Unbound Lifts Single-Mother Family in Colombia Out of Poverty


Unbound pic

Image: unbound.org

Senior sales manager at Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Zariq Siddiqui is in charge of pediatric sales at one of the world’s leading nutrition companies. A philanthropic man, Zariq Siddiqui supports Unbound, an organization formerly known as the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, that provides families in need across the world with sponsorship from donors to help them move out of poverty.

To celebrate the 2017 International Women’s Day, Unbound published a story about one of its beneficiaries: Beatriz, a mother of two living in Cali, Colombia.

Beatriz grew up in a small mud-thatched home together with her parents and six siblings. Despite lacking electricity all her childhood, she was able to graduate high school and get employed in a dress-making business. She got married at 26, and later gave birth to two children, Juan and Luisa. When her husband abandoned them, she found it difficult to provide for her family on the little money she earned selling homemade sandals.

Thankfully, a friend told her about Unbound. She went to their office, registered, and one month later, her son Juan got a sponsor. Since then, the organization has been a blessing to her life. Not only did the financial assistance help Beatriz pay for her son’s school uniform and supplies, she was able to save more to provide for her daughter as well.

Besides financial assistance, Beatriz became part of a community of Unbound-sponsored mothers with whom she could share her experiences, fears, and burdens. Here, she found a solid support group to lean on when the struggles of raising two children as a single mother weighed her down.

Unbound’s Nine Pillars of Change

Unbound pic

Image: unbound.org

Zariq Siddiqui is the senior manager of sales operation and strategy at Abbott Laboratories Inc.’s Nutrition Products Division. Aside from his responsibilities in the global company’s nutrition product sales, Zariq Siddiqui is a philanthropist who has donated significantly to Unbound and its fight against poverty in 20 countries worldwide.

Unbound is a global nonprofit that helps marginalized communities by bringing them together to work on innovative income generating activities. It is through these activities that the organization manages to change the lives of the communities for the better.

Unbound fosters change in the community through nine pillars:

Economic self-sufficiency – The families on Unbound’s support roll depend on the organization and their own income to meet their needs. The organization supports these activities so that the families gradually move away from material support to rely on their own income-creating activities.

Mutual support – The member families are encouraged to form support groups to help each other grow and to support each other in their economic activities.

Capacity building – The Unbound program is centered on the idea that families can be supported to become independent, self-sustaining units, not dependent on handouts and material donations.

Devolved decision-making – The supported families are given decision-making responsibilities in a supportive environment with internal checks and balances.

Empowerment – Marginalized groups are accorded an environment to enhance unity, justice, and equality. This is done by addressing social imbalances to foster non-violent change that is long-term.

Goal orientation – Unbound fosters a support environment where individual families have clearly defined goals and are accorded realistic opportunities to attain those goals.

Learning culture – Sponsored families define the actions they wish to take to achieve self-reliance, measure their outcomes, and use the results to continuously improve their economic livelihoods.

Sustainability – Unbound inculcates a sense of self-reliance in the sponsored families so that in the end, the families themselves manage different elements of the programs. Eventually, the entire community is empowered enough to develop programs independently.

Worldwide – The supported families are encouraged to view empowerment globally and to play a part in uplifting the lives of their neighbors.

Individual Outcomes of Unbound’s Sponsorship Program

A graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) in Brockport, New York, Zariq Siddiqui holds a bachelor of science in forensic science and is currently nutrition products senior manager of sales operation and strategy for Abbott Laboratories Inc. Additionally, Zariq Siddiqui lends support to such charitable organizations as Unbound, formerly known as the Christian Foundation For Children and Aging.

Unbound serves poor and vulnerable populations throughout the world, focusing on health, education, and economic initiatives that lift up individuals and communities. Among the organization’s strategies is a one-to-one sponsorship model that allows for close tracking of individual outcomes. Sponsors and their sponsored friends are encouraged to correspond regularly through letters, and when sponsored members retire from the program, they are encouraged to write farewell letters to their sponsors.

In 2012, Unbound conducted a global evaluation of outcomes, relying on such farewell letters to determine the impact of the sponsorship program. The evaluation found high rates of intangible benefits such as increased self-esteem, character development, and general improvements to quality of life.

Unbound Celebrates World Toilet Day

Currently a senior manager of sales operations and strategy at Abbott Laboratories, Inc., Zariq Siddiqui has worked at the Chicago-based company for over 15 years. A charitable individual, Zariq Siddiqui supports the work of several organizations, including Unbound, a nonprofit group formerly known as the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging that supports children and families in underserved communities throughout the world.

Unbound joined the United Nations and a number of other organizations in celebrating World Toilet Day on November 19th, 2014. The United Nations designated that date 2013 in order to raise awareness about the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitary facilities.

A portion of that large number includes many of the individuals that Unbound serves through its sponsorship and direct-giving programs. In addition to helping people build sanitary toilets and water-filtration systems, Unbound uses donations collected from these programs to implement hygiene education initiatives and provide nutrition supplements and vitamins to individuals affected by chronic diseases, such as HIV/AIDS. For more information about Unbound’s work, visit www.unbound.org.