Our work in India
Unbound is working with families as co-creators of change
India is home to more than 1 billion people with rich cultural and religious traditions. But India is also home to millions living in poverty. These families struggle heroically to provide a better life for their children.
As Unbound's third largest outreach with more than 30,000 sponsored members, the sponsorship program in India works alongside families to develop long-term personal and economic growth.
Unbound works with families from many faith backgrounds to provide not only basic services, but also real hope.
Through educational support, community building and resources geared toward developing new livelihoods, the Unbound program is making a real difference in the lives it touches.
Mothers groups help families help themselves
Women in India have been involved in mothers groups since 2001. During this time, local staffs have witnessed the strength and ability of the mothers.
The mothers gather and participate in meetings, offering suggestions and encouragement to one another. The groups save funds, which are available to the mothers as low-interest loans.
Because her daughter, Bhavani, is sponsored, Shanti belongs to an Unbound mothers group. She attends meetings and participates in self-help initiatives of the group. Once Shanti joined the mothers group, she began saving to open her own business.
Shanti requested a small loan from the group to open her own tailoring shop. After she opened her shop, she repaid the loan and focused on her family's future.
She decided to take out a second loan from the group to open a retail garment store next to her tailoring shop. Shanti named the store “Rousis Readymade” after Bhavani's sponsors, Barbara and Mary Rousis.
Shanti and her family are grateful for Bhavani’s sponsors because, without the benefits of the Unbound sponsorship program, they would not have been able to open this small business.
Through sponsorship, Bhavani is completing her studies and Shanti improved the family's economic situation.
Watch a 4-part video series to learn more about how mothers groups work and their impact.
Helping families avoid child labor
Although India officially prohibits child labor, the practice persists in part because of the economic reality of many families. For some parents, the income their children earn helps sustain the family.
Durga Prasad was working full time at age 11 to help his family. Shahanaz Begam, a social worker in Hyderabad, India, met the family and encouraged Durga Prasad's mother to send him back to school.
Durga Prasad is sponsored through Unbound and was promoted to seventh grade because of his diligent studies.
He works just on school holidays now, so he can focus on his homework after school.
"My husband and I have been working since our childhood and earning money, yet our lives did not improve. It just has been living from hand to mouth," said Padma, Durga Prasad's mother.
"We do not own a house, do not have steady income, and are unable to give proper education to our kids.
"Now my son has the opportunity to get a formal education. He is our only hope for our better future."