Do you ever wonder when and where the child you sponsor writes their letters to you? Why their letters are form letters or sometimes sound repetitive? What kind of information they like to hear from you?

We went straight to the source and asked the most common questions about child letters to the people who help kids write those letters—the tutors at their Compassion child development centre. Osiris, Glenda, Débora and Alicia—tutors at Pentecostal Child Development Centre (HO0224) in Honduras—graciously pulled back the curtain on child letters for us. Here’s what they had to say…


Meet Osiris

Osiris stands in her classroom doorway, wearing a denim jacket with a black and white stripped dress.

Time working at HO0224: 2 years

Age groups taught: 6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 11-year-olds

Favourite part of child letters: “I like to see how children include prayers requests in their letters. Their faith is so powerful. Regardless of their circumstances, they know that God will answer those prayers in His time, because they have learned about that in the centre.”

How do you coach a child in letter writing?

Sometimes beneficiary children get lost and do not know what to write. When they feel that way, we sit down with the children and pray together, and then we start discussing how to get their ideas to flow.

Osiris stands and prays, holding hands with three of her young students.

Osiris prays with her students.

What is it like when the children receive the letters at your centre?

The day that we deliver letters from the sponsors is the happiest day in the children’s lives. We make it once a month, and we put all the letters inside a decorated and special box. The children know that box and start screaming eagerly for it to be opened. We start calling the names of those who receive letters, and we also encourage those who don’t. Delivering letters is bittersweet to us because some children get letters and others don’t.

What do children get most excited about when they are reading their sponsors’ letter? Do they enjoy hearing certain things from their sponsors?

Beneficiary children love to hear that their sponsors put their letters and drawings in special places. Some sponsors share with the children that they put their letters on the front of their refrigerator or that they keep the children’s photos on their desk at work.


Meet Glenda

Glenda stands in her classroom doorway, smiling, wearing a white and black polka-dot shirt with her arms crossed.

Time working at HO0224: 14 years

Age groups taught: 6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 11-year-olds

Favourite part of child letters: “I love to see how children express their feelings on paper. They empty their hearts through letters, and let their sponsors know about their most amazing experiences. They know they have a friend in another country whom they can rely on.”

Why does Compassion use form letters?

These templates provided by Compassion are so helpful. They give a wider picture about the child’s life. Form letters are like a roadmap that guides beneficiary children about what to write. It may seem mechanic to the sponsors, but the forms are made for the children to fill out easily. Children love to fill out the themed form letters, because they just circle the information. We didn’t have these form letters before, and we used to run out of ideas on what to share with the sponsors. We appreciate the fact that Compassion not only provides the printed templates, but also training to tutors on how to fill them out.

Glenda, a tutor, leans over a young girl, her student, assisting her in drawing a picture for her sponsor.

Glenda enjoys helping her students connect with their sponsors through letters, drawings and crafts.

Are there cultural differences that you would want sponsors to know about that would help them as they write letters to the children in your center?

It’s very important to teach children about their sponsors’ countries and cultures. Children know by heart their sponsors’ name and the country that they are from. When the sponsors include pictures or post cards that represent their countries, it helps children create a picture in their minds of the place where the sponsors live.

What would you say to a sponsor who feels like the letters they receive aren’t very personal?

It all depends on the insights that the sponsors share with the children [in their letters]. The more insight they share with the children, the more they will write personalized letters. However, even when the child is not receiving correspondence from their sponsor, they do their best to share information about their personal life.


Meet Débora

Debora stands in her classroom doorway, smiling with her arms crossed, wearing a red t-shirt.

Time working at HO0224: 2 years

Age groups taught: 3- to 5-year-olds and 9- to 11-year-olds

Favourite part of child letters: “I enjoy helping the children include a drawing [with their letter]. Some of them might not know how to draw, but they work hard to draw a beautiful picture because they want to put a smile on their sponsors’ faces. It melts my heart when children draw themselves holding hands with their sponsors, even though have not met face to face yet.”

Fun fact: Débora is a former Compassion child!

Describe the process of the children writing letters to their sponsors. How is the process different for different age groups?

As the little children cannot write and read yet, they are helped by their parents. The parents enjoy thinking about the sponsors because they consider them family, and they also enjoy writing about their children’s adventures and progress. In the letters, parents do not hesitate to include words of gratitude to the sponsors because of the benefits that their children receive.

A tutor guides a child in filling out a themed letter template.

As a former sponsor child, Débora understands the importance of letters in fostering a relationship between children and their sponsors.

What is it like when the children receive the letters at your centre?

When we start calling out the names of the children who got letters, the classroom is filled with pure joy. Children start sharing with one another about what their sponsors sent to them, like stickers or photos. They read the letters in the classroom, and when they leave the centre, they read it along with their family members. Children treasure their sponsors’ letters so much and keep them inside a special box.

What do children get most excited about when they are reading their sponsors’ letters? Do they enjoy hearing certain things from their sponsors?

As a former Compassion child, I had a great relationship through letters with my sponsor. I learned a lot about my sponsor’s culture because of the detailed insights that she used to share with me. Now that I’m a tutor, I enjoy watching the children get excited about the content of their letters. Some sponsors include photos or post cards of the country where they live, or about a family vacation that they had. What puts a big smile on the children’s faces is to see pictures of their sponsors’ pets. They love to hear about dogs, cats, horses, cows, or animals that are not raised in Honduras like kangaroos.


Meet Alicia

Alicia stands in her classroom doorway, grinning with her arms crossed, wearing a multicoloured t-shirt.

Time working at HO0224: 14 years

Age groups taught: 3- to 5-year-olds and 15- to 18-year-olds

Favourite part of child letters: “I enjoy helping the children include Bible verses for their sponsors. Sometimes they can’t draw, but they love to decorate Bible verses that will impact their sponsors’ lives.”

When children write, do they have the sponsors’ letters with them? How do the children know what to write?

Every registered child has a notebook where they keep copies not only of the letters that they write to their sponsor, but they also keep a copy of the latest letter that they received from their sponsor. When they write a letter back to their sponsor, they include answers to the questions that their sponsor asked.

Alicia stands at the front of her classroom, teaching her class.

Alicia has taught students at HO0224 for 14 years.

Are there cultural differences that you would want sponsors to know about that would help them as they write letters to the children in your centre?

We know that most of the sponsors do not speak Spanish, but when they include some words, phrases or Bible verses in the child’s language, that unfolds expressions of happiness and appreciation in the child’s face. We love to see how some sponsors do research about our country and include drawings of our flag, traditional foods and customs in their letters.

What do children get most excited about when they are reading their sponsors’ letters? Do they enjoy hearing certain things from their sponsors?

The youth love to hear about their sponsors’ families, because they feel part of them. Some of the sponsors share about the arrival of a baby within the family, and the youth feel joy and love over that news. Sometimes, the connection that the sponsors have with their children is very deep, because they share about a relative that passed away and the youth grieve the loss with them.


Letters make a huge difference in the lives of children in Compassion’s programs—providing an extra boost with your words of love and encouragement. Take a few minutes to logon to MyCompassion and write a letter to the child you sponsor today!

Go to MyCompassion


Photography and field reporting by Juana Ordonez Martinez