This stack of letters was written by Kansas City-area middle school students to Unbound sponsored youth waiting for new sponsors.
Letter writing is an important aspect of Unbound’s sponsorship program. Not only do we require sponsored members to write at least two letters a year to their sponsors, we encourage sponsors to write back. We frequently hear from sponsored members how much getting letters from their sponsors means to them. Sometimes those letters have the ability to change lives
But when sponsored friends are between sponsors, they don’t have anyone to write to or receive letters from. When sponsors must discontinue their support, their sponsored friends continue to participate in the program and receive assistance while Unbound tries to find new sponsors for them.
Currently, we have more than 5,000 children, youth and elders waiting for new sponsors. Some of them have only been waiting a couple of months, while others have been waiting a couple of years. They’re missing out on a huge part of the Unbound program experience.
From left: Florencia, her daughters Carina and Mikaela and her son Giancarlo, center.
Florencia used to beg her husband for enough change to purchase a small amount of vegetable so she could make soup for her children.
“Most of the time, I just prepared it with water and very few vegetables,” Florencia said.
Florencia is the mother of four children, two of whom are sponsored through Unbound in Bolivia. Florencia participates in the Unbound urban agriculture program in her area, which means begging for spare change is no longer part of Florencia’s routine.
Sponsored children and their classmates in Uganda.
On June 16, 1976, more than 100 students in Soweto, South Africa, were shot and killed and thousands were injured after a protest for equal and quality education for all children.
Tomorrow, June 16, is the Day of the African Child. This day has been celebrated every year since 1991 in memory of those who participated in the Soweto protest and to raise awareness for the continued improvement of Africa’s educational systems.
Faith, an Unbound sponsored youth and scholar in Kenya.
When most girls her age were playing with dolls, Faith was wondering where she and her sister would get their next meal.
Faith was 7 when her father passed away. Three years later her mother grew ill and died, leaving Faith at 10 years old to care for herself and her younger sister.
In the United States we still have a few months before we celebrate Labor Day, but many countries, including Costa Rica, the Philippines, Kenya, El Salvador and others, observed the holiday on May 1. In honor of Labor Day, Rafael Villalobos, coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, shared a reflection about his own work at Unbound.
Rafael Villalobos, program coordinator for Unbound in Costa Rica, visits with a sponsored child and his mother.
I want to start by sharing a quote from Confucius, who said, “Choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
This has been my work experience with Unbound.
It’s not just a job, it’s a mission, a lifestyle, something that inspires and gives meaning to life.
In 2014, Unbound was a GreatNonprofits Top-Rated organization. We need your help to achieve this honor again in 2015.
To be a top-rated nonprofit, we just need 10 new positive reviews with a 4- or 5-star rating between now and Oct. 31. Maintaining a high rating on review sites like GreatNonprofits helps raise awareness about Unbound and the work we do to help families fight poverty.
Click here to view the Unbound page on GreatNonprofits and write a review. Need some inspiration? Sponsor Margaret Bristow left this wonderful review for us last year:
Review on GreatNonprofits from sponsor Margaret Bristow.
After you write your review, share it on social media and let your friends and family know you support Unbound.
Ines dances with other sponsored elders.
Ines, 66, recites one of her poems for a group of visitors.
April is National Poetry Month in the United States. To celebrate we asked sponsored friends if they had any poems they’d like to share. Ines, 66, is a sponsored elder in El Salvador. Despite leaving school after the sixth grade, she has an amazing talent for poetry.
Ines often performs poetry for awareness trip travelers and was glad to share her poetry, and its inspiration, with us.
By Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Regina Mburu, communications liaison for Unbound in Africa
Kenyan women from diverse faiths work together in Unbound mothers groups to empower each other and lift their families out of poverty.
Editor’s note: There have been no reports of youth sponsored through Unbound being affected by the April 2 terror attack on Garissa University College in Kenya.
As the long Easter weekend approached, we were excited and busy making plans on how best to enjoy the holiday with loved ones.
Then we got the news that Garissa University College in the northeastern part of Kenya was under siege. The school is part of the Moi University system.
Terrorists had taken over the Garissa campus. With guns and knives, they took the young lives of 148 students.
Easter celebrations were dampened. The mood was somber as the whole nation was thrown into mourning. Our Kenyan flag, flying at half-mast, served as a symbol to honor the lost lives.
The news media reported that terrorists targeted students who were not of the Islamic faith. Tensions between Christians and Muslims heightened, even while leaders from both faiths condemned the attacks.
Unbound-Kenya serves beneficiaries from both Christian and Islamic religions. As a program, Unbound serves the two religions without favor. Members interact and live harmoniously with each other. Some have formed great friendships, thanks to the Unbound mothers groups.
Rosa and her 15-year old daughter, Dayani.
By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director
Down syndrome is a diagnosis no mother hopes to hear.
For parents living in the poorest barrios of Honduras, it is sometimes just too much to bear.
“The doctor told me it would be different and difficult to raise her,” Rosa said about Dayani, her 15-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. “There are no schools and no help for children with special needs.”
Mariam harvests vegetables from her garden. The vegetables are her only source of income.
Mariam works hard to have a continual crop.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, with more than 4 million people calling it home. As the country’s main urban center, Dar es Salaam might not seem like the most obvious choice to make a living as a farmer. But for a handful of families in the Unbound program, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Though much of the city is crowded and land is limited, some have etched out space along river banks and in the swampy areas of the city to plant vegetables.
Mariam, whose daughter Sauma is sponsored through Unbound, is one such enterprising individual. Her husband’s income isn’t steady, and with three children to raise, it can be difficult.
So Mariam started a vegetable garden.
With Dar es Salaam’s climate, she’s able to grow produce all year round. The vegetables she plants typically take 3-6 weeks to mature, giving her a steady source of income.
Parents like Mariam are finding ways to use their environments in innovative ways to support their families and take steps toward lifting themselves out of poverty. Donations to Microfunding help support these goals and give a good idea the extra financial boost it may need to get started.