Tag: Unbound

A small group traveled to Guatemala in 1988 to meet sponsored friends and see our work firsthand. The program continues today, coordinating trips to 15 countries for nearly 1,000 travelers a year.
Nov 9 2016

Did you know: You can travel with Unbound

A small group traveled to Guatemala in 1988 to meet sponsored friends and see our work firsthand. The program continues today, coordinating trips to 15 countries for nearly 1,000 travelers a year.

A small group traveled to Guatemala in 1988 to meet sponsored friends and see our work firsthand. The program continues today, coordinating trips to 15 countries for nearly 1,000 travelers a year.

By Jordan Kimbrell, writer/editor for Unbound

After 35 years, we have a lot of stories to tell. As we lead up to our anniversary on Nov. 20, we want to tell you a little bit about our history. We hope you’ll learn something new about who we are and how we work. So far we’ve shared about one of the ways we connect with the church community and how our headquarters used to be a bowling supply company.. This week, we’ll learn about Unbound’s awareness trips which give travelers the chance to witness the work we do firsthand.

One of my favorite stories I’ve written about awareness trips started with a quote from Jesse Fabian, a traveler who didn’t really want to go. He thought it was going to be just another mission trip where they, “put a lot more religion down my throat”, but his wife insisted on going to visit their sponsored friend. And, according to Jesse, that trip to the Philippines in 2010 ended up changing his life.

Though, initially, he may have been more reluctant than others who travel with Unbound, Jesse’s experiences on the trip gave him a better understanding of the work we do and a better connection with his sponsored friend, something we hope all awareness trip participants go home with. But he’s not alone in having misconceptions about what an awareness trip is all about.

Some history

Unbound has been providing sponsors and other travelers with the opportunity to see our work firsthand since 1988. That first trip included a group of seven sponsors who accompanied our late co-founder Bob Hentzen to Guatemala so they could meet their sponsored friends.

Today, hundreds of individuals travel with Unbound to 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Some countries, like Guatemala, have multiple trips a year, while other countries only have trips at certain times of the year or every other year.

You can visit unbound.org/trips for our full schedule.

It’s life-changing

After returning from his first awareness trip, Jesse told his wife it was the best trip he’d ever been on.

“I said, ‘I could not go to a five-star hotel and be fulfilled as much as I am now,'” Jesse said. “I went home, I looked, and things were different. I had much more appreciation for what we had.”

Traveling with Unbound, you’ll gain new insights into the realities of sponsored friends and their families around the world. Returning travelers often share stories of something they learned, even if they’ve been on awareness trips before.

You’ll also have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture. That can mean seeing wildlife in Kenya or learning a new dance in Colombia. You’ll see beautiful landscapes, try local foods and visit the homes of sponsored friends while learning more about how the Unbound program works from our local staff members in each country.

It’s affordable

Traveling internationally can be expensive, but traveling with Unbound is one of the more affordable ways to experience another culture. Fees are $650 for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, $800 for South America and $1,200 for Africa and Asia. This covers meals, lodging, activities with sponsored friends, interpreters and in-country ground transportation for one person. Airfare is not included.

It’s your turn

Our 2017 schedule is starting to fill up, so make sure to contact our trips team at trips@unbound.org or (800) 875-6564 to get on the list to travel or request more information.

Check out unbound.org/tripstories to read more travelers’ experiences.

Leonila (left), 67, a sponsored elder in Philippines who has six children and used to be a massage therapist, and Esperanza (right), 85, a sponsored elder in Philippines who is thankful for her co-sponsored elders because one of them loaned her a dress for this photo shoot.
Oct 24 2016

35 snapshots of Unbound: 1-7

One of the ways we are celebrating our 35th anniversary coming up on Nov. 20 is by hearing from sponsored friends and staff around the world. We asked them how Unbound has changed them, what their favorite thing about being sponsored is or what greeting they have for us at this milestone. We’re featuring 35 snapshots of our global community over the next several weeks leading up to Nov. 20, right here on the blog. Check out the first seven snapshots in the series, and stay tuned!

Sava, 22, a sponsored youth in Kenya who is studying cosmetology
Check out the photos

Fania Carnero, second from right, visits the homes of Unbound sponsored members with other staff members from Lima, Peru.
Sep 28 2016

Meet the staff: Fania in Peru

By Gloria Yanes, project specialist in international programs at Unbound

I would like to introduce Fania Carnero, a staff member from our office in Lima, Peru.

Fania started working at Unbound in January 2002 as a secretary, and since then she has been learning and adapting to any changes and accepting the suggestions and comments from Unbound. She is now in charge of the correspondence department for the Lima office. The correspondence department handles letters to and from sponsored friends and helps answer any specific inquiries sponsors may have regarding their sponsored friends.

