was made of adobe.
“We were living in extreme poverty. That’s why my siblings and I never went to school. Instead we had to work. I collected firewood, carried water to my house and washed clothes in a river.”
Joy in culture
Madelen, a formerly sponsored child, participates in a traditional dance with the Unbound community in Quibdo, Colombia.
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“Defensora de la Familia,” or “Defender of the Family.”
Although the map says it’s not far from the Unbound coordinating office, it takes nearly two hours to reach the dusty Manchay region outside of Lima, Peru.
The community is situated on a steep hill, and when the wind picks up the dust swirls in a fury.
Several women begin to gather outside a small office and their bright red vests stand out as the group gets larger. Stitched prominently on the back of each vest are the words, “Defensora de la Familia,” or “Defender of the Family.”
Jorge sitting in his favorite spot.
Adilia, a sponsored youth in El Salvador.
Yuda, now 27, holds two economics textbooks he authored.
Manish and his mother, Shakuntla.
Unbound’s Outreach Volunteer team, from left: Claudia Vázquez-Puebla, Lydia Leffelman, Clair Paul, Laurel Harrold and Maureen Ortiz.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States, we thought it would be good to have an encore presentation of some of the stories we featured on the Unbound blog in 2015.
Each of these stories reflects gratitude, expressed in many ways and for a variety of gifts. They represent just a few of the hundreds of stories we have presented over the years about people for whom thankfulness is not just an occasional sentiment but a virtue that marks every day of their lives.
Jacinta Wanjiku, Unbound staff member in Nairobi, stands outside the church where the papal Mass will take place.
The Kangemi slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, where Pope Francis will visit.
Millions of people around the world live in slums on the edges of large cities. Generally ignored by their local governments and avoided by those with the means to live elsewhere, these people are the very embodiment of what it means to be marginalized.
Alice, a sponsored elder in Kenya.
When Pope Francis visits Africa Nov. 25-30, sponsored elder Alice in Kenya will be among the faithful hoping to see him.
Ronalyn was sponsored through Unbound for 14 years before she graduated from the program in 2010. After being out of the program for five years, Ronalyn tells us how she and her family are doing now that she is out on her own.
From left: Maria, middle, with her parents Christina, left, and Leonard, right.
It used to be difficult for Maria to study at night. Her home in Tanzania didn’t have electricity and she would have to study by the light of a kerosene lamp or candles.
But when Maria became sponsored, her family began saving part of her sponsorship funds to construct a new home, one with electricity.
Yira loves her home by the sea and dreams of working on a cruise ship.
People who visit seaside resorts enjoy the warm waters, beautiful beaches and the various amenities such places have to offer. But they might not think much about the lives of the people who provide those services – people like Yira and her family.
Serfina makes a pot using clay she and her grandchildren collected from a nearby river.
Serfina, left, and grandchildren Bella, Jordan and Brian show off three clay pots Serfina made.
With three orphaned grandchildren left in her care, Serfina knew she needed a more reliable source of income than farming, which was susceptible to drought and crop failures. So she learned the art of making clay pots.