Tomorrow, Oct. 17, is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty set forth by the United Nations.
This year’s theme is “Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination.”
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.
By Luis Cocón, Unbound’s communications liaison in Guatemala
“They should have never been born.”
“It’s the mothers’ fault that our country is the way it is — so underdeveloped.”
“She doesn’t understand that giving birth to one child after another only multiplies poverty. Now there is yet another digit in malnourished children statistics.”
Typical comments from some of the very powerful in my country.
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.
Want to help? Donations to Microfunding help parents like these start sustainable livelihood initiatives.
Happy Mother’s Day from Unbound! As you get ready to celebrate your mom on Sunday, take a moment to check out all these amazing moms from around the world. They are overcoming great odds to give their children better futures.
And don’t forget to share your Mother’s Day photos with us on Monday. Post a photo on Instagram of your mom or a photo of you with your mom, tag @Unboundorg and use the hashtag #MotherMonday.
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.
Seven-year-old Hanna lives in Mexico with her mom, dad, big brother and little sister. Hanna loves to play with her friends and be active, despite having asthma and allergies. Her favorite part about school is doing art projects.
Her dad is a seasonal day laborer, and on average the family income is only $160 a month when her dad can find work. With her mom in need of medical treatment, meeting the costs of sending all three children to school is becoming increasingly difficult for the family.
For Hanna, getting a sponsor would mean she can stay in school. She would also have access to regular health check-ups, better nutrition and special events with other sponsored kids, among other benefits. But the best benefit she would receive would be knowing that someone in another part of the world believes in her and wants to help her and her family have a better future.
Editor’s note: Since this was posted, Hanna has found a sponsor. Click here to view other kids waiting for a sponsor.
Twenty-year-old Roy is from a rural area of the Philippines and is studying education at a nearby university. He is sponsored through Unbound, which helps him meet the costs of attending college. Though he goes home every Friday, and laundry is involved, his weekends look a bit different than those of many U.S. students.
Roy’s weekends are filled with farming and doing other chores in order to earn a weekly income. He returns to school on Sunday afternoon, or sometimes very early in the morning on Monday, to attend class.
When it comes to doing laundry, Roy and his family rely on their surroundings. Their home is located at the base of a mountain. One of the mountain streams provides water and plenty of rocks for washing clothes.
Roy knows how to work hard and applies that to his studies as well as his weekend work. He hopes to be a teacher when he completes his education and is creating more opportunities for himself and his family through his studies.
Click here to support the higher education goals of students around the world.
Peter has a big smile as he chats with his customers while weighing and chopping meat for them. Peter is from Kenya and works as a butcher, selling goat meat, raw or roasted, to support his family.
“I have been doing this for the last two years,” he said. “It gives me great joy to be a butcher. This job, though it seems messy for some, helps me put food on my family’s table.”
I follow Peter around his butchery, and the zeal with which he goes around doing his work is admirable. As he puts some meat on the fire to roast, Peter lets me in on the history of his business.