Dads Lead The Way

A lesson on how Unbound dads are stronger together when disaster strikes

By Ashley Griffin and Danika Wolf

June 13, 2021 | 40 Years 40 Lessons

Gloria, the mother of Eldrine, a sponsored child in the Philippines, gets nervous every time her husband Julian’s phone rings. Julian is one of nearly 9,000 Unbound dads who answer the call to help when disaster strikes — which is not a rare occurrence in the Philippines.

As Unbound staff members, my colleague Danika and I had the privilege of meeting Julian and a group of fellow ERPATs on a trip to the Philippines a couple years ago, and they are the real deal. After hearing so much about their past rescues and how they risk it all to help their community, we couldn’t wait to tell them, “You guys are legendary!”

Unbound Kansas staff members Ashley and Danika (middle) got to see the ERPATs in action in the Philippines. They learned just how tough these dads can be when disaster strikes. 

With their country experiencing more than 20 typhoons a year plus earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, fires and other disasters, dads in the Unbound Antipolo program in the Philippines couldn’t just stand by, they took action. With support and training from Unbound, they started a disaster response group called ERPAT, which stands for Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities. Whether they’re helping a family evacuate a flooded home or assisting with earthquake recovery, now they rush to the frontlines to give life-saving support to sponsored and non-sponsored community members alike.

“It’s natural for all Filipinos to help other people in need as much as they could,” Julian said. “We, ERPAT, are helping them wholeheartedly just to save them from danger. We are not expecting anything in return; it makes us feel happy to render our help to anyone in need.”

We saw these heroic dads put their skills to the test and you can, too. Watch them re-enact a river rescue, and meet more ERPAT fathers who are ready for anything.

About the authors:

Ashley Griffin is the acquisition marketing specialist for Unbound. On her travels, she’s learned that Unbound families and staff are resilient ⁠— and when asked to sing karaoke in the Philippines, well, it's less a question and more of an expectation.

Danika Wolf is a multimedia editor for Unbound. She's been spotted in Unbound communities with one camera strapped to her head and another one in her hand. In the Philippines, her team discovered she's also a pro behind the karaoke mic, however, she's requested that footage stay in the vault.