Tag: sponsorship

Peter (left) and his family sit on the front step of their new home.
Jan 13 2017

Building dreams in Tanzania

Family goes from renting to owning

Peter (left) and his family sit on the front step of their new home.

Peter (left) and his family sit on the front step of their new home.

For many in the Unbound community, meeting basic needs such as nutrition and housing were a daily challenge before being sponsored. For parents Peter and Agnes in Tanzania, unemployment and low wages made it difficult to earn enough money to send their children to school and improve their situation in life.

That changed when their youngest son, also named Peter, was sponsored.

With the help and support of their son’s sponsor, Mary from Missouri, and local Unbound staff, the couple took an important step on their journey out of poverty — building and owning their own home.

Read more

Gabriela studies at her home in Guatemala.
Jan 11 2017

‘My sponsor is my guardian angel’

Youth continues education with help from sponsor

Gabriela studies at her home in Guatemala.

Gabriela studies at her home in Guatemala.

At 23 years old, Gabriela is determined to complete her education so she can become a lawyer.

Gabriela lives with her mother and three brothers in Guatemala and has been sponsored by Bruno in Canada since 1996. With the support of her family and of her sponsor, Gabriela is closer to her dreams of completing her education and opening a law office to serve the poor, despite the obstacles poverty has put in her way.

“I dream of helping others,” Gabriela said. “I decided to study law because the poor usually don’t have access to a lawyer. I feel that my career will provide the opportunity to help the less fortunate and defend their rights.”

Keep reading

Don and Cheryl Sands from Illinois show off photo albums they've built over the years with photos and letters from their sponsored friends. They've been Unbound sponsors for 22 years.
Jan 9 2017

Did you know?

You can pay for your sponsorship online

Don and Cheryl Sands from Ohio show off photo albums they've built over the years with photos and letters from their sponsored friends. They've been Unbound sponsors for four years.

Don and Cheryl Sands from Ohio show off photo albums they’ve built over the years with photos and letters from their sponsored friends. They’ve been Unbound sponsors for four years.

Did you know that many Unbound sponsors use our online payment system to submit their sponsorship contribution each month? You have the option of making one-time payments or setting up an automatic payment on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Paying for your sponsorship online instead of by check is one way to make your life a little simpler and helps Unbound be more efficient in processing your contributions.

If you are mailing checks personally or through your bank, here’s how you can set up recurring payments online and let our website do the work for you.

Keep reading!

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound
Feb 17 2016

What happens when a sponsored friend leaves the program

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

By Claudia Stapley, child move coordinator for Unbound

Claudia Stapley is a child move coordinator for Unbound and has been with Unbound for 10 years. When a sponsored member sends in a farewell letter, her team is in charge of processing the letter and contacting the sponsor to let them know their friend is leaving the program. For some this can be an emotional time, and Claudia and her team are there to offer care and understanding.

I’ve been writing to Gemmil in the Philippines since 2010. It’s exciting to hear from him and learn what’s happening in his family. His mom just had a baby this year, plus Gemmil’s in college studying to work on a ship and he tells me about the things he learns, like celestial navigation.

Even with all this excitement, there’s a little pit in my stomach because I know that soon — probably very soon — I’m going to receive a letter telling me that Gemmil is leaving the sponsorship program. I’m so happy for him to be graduating and starting to work. He’ll be able to help his parents and siblings and one day his own family, but I’m also a little sad that our relationship will come to a close.

Keep reading

Sponsored elder Olga from Honduras.
Sep 11 2015

Seizing opportunities at every age

Olga with her youngest daughter, Iris, and Iris' son Jafeth.

Olga with her youngest daughter, Iris, and Iris’ son Jafeth.

Olga is a sponsored elder who is the mother of 10 grown children. She has 46 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. That’s a lot of names to remember and a lot of love to spread around. She experienced many challenges throughout her life in Honduras, but she remains positive and an inspiration to many.

Keep reading

Sponsor Jennifer Afflerbach, center, with her sponsored friend Bryan and his mother, Sirlen, on a 2012 Costa Rica awareness trip.
Mar 27 2015

A vision of courage

Sponsor Jennifer Afflerbach, center, with her sponsored friend Bryan and his mother, Sirlen, on a 2012 Costa Rica awareness trip.

Sponsor Jennifer Afflerbach, center, with her sponsored friend Bryan and his mother, Sirlen, on a 2012 Costa Rica awareness trip.

By Jennifer Afflerbach, Unbound sponsor

Eight simple words of encouragement: “I can tell you are a good mother.”

