In the Loop: El Salvador

Unbound sponsors and international staff connect through new virtual event

September 05, 2022 | Be Informed

For more than two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on people living in poverty around the world, often forcing them to get creative with finding ways to best support their families.

But, with Unbound’s sponsorship benefits continuing to act as a lifeline for families living on the margins, they adapted, courageously pivoting into unknown lines of work, learning new skills or evolving small businesses to fit new realities.

Through it all, despite the suspension of in-person activities, such as awareness trips and staff visits, Unbound found new ways to stay connected with families and sponsors, innovating with new technology and communication strategies and platforms.

“In the Loop,” a new online Zoom event developed as a result of the suspension of awareness trips, is one such tool the organization recently introduced to help its community feel more connected and informed. The online event brings together sponsors and local Unbound leaders to share updates about the Unbound program and its impact on families, especially during COVID-19.

The first event, “In the Loop: El Salvador,” held on April 28, was led by Unbound’s Experience Integration team from its world headquarters, with the feature presentation given by Unbound’s staff in El Salvador.

“Attendees at the first event were made up primarily of sponsors who had visited El Salvador with Unbound in the past 10 years,” said Experience Integration Director Karen Allemang, whose department works to develop, deliver and refine impactful experiences for the Unbound community. “During this pause in travel, we wanted to provide sponsors the opportunity to hear from sponsored families and program staff around the globe.”

Allemang said her team was not expecting a large turnout for this first online event and was pleasantly surprised to have more than 40 attendees tune in on April 28.

You could just tell how excited sponsors were to see and hear from El Salvador staff they'd previously met.

— Karen Allemang, Unbound Experience Integration Director

Unbound’s staff from El Salvador gave an update on the status of program operations in the country, real-life examples of the resilience of the families in the program, an explanation of how the correspondence between sponsors and sponsored friends has worked, and a sneak peek into what staff in El Salvador are looking forward to in the future.

“You could just tell how excited sponsors were to see and hear from El Salvador staff they’d previously met,” Allemang said. “We were very pleased with the enthusiasm shown, and their gratitude for the information shared by the presenters.”

A recording of the first "In the Loop" event was made available on Unbound’s Vimeo channel (and is embedded below) and was also added to the online dashboards in Unbound accounts for those sponsors who have a sponsored friend in El Salvador.

Unbound's second "In the Loop" event was held on Sept. 29 and featured an update from staff in Uganda. More than 150 sponsors attended the event. Watch the recording for "In the Loop: Uganda" now.

Unbound hopes to resume in-person awareness trips to select locations in 2023.