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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Unbound

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Unbound partners with families living in poverty, empowering them to become self-sufficient and fulfill their desired potential.

Results: Sponsored members partner with Unbound to make program and benefit decisions that help meet their basic needs and develop their potential over the course of their time in the program, sometimes 18 years or more. Outcomes vary by location and may include educational attainment, leadership, improved health and nutrition status, dignified housing, skill development and increased income through livelihood opportunities for families. Through Unbound’s sponsorship program, families have more choices in their lives and are empowered, over time, to confront the challenges of poverty and work toward a better life. Sponsorship helps children achieve a level of education that prepares them to compete with peers for jobs and be educated community members, parents and leaders. At a global level, at the point of leaving the program, 75 percent of sponsored children achieved a level of schooling comparative to or above national peer averages, according to data gathered from 2011-2014. This means that Unbound students — who experience marginalization based on economic, social and geographic factors — were able to compete and excel alongside students from all socioeconomic brackets and areas within their countries. Sponsorship impacts the sponsored child and the entire family. Unbound’s direct work through a personalized benefit model and parent groups means families are able to best allocate resources for their children and direct how the program supports their development as families. As of September 2014, 77 percent of all Unbound sponsored members participated in the program through small groups. These groups provide the space for families to have a voice in the program and be part of a supportive community, addressing two significant components of poverty: lack of choices and isolation. In 2016, a pilot evaluation measuring the empowerment among sponsored mothers in Kampala, Uganda, and Antipolo, Philippines, engaged mothers who are waiting for their children to be sponsored as a comparison group. In this pilot, Unbound sponsored parents in both the Philippines and Uganda displayed a stronger level of ownership of psychological assets — such as happiness, control, goal setting or self-esteem — than the wait-list parents did. There was strong evidence that the Unbound sponsored parents more often took advantage of the opportunity to make choices for themselves, their families and their communities. This evaluation was adapted and rolled out on a global scale in 2017. In a 2013 qualitative evaluation of the Unbound sponsorship and scholarship program in the Philippines, almost all participants had achieved a university degree and many had also completed a graduate- level education. Alumni, on average three years out of the program, were pursuing careers from teaching to nursing and accounting to architectural design. Most were employed on a full-time salary basis.

Target demographics: children, families and elders overcome the challenges of poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 300,000 children, families and elders with needs such as education, food, health care, clothing, housing improvements and skills training.

Geographic areas served: 18 countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa

Programs: sponsorship of children and elders, youth scholarships, disaster assistance, micro-loans, skills training for parents and more.

Community Stories

201 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Praise the lord lam from India my name is Gibson from Hyderabad telangana state my daughter is to get scholarship from cfca which has been stopped suddenly from cfca no reason guide me her

lulauccles

Donor

Rating: 5

En el mes de julio viajamos mi esposo y yo a Guatemala con un grupo de 36 personas a visitar a nuestros ahijados, fue una esperiencia única, que a mi en lo personal me cambió la vida, conocí personalmente a mi ahijado que hoy tiene 16 años pero lo padrino desde que tenia 5 años y sentir su agradecimiento y cariño me emociono mucho ya que solo había platicado con el por carta. Esta oportunidad que unbound me dio de conocerlo fue maravillosa, hoy puedo decir que ya no soy la misma persona. Gracias unbound In the month of July my husband and I traveled to Guatemala with a group of 36 people to visit our godchildren, it was a unique experience, which personally changed my life. I personally met my godson who is now 16 years old. but I have been a sponsor since I was 5 years old and I feel his gratitude and affection, I am very excited because I had only talked with him by letter. This opportunity that unbound gave me to meet him was wonderful, today I can say that I am no longer the same person. Thanks unbound

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor for close to 14 years and at present have 3 children that I sponsor. I love this organization and i know the funds are well managed. I have been on a couple of mission trips with them and have seen first hand all the good that these caring people do. I like that they allow the sponsored families to make decisions on where they can best use their sponsors funds. I have received letters from my sponsored children who comment on how wonderful they are treated by the staff.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have watched my sponsored child grow up, hear about her trials in school and in life and hear about the hope, preparation and optimism her and other sponsored children get from being in the program. We exchange letters and pictures. It's a great program.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

When this organization was the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) under the founder, it was 100% for the poor. It was established by the founder at least 40 years ago and the employees were there for years. They all were devoted to the cause. Once the founder passed away, Unbound took over and is claiming to operate the way the founder did. Unbound has raised the prices of sponsorship of the children and is giving less in benefits. The previous staff fought these changes and word got out to sponsors. Sponsors confronted Unbound and they claimed the staff misunderstood due to language differences. A year later the staff was fired or threatened of being fired for not conforming. Eventually the staff quit or got fired one being a previous catholic priest. The founder used to take all children for an annual outing, that benefit was removed. The founder delivered bags of food which included beans, rice, coffee, tuna, milk, cookies....(we helped pack them). Now Unbound gives them a debit card telling sponsors the families can buy what they need making it sound like it is a better benefit, but according to the sponsored family we had, it was nothing. The founder allowed sponsors to send gifts to their sponsored child. Unbound cut that benefit saying sponsors were sending to large of packages . We believe it was to save on overhead and staff. The previous staff says Unbound had them living in fear. The sponsored families say they have them living in fear. The new name should be Bound not Unbound.