That’s what I wrote to Sirlen, the mother of Bryan, the child I sponsor in Costa Rica. Little did I know what a profound effect it would have on her — and on me.

“Thank you for saying that,” she wrote back. “Your letter brought tears to my eyes.”

And her letter brought tears to mine, as I envisioned this strong, courageous mother of four children under the age of 8 being buoyed by such a small gesture on my part.

I knew I had to meet this woman. So I went on an awareness trip to Costa Rica the next year. When we met face to face, it was as if we were old friends — we connected instantly.

And my instinct had been right — she is a very good mother.

After the visit, when I wrote and inquired about their long journey home on mountainous roads, she replied that the trip wasn’t the most difficult part, the goodbye was.

Again, she brought tears to my eyes.

Sponsorship may cost $30 a month, but you can’t put a price tag on the relationship.

Start the journey of sponsorship today.

Jan 26 2015

Help a 68-year-old woman achieve her dream


Hortensia enjoys reading the Bible, and reads it every night before going to bed.

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.

Read more about Hortensia

Sponsor a child
Dec 1 2014

Be a Superhero this Giving Tuesday

Sponsor a child

Rodrigo and his mother, Silvia.

In an urban neighborhood in El Salvador, a little boy with a gapped-tooth smile named Rodrigo dreams of becoming a superhero.

But not so he can fly, become invisible or freeze his enemies.

He loves pretending he’s a superhero because every day he sees people who need one.

In a country where more than a third of the population lives in poverty, including Rodrigo, hungry bellies, leaky roofs and families struggling to send their kids to school and to get ahead are everyday realities.

“My dream is to be a superhero,” Rodrigo said. “To save and help people.”

Read more

Sponsor a child
Nov 12 2014

Putting Gandhi’s wisdom into action

Martin Kraus

Martin Kraus (second from right), director of finance for Unbound, with his family

By Martin Kraus, director of finance for Unbound

“You must become the change you want to see.”

As I walked through the Mumbai airport in India, I couldn’t help but notice this quote on a huge banner hanging overhead. Most of us, whether from India or not, easily recognize this quote as being from Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most influential and respected leaders. What struck me are the many ways in which I am privileged to see Gandhi’s quote being put into action all over the world.

At Unbound, our sponsors take this quote to heart by taking action. Their sponsorship allows them to “become the change” that this world so badly needs, and in doing so, they make significant changes in the worlds of others. Recently, while performing an audit of Unbound’s office in Manila, Philippines, I met two beautiful examples.

Read more

Sponsor a child
Sep 29 2014

“Disability is not inability”

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph teaches math to students in classes eight and nine.

Joseph, 22, is a sponsored student in Kenya. When he was 2, Joseph’s parents noticed that he wasn’t able to do some of the same things other children his age could. By the time he was 3, he was unable to walk or move around.

His parents took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impairs movement and is caused by brain damage during development.

Joseph underwent surgery to help straighten his legs. He also received physical therapy and used crutches for some time. In all, he spent four years in the hospital being treated for his condition.

Joseph was finally able to join primary school at the age of 7. He was one of the best students in the class.

Joseph’s parents found it hard to get by with Joseph’s medical expenses, four children in school and no steady income. Unbound staff in their area learned of the family’s situation, and in 2002 Joseph was sponsored. The support he received from his sponsor meant his parents could continue paying for his education.

Joseph’s schooling, however,  was interrupted in fourth grade when he had to have another surgery.. He spent another year in the hospital, which meant he had to repeat fourth grade. Despite the difficulties, he continued to excel when he returned to school and even managed to score highly on the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

With his high scores, Joseph received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, which combined with his sponsorship benefits meant his parents could send him to a better secondary school.

The first secondary school Joseph attended wasn’t the best fit. His condition made it difficult for him to write, which made it hard to keep up with the other students. But it was the negative treatment he received from some of his classmates that was the biggest challenge.

Seeing his struggles, Joseph’s parents decided to transfer him to a school that specialized in teaching students with disabilities. Being among others who faced similar challenges boosted Joseph’s self-confidence.

Joseph, from Kenya

Joseph walks around his classroom full of students.

Joseph recently graduated secondary school with good grades, and plans to pursue a degree in business administration from Kenyatta University. While he waits to get into the university, Joseph puts his time to good use.

He volunteers at his old primary school teaching math and Kiswahili, and he helps out at the Unbound office near his home.

When giving advice to younger students, he keeps it simple. “Disability is not inability,” Joseph said. “Work hard and stay focused.”

Donations to Health help provide equipment and therapeutic devices to sponsored friends with disabilities, along with many other health related initiatives.