Our work in Chile
Chile is one of the most prosperous countries in South America, but extreme poverty still exists. It is working to diversify its economy, which traditionally depended on copper exports.
The Valparaiso project works closely with families, empowering mothers, preserving the dignity of the aging and opening the doors of education for children and youth.
Working in conjunction with government agencies in Chile, Unbound increases the care provided for families, securing new homes, accessing free health care and more. This helps enable families to build a path out of poverty.
Sponsorship provides a home and hope
Luisa is the mother of Javier, a sponsored child in Chile. She works hard to provide for her family, working long hours in vineyards.
Sponsorship helps Luisa buy clothes and school supplies for her children, helping her work toward her dream of giving her children an education.
In Chile, Unbound sponsorship enables many families to achieve their goal of owning a modest home where they can live in dignified conditions. The project office serves as a resource, helping parents save for a down payment through sponsorship benefits and apply to the government agency for a home.
With support from the Unbound office in Valparaiso, Luisa was able to buy a government-subsidized house. She said her family and the house are her greatest triumphs.
"I don't just have a house, but I have a home," Luisa said. "Because my family is here."
Women's programs strengthen families
Seventy percent of households in Chile are headed by single mothers. Unbound believes in the wisdom of mothers and works to help these women build strong families.
The Valparaiso project hosts a training program for mothers of sponsored children, teaching them income-generating skills to help them increase their household income and save money.
Through this program, mothers learn tailoring, weaving and hairdressing, and are given supplies and transportation to the training site. Child care is also provided.
Every year, this program teaches about 230 mothers the skills they need to build a path out of poverty for their families.
Unbound program gives elderly new life
Unbound has an extensive outreach program to the elderly in Valparaíso, Chile.
Sponsored aging friends visit the project office each day to receive a nutritious breakfast, lunch and snack provided by Unbound. They build friendships and enjoy the companionship of their peers.
Besides providing meals, the Valparaiso Unbound program offers the elderly an opportunity to participate in 16 different activities, including choir, theater, handcrafts and tai chi.
Maria is 75 years old and sponsored through Unbound. She is blind, yet she still sews, cooks, knits (using her fingers to count) and irons by herself. She lights the stove through touch and can set her iron by hand and move it on clothes, she said.
She lives with her daughter and two grandchildren. Everyone at the Unbound office in Valparaiso is kind and loving to her, she said.
"I'm not blind," she said. "I see with the eyes of my soul."
Maria thanked her sponsor for giving her the help she needs to continue living with dignity.