All posts by Unbound

sponsor a child
Oct 20 2014

Hardworking family finds it hard to get ahead

sponsor a child

Heymi, 10, from El Salvador

Step inside 10-year-old Heymi’s house and you immediately take in the smell of wet wood. The sounds of chickens clucking and dogs barking outside fill the room.

The house, made of adobe and sheet metal, is home to seven people. But they only have three beds.

Heymi and her sister Esmerelda have one doll to share between them. The biggest challenge in life, Heymi said, is that “sometimes we don’t have food.”

This is the life for many families in El Salvador, with parents who struggle to provide just one meal for their children every day.

It’s not because they don’t work hard.

Like most families in the community, Heymi’s father, Manuel, is a laborer on land that belongs to someone else.

“My father works in the mountains,” Heymi said. “He sows maize, beans and micillio (millet).”

In the summer, the whole family works on a peanut farm. They plant, harvest and peel peanuts from the shells. But they only bring in a little money.

No wonder it’s so hard to get ahead.

But Heymi’s not complaining.

In fact, she has an infectious enthusiasm for life. Heymi likes to sing and draw. She loves school and soccer. Her favorite color is purple.

Her eyes open wide when she talks about her dreams: “To continue studying. Know more about mathematics. Finish high school.”

Heymi hopes Unbound can help her find a sponsor to help achieve these dreams.

“I heard they support children and elderly. I would like to receive some of that,” she said earnestly.

Finding a sponsor will not only help Heymi, but also her mother, Marlene, who takes care of the house and children, hauls water and works in the fields.

The support from a sponsor could help Heymi’s family improve their living conditions, access health care and ensure Heymi stays in school. Plus, sponsorship will provide much-needed food.

You can be the person who helps the family’s hard work pay off.

Editor’s note: Since this post was published, Heymi has been sponsored. Click here to see other children waiting for sponsors.

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Unbound scholar
Oct 17 2014

Unbound alumnus a man for others

Pay it forward. It’s what Cieleto Fernandez does every day.

Cieleto is an alumnus of Unbound’s Quezon program in Agoo, La Union, in the Philippines. He was part of Unbound for 14 years and finished his education in computer technology. Now he works in a computer shop owned by a friend.

For a few years Cieleto had his own shop, which he operated out of his house. He assembled desktop computers from spare parts gathered from his neighborhood and friends. He made enough money to send his sister to school for a two-year hotel and restaurant management course.

The enterprising young man also went back school to earn a teaching certificate so he can teach computer courses and share his knowledge with youth.

Keep reading

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Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Oct 15 2014

Meeting Migasy

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator

For those compelled to think that people who live in poverty have nothing but their need to offer the world, I might begin by offering them the example of the extraordinary group, Migasy. This ensemble of musicians from the Unbound Madagascar community has developed a sophisticated sound with thoughtful messages. Messages that move humanity forward. These are engaged people who, amidst struggle, have committed themselves to creating works of art.

As they played song after song for us, I thought about the instruments that they played — some of them borrowed, some of them held together with rubber bands and plastic. These are the stories that don’t come through the music at first listen. They must be told. So should the very fact that they shared their music with us so others might have opportunity to go to school through Unbound scholarships. They were proud to do it.

As we recorded, the spirit in the room was of generosity. For each of the artists in Migasy, the desire to grow as musicians and offer something of substance moves them forward. For my part, I simply felt lucky to be in the presence of beautiful artists who had managed to do so much with so little.

It is the best of our human spirit set to music. It’s their gift to us.

Learn more about Voices of Unbound: Madagascar at unbound.org/music.

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Unbound Awareness Trips 2014
Oct 13 2014

A learning journey

Unbound Awareness Trips 2014

Caitlyn meets Ever and his family for the first time.

By Naresli Calito, correspondent for Unbound in El Salvador

Caitlyn had the opportunity to meet her sponsored friend, Ever, on an awareness trip to El Salvador. She is 16 years old, likes to read and enjoys sharing time with her family. They are very close to their faith and frequently attend church.

Although she is young, she has a very strong feeling about helping others. She babysits to pay for Ever’s sponsorship.

“[Sponsorship] makes me feel I need and want to be involved,” Caitlyn said. “It’s a great feeling. I love Ever. It’s about forming a bond with someone from another culture.”

Read more about Caitlyn’s journey

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Unbound Awareness Trip
Oct 10 2014

Communities of joy abound in Costa Rica

By Nicole Miller, support specialist for Unbound

Recently Nicole Miller traveled to Costa Rica on an awareness trip. Nicole has worked for Unbound for 10 years, and this was her first time visiting an Unbound program office. She shared with us her experiences during the trip.

Read about Nicole’s experience

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Robert Hentzen
Oct 8 2014

In memory of ‘Sir Bob’

On October 8, 2013, Unbound co-founder Bob Hentzen passed away. He was a true advocate for those struggling against poverty, and he touched the lives of many. Among those impacted was Shaima from Zamboanga, Philippines. She was one of Bob’s sponsored friends and built a relationship with him through letters.

After Bob’s passing, Shaima wrote a letter celebrating his role in her life. We’re sharing excerpts from her letter in honor of Bob on the anniversary of his passing.

Read Shaima’s letter

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Janelle Stamm
Oct 6 2014

Reflect, rejoice, pray: A cancer survivor’s story

Janelle Stamm

Janelle Stamm, who works in accounting for Unbound, is an avid runner and cancer survivor.

By Janelle Stamm, accounting specialist for Unbound

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Janelle Stamm, who works at Unbound’s headquarters in Kansas City, shared her story of how focusing on gratitude and compassion helped her cope with cancer.

If someone told me in August 2013 that I’d run a half-marathon for Unbound in June of the next year, I would have believed them. It wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities. I’ve run two other half- marathons. Now, if someone were to tell me that I would have to deal with breast cancer before that run I would have said, “What??”

Continue reading Janelle’s story

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