Keep reading

Trip coordinator Diana Loera (center) dances and celebrates with Unbound staff members Cristina Hentzen (left) and Maureen (right) on an Unbound awareness trip to Guatemala.
Jul 11 2016

Meet the awareness trip team — Part 2

This is the second part to our post about our awareness trip team in Kansas City. These amazing staff members are dedicated to making sure our travelers have all the information they need to have a great trip and a chance to learn more about Unbound’s work. Learn about the trips team, and then check out upcoming awareness trips with Unbound.
Get to know the team

Ask Sponsor Services
May 20 2016

Ask Sponsor Services: Letters and packages

Ask Sponsor Services

The personal connection between a sponsor and sponsored friend is among the best outcomes of Unbound’s sponsorship program. The relationship can have a huge impact on both the sponsor and the sponsored friend.

Jacqueline Castiblanco Suarez, who was sponsored through Unbound from the time she was a young girl until she began a career in social work, established such a relationship with her sponsor, Janice from Kansas.

“The truth is that my sponsor Janice’s letters filled me with joy,” Jacqueline said. “The first time that I received a letter, I felt that I was important for someone.”

Read more

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.
Feb 3 2016

Zika and traveling with Unbound

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound, on an awareness trip in Guatemala.

By Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound

As concerns grow about the spread and potential effects of the Zika virus, some of our sponsors have asked whether Unbound will cancel any of our planned trips to the field. Many of these sponsors are traveling with Unbound on an awareness trip and are excited to meet their sponsored friend for the first time.

I am happy to say that we have no plans to cancel any of our upcoming trips.

As part of our standard procedures, the awareness trip coordinators and I monitor current events that could impact travelers. Here is some of the key information we are reading from the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding Zika virus:

  • “Until more is known, CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant.”
  • “Pregnant women (should) consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.” Read more.
  • A WHO committee advised on Feb. 1, 2016, “The Committee found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus. At present, the most important protective measures are the control of mosquito populations and the prevention of mosquito bites in at-risk individuals, especially pregnant women.”

Regardless of what is or isn’t making headlines, we urge all our travelers to read the CDC’s Traveler’s Health page and speak with a medical professional regarding travel and their health. We provide information useful for that conversation such as the elevation of the areas they’ll visit and whether or not the lodging is air conditioned. We also require pregnant travelers to obtain medical clearance from their doctor in order to travel with us.

Many illnesses can be avoided by preventing mosquito bites. We refer travelers to the CDC’s Mosquito Bite Prevention PDF for guidance on preventing mosquito bites. A favorite prevention method of our team is using Permethrin to treat clothing as directed by the CDC.

If you have questions or would like more information about the trips Unbound offers, please visit unbound.org/trips or email trips@unbound.org.

Thank you!

Karen Allemang, trip and volunteer manager for Unbound

Antonio outside his home in Mexico.
Jan 11 2016

Wisdom of the aging: Antonio

Meeting Antonio, you just know he’ll have something interesting to say.

At 74 years old, Antonio has been sponsored through Unbound’s program in Mexico for 10 years. Tending to his garden and raising chickens are some of his hobbies. He has a lot of life experience and leans toward the simple life. And that’s something many of us could learn from him.

Antonio grew up working in the fields and raising cattle. He never learned to read or write but speaks two languages, Mayan and Spanish. And although he lost his eyesight many years ago and now needs assistance getting around, Antonio continues to work alongside his wife, Leonida, as they harvest corn.

Antonio has graciously shared some of his wisdom with the Unbound staff so we could pass it on to you.

Read more

Briana-And-Meganfeaturedimage
Jan 1 2016

Childhood friends stay close by sponsoring a child

Briana, left, and Megan, right, hold photos of Ana, the child they’ve sponsored together for more than four years.

Briana, left, and Megan, right, hold photos of Ana, the child they’ve sponsored together for more than four years.

Best friends Briana Murphy and Megan McLaughlin wanted a way to stay connected when they graduated from high school and went away to different colleges.

They also felt motivated by their faith to contribute for the good of others, so they decided to sponsor a child through Unbound as a way to do both.

Read more

Guadalupe is the sister of sponsored child Norma from El Salvador.
Dec 25 2015

Merry Christmas

Guadalupe is the sister of sponsored child Norma from El Salvador.

All of us at Unbound wish you and yours a Christmas filled with joy. May the blessings of this season of hope warm you today and sustain you throughout the new year.

Thank you for being a part of our prophetic community of compassion.

— Scott Wasserman, Unbound president and CEO