Today is International Friendship Day. Unbound is all about fostering friendships that cross borders and span cultures. On awareness trips hosted by Unbound, sponsors can meet their sponsored friends face to face. To celebrate the many friendships formed through sponsorship, we want to share with you photos of sponsors and their sponsored friends.
Rosy and her sponsor, Maria Soleri, in Ecuador.
Pavithra and her sponsor, Ellen Raspitha, sit on the floor of Pavithra’s home in India.
Christine and her sponsor, Leila Felix, in Kenya.
Francisca and her sponsor, Thomas Slattery, in the Philippines.
A group of teenage sponsors from the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in New York play soccer with sponsored teens in El Salvador.
Bonnie and Warren Breitbarth with their sponsored friend Christian in Mexico.
Sponsor Sam Emmite with his sponsored friend Ximena and her mom and little sister in Ecuador.
Sponsor John Vos and his sponsored friend, Mark, in the Philippines.
Sponsor Toni Guidice with sponsored friends Jackline (left) and Josephine (right) in Kenya.
Amini (center) walks with her sponsors Maureen, Michael and Emily Watts in India.
Meet your sponsored friend on an Unbound Awareness Trip. Check out our trips page for more information.
David Ziegler and his sponsored friend, Mimi, give a thumbs up to David’s 2006 visit to Guatemala.
“After meeting Mimi and her family my life was different. I learned it doesn’t take much to be happy. Edgar’s family had next to nothing but had the biggest smiles.” —David Ziegler, Minnesota
At 17, David Ziegler had the opportunity to travel with a church group to build a school in Guatemala. He wasn’t expecting to build a friendship that is still growing eight years later.
Read more about David’s journey.
Pictured front row, from left are sponsored youth Lusbin, Mary Kim Tadda and sponsored youth Dulce. Back row: Lusbin’s parents, Jacinto and Concepcion, Connie and Bernie Tadda and Dulce’s mother, Natividad.
Bernie and Connie Tadda have been Unbound sponsors for 16 years. They and their daughter, Mary Kim, recently participated in an Unbound Awareness Trip to Guatemala and shared their experience with us.
Meeting our two sponsored friends was like taking a two-dimensional relationship and turning it into 3-D. The love and graciousness we experienced were overwhelming.
Tomorrow, June 21, marks the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer is a time for many people to spend outdoors and soak up the sun. To celebrate the season, here’s a photo gallery of sponsored children around the world showing you what they love to do in warmer weather.
Geraldine, a sponsored child in Mexico, relaxes with her teddy bear in her hammock at home. Lounging in a hammock is the perfect summer activity, don’t you think?
Sponsored children Chantal, second from left, and Lisandra, third from left, take a stroll with their family on the beach of Livingston, Guatemala. Now that’s a nice way to stay cool in the summer heat.
Sponsored children in Guatemala say hello to summer, swing sets and fun times with friends.
“I live near to the beach but we never go there because my family does not have money to take the bus. I want to go in the ocean, but I don’t know how to swim. I want to see the landscape and the ships.” — Andres, a sponsored child in Cartagena, Colombia. Sponsored children in Cartagena visited the beach for a kids’ day out.
Leidy, a sponsored child in Guatemala, jumps rope in her yard — a great game for a single player.
Recess! Sponsored girls in Hyderabad, India, take a break from their schoolwork to have some fun on the playground.
Sponsored children play in the Pamucutan River of the Philippines to escape from the heat of the sun.
Leidy, a sponsored child in Guatemala, shows her little brother Melvin how to ride a bicycle.
Sponsored friends in Cartagena, Colombia, traveled to the beach for a recreational outing. Some of them had never visited the ocean before, and they loved every minute of it!
Bouncy castles and summer are just plain meant for each other, and it looks like Madhusha, a sponsored child in India, agrees with us. Sponsored children and their families get a day of fun and excitement for their annual family fun fest.
Football, soccer or kickball, whatever you call it, this outdoor game is perfect for a summer day. Sponsored children in Kenya are organized into teams and play each other on the field.
Although many sponsored children in Cartagena, Colombia, live near the beach, some had never visited before because of the transportation costs to get there and the high-priced tourism nearby. They said visiting the ocean was like a dream — feeling the warm water and playing games with their friends.
Rachel Balducci meeting with families in El.Salvador.
Ali Ebright making cheese-stuffed egg-batter-fried huisquil with sponsored mother Maria.
Paula Kiger with Javier, Josue and their mother Silvia. Javier and Josue are both waiting for a sponsor.
As the travelers from Unbound’s first blogger trip to El Salvador settle back home, they are already starting to share their experiences on their own blogs. We’re excited to share excerpts from what they’ve posted so far.
Catch up on the trip on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by searching the hashtag #BlogUnbound or visit unbound.org/bloggers for more information.
The 2014 blogger trip team on their last day together.
By Victoria Brown, social media coordinator
Unbound’s first blogger trip has been a life-changing experience for me. It’s opened my eyes to the realities of people living in poverty.
By Kristin Littrell, freelance writer
Ana Teresa and her family in El Salvador.
As I reflect over the last few days traveling in El Salvador for the Unbound blogger trip, one thing continuously comes to mind: the strength of mothers.
Victoria Brown with Diego, Johana, Sonia and Brian outside their home.
It’s 11 p.m., and I’m sitting alone in the Unbound communications office in Santa Ana, El Salvador, typing away as bugs crawl and fly around me. I procrastinated on this post all evening because I couldn’t stop thinking about my visit with Sonia.