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Unbound President/CEO Scott Wasserman shares the story of a group of fathers in the Philippines who organized to protect their families and community.

With a focus on honoring fathers in June, I’m reminded of all the Unbound fathers who protect and serve their families. In the Philippines, they extend their service to their communities and even to the nation.

I first met Unbound fathers in the Philippines in 2014. They had formed their own organization, ERPAT, which stands for Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities. On the long flight home from the Philippines, I realized that reversing the syllables spells PATER (father).

The dads all have children in the Unbound sponsorship program. They started ERPAT on their own initiative after receiving training from Unbound. Initially, their mission was to provide burial services for people too poor to afford funerals. Their burials provided dignity to the deceased and comfort to the survivors.

Being good husbands and fathers, the men were used to protecting their wives and children. They succeeded despite overwhelming obstacles of poverty, oppression and natural disasters. When they started ERPAT, they chose to extend their protection to others in their communities. For example, they successfully lobbied for national disaster risk reduction legislation and advocated to end violence against women and children in the neighborhood.

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands. Once, while visiting a shoreside community, I found a small boat with the Unbound logo on it. The ERPAT fathers explained that they use the boat to ferry their children to school after the frequent floods.




Filipinos are indomitable. They persevere. Each year, they survive more than 20 typhoons on average. No matter how much they lose, they always greet me with a smile and hospitality.

The ERPAT fathers in the Philippines inspire me with their faith, loyalty and perseverance. They model for me the image of St. Joseph who cared for Mary and the baby Jesus when they were most vulnerable. St. Joseph continues to protect us today, just as the ERPAT fathers protect their wives and children in the Philippines.

Click to tweet:
St. Joseph, bless and sustain all fathers who provide for and protect their families. #catholicmom


Please pray with Unbound:

St. Joseph, bless and sustain all fathers who provide for and protect their families. We pray that you give special care for fathers raising their families in poverty. Accompany the ERPAT fathers in the Philippines, and all fathers, living or deceased, of our Unbound sponsors, supporters and friends. We ask for all this in the name of your foster son, our Lord Jesus. Amen.


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Copyright 2022 Scott Wasserman
Images: copyright 2022 Unbound, all rights reserved.