With Love

8 perspectives on love from around the globe

January 17, 2022 | Be Inspired

From the “Love” chapter in his book “Sharing the Wisdom of Time,” Pope Francis said that “the beauty of love is gentleness.” His wise words illustrate well that love is more than just a feeling. Love is a mother’s or father’s desire to see that their children have a better childhood than their own. Love is the timeless language between young or old. Love is the kindness and patience demonstrated in difficult situations. Love is giving when you have nothing left to give. Love for individuals in poverty around the globe, though expressed or honored differently, behaves similarly.

In recognition of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, enjoy these quotes and photos from our Unbound community — showing, teaching, learning and being love.

“I always remember what my grandmother told me: ‘If one is fire, the other one must be water.’ Don’t both be fire when there is a misunderstanding. You need to understand each other’s differences. There must be balance.”

Sylvia met her husband when she was 25 and working in a store that his parents frequented. For a year, he sought her attention by following her around and offering her a letter. When she finally decided to read the letter, it said he just wanted to keep her safe. That’s where their love story began.

“I remember two patients I had. One, not to say she didn’t have proper care, but the love you do things with is what matters, used to cry and tell me I was too short and couldn’t assist her. She didn’t walk and had many problems. I told her ‘I’m capable, I can, and I’ll help you make progress.’ After four months of treatment, I kept pushing her and saw big improvements. Thank God she made progress. The other patient was a dancer. He was very aggressive [and had to be restrained]. I spoke to him with love, listened to him and little by little we got close. Thank God he progressed, too. That was rewarding.’”

Marta began with Unbound as a volunteer and eventually received a scholarship to study gerontology. She leads exercise classes for sponsored elders and is beloved by her patients. Having lost her parents at the age of 20, she sees the elders as her family.

“I can’t describe it. What mom means to me has no explanation, it’s unique. I’ve always wondered how she managed to get ahead with [taking care of] us and maybe what [she dreams for us]. I couldn’t find a meaning, she is everything!"

Sponsored youth Jafet in foreground with mother and brother Rodrigo in background. Jafet and Rodrigo were both born blind. Jafet’s dream for his parents is that they can one day live quietly and never have to work.

“Do you know why I fell in love with him? Well, I was scared because at that time, they didn't tell you about what a couple is like, what a boyfriend is like. The only thing the nuns did tell us was that when a couple, when a man [was interested in a] lady, he respected her. He respected me all the time.”

Wife Libia with husband and sponsored elder Jesus. Married for more than 60 years, the couple met when Libia was 14 years old and living in a convent. They are the parents of eight children and run a recycling business in Bogota.

“I have known how to be that daughter who is always there. I have never left my mother alone, and I really love her. My father left me when I was 5 or 6 years old, and my mother scolded me because I went to look for him. I looked for him when I had my children, and I found him. I visit him when I have a chance. My mother scolds me and asks me why I look for my father, so I tell her that I am also his daughter. I love them and respect them because they both are my parents.”

Omaida (left) pictured with daughter and sponsored youth Andrea. Omaida learned her value when she began attending her mothers group with Unbound. Empowered to better her situation, she began college at the same time as her daughter and now has a good job working in human resources.

“We feel valued on what we did. We are helping the school even if in reality we are also in need. What we did is an act of God to all the children who [are] just starting the journey to their dreams.”

Brejit’s mothers group used an Agents of Change grant to donate a computer and printer to the public school their children attend, aiding the children and teachers in printing out their learning materials to study.

“I want to help my children achieve their dreams. Romelyn [his sponsored daughter] would like to be a policewoman someday. I am doing all the best that I could to support them. I may not have money to give them when I’m gone, but at least they have the education to stand on their own.”

Single father Romy is pictured with his children. A pedicab driver, Romy once dreamed of being an engineer, but poverty kept him from moving forward. Now his motivation each day is to see his children achieve their educational dreams with the help of Unbound.

“Love yourself! Jobs will leave you ... if you will work and work and leave yourself unattended, you will end up dying unhappy. Eat what you want and enjoy your life. Do what you want but in a positive way. If you ask help from God for something don’t just wait for it to come, do something to get it but in a positive way again. Work for it! Love your family and never take them for granted.”

Julieta, sponsored elder who passed away recently, is pictured on her 100th birthday in 2018. Julieta was a lively woman who had many adventures throughout her more than 100 years of life, including falling in love twice — once with a solider and once with a shoemaker.