1 Alexandra Alexa F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Creo firmemente que unbound es una organización con un potencial y una manera hermosa, bella de brindar apoyo a todos aquellos que la necesitan, y para los que trabajamos en ella una escuela de Vida... fui parte de esta organización y puedo decir que fue la mejor experiencia en el campo laboral, donde la mejor paga, fue la gratitud y esa sensación rica, de sentir impecable esa paz y satisfacción al trabajar por los necesitados, y aprender de ellos... unbound la llevo siempre en mi corazón... y les comparto que estoy en la creación de una fundación en mi país VENEZUELA... unbound ya no esta fisicamente en venezuela pero si en 3700 apadrinados, muchos trabajadores y familias de esta gran escuela unbounbarquisimeto- venezuela tierra donde fluye leche y miel.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

What an incredible organization to be a part of! This has given me the chance to be a part of a young girl's life for many years now whom I may never actually meet face to face, but it has been a blessing to be a part of her life journey!

Patrisiah O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iam a widow,Iam the chairlady of a widows group by name starlight widows and orphans support group.Iam kenya kisumu city.Iam really intrested in this organization.keep it up. Thanks

Steven L.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I am absolutely delighted at what I see as a well-run and well-structured nonprofit. It is my pleasure to be a participant in their charitable works and I hope to be able to continue on for many years.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have sponsored several children since 2000, and currently have 3 in Colombia. As we finish our awareness trip, we realize the incredible work that Unbound continues to do, and saw firsthand the impact it has had on our boys. Being able to receive letters and pictures from our boys has meant a lot...seeing them and holding them for the first time brings the reality of their lives into focus for us. We highly recommend taking an awareness trip with Unbound. Your lives and worldview will change!

Stefanie C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been sponsors for over 7 years. Recently, we added another child to our sponsorship, allowing our 7 year old to choose her and make her a lifetime penpal. We are so blessed by Unbound and the connections it's allowed us to have with special children all over the world. We know that the lives of those families are equally blessed as well. We pray this charity can grow exponentially and increase it's impact each and every year.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor for 10+ years and Unbound does incredible work. I have loved getting know my sponsored friends through letter writing, but have also had the opportunity to meet them by going on mission awareness trips to Honduras and Kenya. Sponsorship really does change their life as I was able to see firsthand! The in-country Unbound staff does a wonderful job working with sponsored friends in the country and making sure they receive the support they need to make life changing decisions with their sponsorship benefits. I cannot recommend this organization enough!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I sponsor three children, two in Kenya and one in Honduras. We have been sponsoring for four years and love receiving letters and pictures from all of them! We hope to have the opportunity to go on a Mission Awareness trip sometime in the near future to see the work happening in communities first hand.

This year we hosted a "sponsorship weekend" at our church in Houston. The staff at CFCA was very easy to work with and helpful in preparing for the event. At the end of the weekend, 84 children and aging were sponsored! The 84 people who were sponsored that weekend have had their life changed!

Angie M.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family has been sponsoring different children, young adults and an aged individual for about 15 years or more. It has been very gratifying for our family to learn about different cultures around the world. Unbound makes it very easy to sponsor and transition to another individual when they leave the program or for whatever reason. We feel our sponsorship dollars are well spent and are used for the many needs of our sponsored individuals.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have sponsored a young woman from Kenya, through Unbound, and have watched her grow from a young 7year old to sweet 16. I have learned about her country, her family and of course her beautiful self. We communicate through email on the Unbound website and it warms my heart and fills me with gratitude when I see how my sponsorship has helped her, her family and her community. Thank you Unbound for your caring, creativity and integrity. I am proud to be a part of you.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have supported twin boys in Guatemala through Unbound since 2005. The boys were 3 and are now 16. I had confirmation through pictures as well as letters that they received gifts that were mailed to them. Pictures of the boys wearing or holding gifts and pictures of what my sponsorship money had provided for them. They are still in school and active in their church. They have raised chickens, sheep and cows and now each boy has a pet dog. I am confident my money is well spent and the majority of my money is going to sponsor the boys and not for overhead cost or salaries.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsors of a few different children for over 20 years with Unbound and are continually impressed with their efficient operation and the many hours that volunteers put in to make this great program work. It is a wonderful charity and helps us to help people we would never know how to reach otherwise. We have loved getting to know our sponsored children through their letters.

Kathy Ann Donathan B.

Donor

Rating: 5

The most important reason I donate to Unbound is that I really believe in putting the 'receivers' to work with my money. (We should try this in the US...).

Donor

Rating: 5

We have sponsored multiple children through Unbound for over 33 years. We believe in their model of helping families, allowing them to make choices that they believe best as they break through the cycle of poverty. We appreciate the emphasis on education and support for the entire family. Unbound has worked with us so that we could help three of our sponsored children continue their education post high school. Unbound is a fantastic program that is transparent with their financials and we continue to be amazed at how much they accomplish with the sponsorship amounts that they receive.

3 Frank W.2

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsors for almost 17 years now. We have sponsored young children, teens and elders. We are currently sponsoring a boy in India who will be turning 12 this year; a young woman in the Philippines who will turn 20; and an older woman in the Philippines who will be 72 years young. We look forward to receiving their letters. It is amazing to see the growth in them with each letter they write. They grow in confidence, their health improves and their happiness also improves. They are filled with gratitude and love. We wouldn't miss it for the world!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Incredible organization! I have four sponsored children from Unbound. I love that we are able to communicate through letter and really get to know the children as well as provide mental support. Also I receive pictures for my sponsored children and get to know how much they have grown. Constant communication allows us to connect and build a relationship. Although I have never met them, we still build a bond. Unbound also host awareness trip which sponsors and sponsored children actually get to meet in person.