Yuda is a former sponsored youth from Uganda who has earned a master’s degree and is now a teacher. “My sponsor has played a big role in my life,” Yuda said. “The support, encouragement and financial help I have gotten made me reach my goals and dream.”
Education opens up opportunities in life, especially when entering the job market. And for a child living in poverty, a good education can become the means by which she lifts her family out of poverty. But education isn’t a guarantee for much of the world, and for many children it’s a luxury their family might not be able to afford.
In many of the countries where Unbound works, families are often required by the schools to pay for things like textbooks and cover additional fees, or families of school-age children view education as a low priority compared to other needs of the family.
In some families, children and youth may be expected to leave school at a young age so they can work to provide additional income or help take care of younger siblings. These families are faced with the decision of sacrificing their child’s education in favor of feeding the family and keeping a roof over their heads.
Marcelo with two of his six daughters, Maria (left) and Estela (center).
This is the first in a series of four stories about fathers of children sponsored through Unbound. We’ll be posting these leading up to the celebration of Father’s Day on June 19. Click here to watch the companion video. Read Marcelo’s story
A water barrel belonging to a sponsored family in El Salvador.
By Henry Flores, director of the communications center in El Salvador
The more I learn about people living in poverty, the more I discover how expensive it is to be poor and how their fragile personal economy forces them to face high costs of living and social prejudice.
We all know that the less you earn the more expensive getting credit becomes. You have to pay more in interest for being a “risk” to the creditor, as earning less makes you a higher risk to default on your loan.
Something similar happens to poor people. Most of them don’t have a steady income, so they aren’t eligible for credit, and since they live off daily earnings, they can only make small payments daily. How do you conduct business in such a fragile economy? How do you make products and services available for people in such economic conditions?
Children sponsored through Unbound play leap frog during a Saturday school program organized by the Antioquia office.
Over the last decade Unbound has been shifting more and more of the decision-making power into the hands of the families we serve. We believe that families know best what they need and when, so creating a program that is personalized to each family just made sense.
As part of that shift, our local staff have focused on providing guidance to the families on making budgets and goals for how they want to utilize their sponsorship benefits.
Personal program goals put into action a belief in the decision-making power of individual sponsored members. For this reason, goal setting and goal orientation are an important part of living out many other Unbound program characteristics. A personal goal is simply a specific dream about how someone’s life or situation will be in the future. A goal could be related to someone’s future career, education, health status or economic situation.
Staff members from our office in Antioquia, Colombia, came together to share the process they went through when transitioning to the method of using personal program goals.
Karen has experienced much trauma in her life — from domestic violence and a near fatal attack from her first husband to being abandoned by her second husband. Now the 31-year-old single mother of three in Colombia is raising her children alone in a humble home made of bamboo sticks and rusted sheet metal.
Karen’s strength and hope for her children’s future shines brightly. Her daughter is sponsored through Unbound, and while the tangible benefits help her family, the sense of belonging and hope she feels from the Unbound program is just as meaningful.
Dan gives a fist bump to a young girl outside the Unbound office near Kibera slum in Kenya.
By Dan Pearson, Director of International Programs
What’s the best gift for a continent? May 25 is Africa Day, the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organization of African Unity. But don’t worry if you haven’t gotten Africa a gift yet. The day hasn’t really caught on in the U.S. like other celebrations of international origin such as St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo, but that may change.
The mental maps of many Americans are pretty blank when it comes to Africa, and the topics we associate with the continent are mostly negative: slavery, poverty, starvation, dictators and war. It’s true that Africa’s history is deeply marked by suffering, mostly at the hands of outsiders but also self-inflicted. Modern Africa is changing rapidly, and it is time we all took note.
Pride and joy in their accomplishment are clear on the faces of these Ugandan parents. They are part of a small group working through Unbound to sell cakes to support their families. They are one of the many parents groups around the world that have started sustainable livelihood projects with assistance and encouragement from Unbound.
But for these parents, baking cakes isn’t as simple as getting out the mixer and preheating the oven. Watch this short video to see how they made this delicious bakery product.