Letters are an everyday part of the Unbound program — they’re the bridge that connects people throughout our world. Hundreds of thousands of letters from sponsored friends pass through our Kansas City headquarters each year on their way to sponsors. With all the correspondence that passes through our office, some letters still come as a surprise.
She is 4 years old and full of giggles. She sings. She counts to 10 in English. She listens to songs and then creates dances to go with them.
Her name is Jaishikha. She is nothing short of precious.
Jaishikha lives with her mom, dad and baby brother in a small, dark room in a crowded Indian slum.
Her parents struggle. Neither had the opportunity to go to school. Jaishikha’s father works hard in a hair and nail salon, but doesn’t make enough money to meet the family needs for shelter and food.
Despite their difficult life, Jaishikha smiles. All the time.
“We want her to be educated and successful,” said her mom, Reena. “My only dream is for my child to get a proper education so she will be proud.”
Editor’s Note: Since this post was published, Jaishikha has been sponsored. Click here to view other children still waiting for a sponsor.
Happy Make a Friend Day! At Unbound, we’re all about creating meaningful relationships between sponsors and sponsored friends. To celebrate Make a Friend Day, we’d like to give Maynor the opportunity to make a new friend.
Maynor enjoys drawing and playing soccer. Maynor’s father earns an income by working in the cornfields as a day laborer, and Maynor likes helping his father in the field. Maynor, his parents and four siblings are living in a one-room adobe hut. It has a corrugated-tin roof and a dirt floor. His mother takes care of the domestic chores, and the family lives on the father’s earnings. The amount isn’t enough to meet their everyday needs. For Maynor, sponsorship would mean a better situation for his entire family.
Editor’s note: Since this post was published, Maynor has found a sponsor. Click here to view others still waiting for a sponsor.
Diego faced many challenges when he decided to go to college and study teaching. Classes were far from home, and transportation costs as well as food and education fees began to add up. Although difficult, Diego stuck with it.
“I kept telling myself, ‘this is hard because it is worth it. It will be fruitful someday,'” Diego said.
Horetensia lives in a small town to the west of Guatemala’s capital with her husband, Victor. At 68, she has a clear dream for her future.
“I dream of living my elder years with good health, and I dream of not having to work so hard anymore,” Horetensia said. Laughing, she added, “I no longer have the strength to work hard; it’s not that I turned lazy.”
Hortensia has been working hard all her life. She and her husband started their family in Guatemala City more than 40 years ago. He worked as an auto mechanic, and she had a small business selling tortillas. They had 10 children, though two of them passed away in infancy.
When Victor started having strokes, which made him lose the ability to walk for some time, the burden of supporting their large family fell solely on Hortensia.
“I knew without proper education, his life would turn out bleak,” Anna said of her grandnephew. “I had to do everything within my reach to help him go to school and learn.”
The 72-year-old Ugandan woman took over the care of Fred when he was just 8 months old after the untimely death of his parents. Fred’s mother was Anna’s niece, whom Anna also cared for. Growing up, Fred has always just referred to Anna as his grandmother.
Anna found herself in a position to help her extended family after the end of her 29-year marriage. Anna’s husband, a polygamist, banished her from his home because Anna did not bear him children. She moved in with her ailing brother who soon died, leaving his children and grandchildren, Fred among them, in her care.
By Henry Flores, director of the Unbound communications center in El Salvador
During a filming trip to the Dominican Republic, the director for the shooting told me, “I want to portray the sponsored members, the poor, in a way that describes who they really are. I know what the world tells me the poor are, please tell me what they are not!”
Our general conception of those living in poverty has been modeled by what we have seen or read, creating for many a preconceived image of the poor. After 20 years working with poor people and communities in many countries, I can tell you they are not what we´ve been told.
by Cara VanNice, communications director for Unbound
Our recent coverage of the violence in Kenya, the plight of girls in India and the Central American children at the U.S. border highlight a common thread that runs throughout the communities where Unbound works – urgency. We are where we are because we are needed there. Help is needed there.
By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator
Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with Jim and Ginger, a lovely couple who have been a part of the Quaker tradition for more than 40 years. As it so often happens, it was nothing like I thought it’d be.
By Henry Flores, director of the Unbound Communications Center in El Salvador
A friend sent me a message on Facebook, which read, “Congratulations for what you do for those most in need.”
This made me ask myself, “What do I do for the poor and what is it that they do for me?”