Unbound Sponsored Students
SJA's Unbound Program
St. Joan of Arc students sponsor a total of 14 children from 11 different countries through the Unbound organization. The Unbound organization was founded in 1981 by a group of Catholic lay people that had been working as missionaries in Latin America. Guided by their faith and rooted in Catholic social teaching, the founders created a personalized sponsorship program. Today, the Unbound organization works with over 300,000 children and aging persons in 20 developing countries.
Two Unbound children, one boy and one girl, who are similar in age to the children in each specific grade are sponsored. Our goal is for the sponsored children to stay with each class of students as they move through their years at St. Joan of Arc. This means, the sponsored children currently assigned to kindergarten will be the same from now until our kindergartners are in the eighth grade as the class continues to sponsor them. This is the best way to provide meaningful connections as well as encourage our students to develop a sense of responsibility for their sponsored friends.
The learning potential provided to our students through this program is immeasurable. We have started to explore, in age appropriate ways, what it means to live in poverty, making connections between the fundamental ways our students and their sponsored friends are the same, as well as draw attention to the stark contrasts between their lives.
One specific activity we engage in is taking time to write letters to our sponsored friends. We are getting to know our friends personally, having received letters from them, and we will be sharing our lives by writing letters of our own. Each week, a class brings the pictures of their sponsored friend to our school Mass to make sure they are included in all aspects of our daily lives. We learn about the countries they are from and pray for them.
The vision is for this program to be an avenue for our students to develop a sense of personal responsibility for those less fortunate; the ones Jesus calls us to care for. Our students are finding ways they might be able to earn money to help support their sponsored friends. This might be something as simple as earning the money for the jeans day by emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash. We ultimately want them to feel empowered to make a difference in someone’s life. So far students have raised over $1500 in donations through offertory can collections which were part of the offertory during Mass.
Pedro is affectionate, cheerful and active. His job at home is organizing his toys. He enjoys watching television and playing. His health is good. Pedro is not attending school at this time. Pedro lives under the supervision of his mother and father. He has three brothers and one sister. They are an extended family. His father works in agriculture and his mother works at a coffee shop. There are five people living in the home. The walls of the home are constructed of adobe, the roof is made of metal sheets, and the floor is concrete. It has electricity and they use a clay stove for cooking. They have access to drinking water. Pedro sleeps on a wooden bed with a mattress and blankets. The community is very quiet and surrounded by greenery.
Mayte is from Bolivia in South America and lives in a farm area. She is cheerful, dynamic and likes to talk with other people. Her jobs at home are washing the dishes and clothes. She enjoys playing with dolls, a ball and drawing. Mayte attends kindergarten approximately 10 minutes from home. She takes public transport there. She likes to study painting and drawing. She loves to draw in her school. She wants to become a teacher. Her father works as a truck driver. Her mother also sometimes cooks and sells her food on the street to earn more money.
1st Grade Sponsors:
Joshua is from Peru and is very outgoing, friendly, loving and respectful. His job at home is putting away his shoes. He enjoys playing football with his brothers. Joshua attends school. His school is approximately four blocks from home and he walks to school every day. He can count until 50. His dream is to become a football player, because that is his brothers' favorite sport.
Joshua has two brothers. His grandmother works works as a maid to help support their food needs. There are five people living in the home. His house has electricity and they use propane for cooking. They have access to water in the home. Joshua sleeps on a bed with a mat and blankets.
Faith is a jovial and talkative girl. Her jobs at home are cleaning and fetching water. She enjoys playing hide-and-seek. Her health is good. Faith attends school approximately 300 meters from home. She gets there on foot. She likes to study drawing and math. She hopes to be a doctor someday. Faith lives under the supervision of her mother and father. She has four brothers. The family has good relations with other villagers and participate in community activities. Her father earns an income doing casual labor work and her mother is a farmer. There are seven people living in the home. The walls of the home are constructed of mud, the roof is made of iron sheets, and the floor is earthen. It does not have electricity and they use firewood for cooking. The family draws water from a river. Faith sleeps on the floor with a mat and blankets.
2nd Grade Sponsors:
Radha is 5 years old and lives in India. She enjoys learning poems and singing. She speaks Hindi and enjoys studying it in school. She does not have any
siblings. Her goal through the Unbound sponsorship is to be able to continue
attending school and her family hopes to be able to improve their living
Marlon is 6 years old and lives in Guatemala. His favorite color is red; his favorite sport is soccer; and he loves to eat watermelon and other fruits. Marlon has two brothers and one sister. He looks forward to attending school.
3rd Grade Sponsors:
Mariam is 7 years old and lives in Tanzania. Her favorite subject in school is math and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She likes playing sports. She has one sibling and lives with her mother and stepfather. Her mother works as a food vendor and her stepfather is a day laborer who sometimes works breaking stones into gravel.
Danilo just turned 8 years old and lives in El Salvador. Danilo enjoys math in school and playing soccer with his friends. He likes watching TV, the color green and his favorite food is chicken! Danilo lives with his two siblings, mother and father. The family also has two pets, a dog and a cat. Danilo’s job is to feed and take care of his pets.
4th Grade Sponsors:
Christian James is 8 years old and lives in the Philippines. He is a kind child who likes to eat hot dogs, fish and vegetables. He plans to finish school and wishes to become a policeman to serve and help others. He has one sister and one brother. In school his favorite subject is math. He enjoys playing basketball and riding his bike.
Anshini is 9 years old and lives in India. She is a sweet girl and likes to help her mother do small kitchen jobs like dusting. She enjoys studying math, reading poems, dancing, and doing art projects. Anshini has one brother. She is grateful for the
support we provide which enables her to continue her education.
5th Grade Sponsors:
Sebastin Deepika is very calm and quiet. She is very intelligent and answers questions. Her job at home is helping her mother with the kitchen work. She enjoys making jewels and playing with her friends. Sebastin Deepika attends primary school approximately one kilometer from home. She walks there. She likes to study English. She wants to become doctor someday. Sebastin Deepika lives under the supervision of her mother. She has one sister. They are a united family. They live with her aunt and uncle. All of the family members take interest in making jewelry. Her mother works as a saleswoman at a remade garments shop. Other members of the family work as daily wage earners to support the family. There are six people living in the home. The walls of the home are constructed of block, the roof is made of concrete, and the floor is tile. It has electricity and they use gas for cooking. They have access to water at home. Sebastin Deepika sleeps on the floor with a mat and blankets. They live with her uncle's family. They take great interest in taking care of the children and their mother.
Jordin is an 8 year old boy and lives in Peru. He is one of four children. In school his favorite subjects are math, science and environment, and communication skills. He attends a soccer club. At home, his job is carrying dishes. Jordin lives with his family in the home of a relative. There are 10 people living in the home constructed of brick, corrugated iron and a dirt floor.
6th Grade Sponsors:
Vennial (Divya) is 10 years old and lives in India. She lives with her mother, father and two sisters. She enjoys going to school and her favorite subjects are math and Tamil. She enjoys playing hide-and-seek and cycle riding. She is very thankful for the support being provided to her through our sponsorship.
Hector is 10 years old and lives in Guatemala. He loves to draw and play soccer. Hector has 4 brothers and 3 sisters. He lives with his mother and father. His father’s work includes planting potatoes and carrots and his mother works by making regional blouses. They attend Mass each Sunday as a family.