Tonight, we had our first real "bonding experience" as a group when all of the members of our Awareness Trip gathered for dinner (yes, at Kenny Rogers...) and a program meeting with the Unbound Association of Philippines Progject (APP) staff.
Unbound in the Philippines
Unbound, formerly the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), began their work in this amazing country in 1988. Through the support of donor sponsors like the men and women on my trip, services are offered to more than 45,800 children and elders here in five program areas: Antipolo, Legazpi, Manila, Quezon, and Zamboanga. Over the next week, we will meet sponsored friends from all of these regions and witness firsthand the work enabled by sponsor participation.
Tonight's orientation was not only a great overview of Unbound's work, but also a helpful education on the history, government and socioeconomic circumstances of this fascinating country. Made up of over 7,000 islands, the country has a labor force of 39.81 million people. Over one million Filipinos work outside the country in jobs such as nursing and domestic work. Unemployment rates here are 6.7% and it is estimated that 40-60% of the population lives at a poverty rate of only $2 per day or less.
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It's easy to see why the need exists for a program such as Unbound, which is aimed not only at providing support but even more so at equipping sponsored families to grow their own capacity and unlock their potential... to truly empower the families served.
The funds donated by sponsors go to Unbound's program areas, which include:
- Formal and non-formal education
- Service scholarships
- Socio-cultural development
- Spiritual development and values formation
- Health and nutrition
- Livelihood development
- Community building
- Special projects including family assistance, crisis intervention, burial, housing, care for environment, disaster risk reduction, community outreach, bloodletting and blood banking, and vocation awareness programs.
After reviewing our code of conduct and statement of purpose information, we received lovely gifts from the Unbound team, including the multicolored t-shirts that will be our uniforms for the next few days as our trip takes us out into Unbound's mission territory!
The jet lag is beginning to kick in so I will sign off tonight with "Magandang gabi". Be sure to tune in tomorrow for more from Manila!
My patron saints for this adventure will be St. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila and his companions, who gave their lives for their faith, and Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance). Please join me in praying for Our Lady's intercession in the work of Unbound and for the courage and conviction of St. Lorenzo to lovingly reach out to those most in need.
For More Information:
- Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Periscope and Instagram to experience the fun
- Unbound in the Philippines
- Unbound Trips
- My Philippines Journal Entries
Copyright 2016 Lisa M. Hendey
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.