Letters: they’re one of the most well-known parts of Compassion’s ministry. They are the lifeblood of your relationship with your sponsor child—one of the most unique ways that you can connect directly! So, of course, we take transporting your letter very seriously.

Thailand, Uganda, Peru, Ghana—we’ve got letters going everywhere around the world! But how do they get there? Plane? Train? Elephant?

Let’s take a journey over to Compassion International Ghana to see how 14-year-old Godwin gets his letters from his sponsors, Sharon and Chuck from the USA. We hope taking a look at the journey of Godwin’s letter will help you better understand the journey that your own letters take.

Buckle up, hands in the car at all times—here we go!

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1) Arrival in Ghana

These are some Compassion International Ghana staff working on letters to get them ready for shipping to sponsors abroad and to the beneficiaries in the projects. Several people are standing in a room surrounded by wood cubbies on the walls. They are sorting letters into the cubbies.

After Sharon and Chuck—Godwin’s sponsor couple—write their letter from their home in the USA, it is sent to the Compassion International office. Sharon and Chuck’s letter arrives at Compassion International Ghana’s national office by snail mail or through email.

Since Ghana’s official language is English, the letter doesn’t need to be translated.

But, two things do happen:

First, the letter is checked to ensure it doesn’t contain anything inappropriate, like personal addresses, phone numbers, social media accounts or the use of foul or insensitive words. We check letters to protect both sponsors and children in our program.

Then, any questions Sharon and Chuck have asked Godwin in their letter are highlighted to ensure that Godwin doesn’t miss them.

 

2) From the national office to a regional cluster

This is Emmanuella, a collation officer for the Tongu cluster. She receives all the cluster’s letters and distributes them when the projects representatives come. She is standing behind a desk and is wearing a blue dress. There are filing cabinets in the background.

Emmanuella, a collection officer in Adidome, Ghana, receives and logs all the cluster’s letters.

Sharon and Chuck’s letter is now ready to be printed, bound, labelled and placed in the mailbox along with all the other letters addressed to kids at Godwin’s Compassion centre.

Letters are put in a tamper-proof bag and sealed up for the long journey.

All the letters going to the same regional cluster of about 14 Compassion church partners are sent to a central collection centre. In the case of Godwin’s Compassion centre, letters are sent by courier from the national office to the regional collection centre in Adidome, Ghana.

 

3) Pick-up for a long journey to Godwin’s centre

This is Lorlor, the social worker from Dove child development center. She is seen standing outside a tan building. She is wearing a pink patterned dress and holding a black backpack containing child letters. She is smiling at the camera.

Lorlor is a social worker from Godwin’s Compassion centre in Dove, Ghana.

Every Thursday, she makes her way to Adidome to pick up all the letters in her backpack for delivery on Saturday.

Bon voyage, Lorlor!

Lorlor is pictured here on the canoe, crossing the lake. She is holding a black briefcase on her lap that contains the child letters. There are other people on the canoe with her.

First, Lorlor rides a motorbike to the River Volta 30 minutes away, jumps on a boat to cross it, and takes another 25-minute motorbike ride to get to the Adidome collection centre.

Lorlor is in a pink dress putting on a helmet, sitting on a motorcycle on the shore.

Once she arrives in Adidome, Lorlor meets Emmanuella—the collection officer. Emmanuella finds Sharon and Chuck’s letter and all the other letters for the children at Dove Child Development Centre.

Lorlor double checks to make sure she has all the letters, signs to confirm, then begins the journey back to Dove with her backpack full to the brim with letters!

Emmanuella is wearing a blue dress, and Lorlor is wearing a pink patterned dress. The two women are smiling at each other.

 

5) Delivery—finally!

When Lorlor gets back, she makes note of each letter in her bag and photocopies it to place in each child’s records. That way, Godwin can take home the original copy of Sharon and Chuck’s letter.

At the end of the day on Saturday, the letters are given out to the kids!

Godwin, your letter has arrived!

t is the end of the day on Saturday. The children are at an assembly, expecting to receive letters from the sponsors. A few got letters. Godwin is one of the few beneficiaries who receive letters frequently. He is seen here, excited, holding a letter.

“My sponsors write about two or more letters to me in a month. If one month passes without me getting any letter from them, I feel that something might be wrong. So, I pray for them and then they write,” Godwin says.

After reading and replying to their letter, Godwin stores it in a secret spot along with all his other letters to keep them safe from harm.

Godwin hides his letters in his parent’s room, inside a compartment inside their bed. There his sisters cannot have access to them. He is sitting on his parents' bed, reading a letter. Godwin is wearing black pants and a white tee shirt.

Letter day is a definite highlight for the kids at Godwin’s centre. Even though not every child gets a letter every week, everyone celebrates!

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Now that you know the ins and outs of how a letter makes it from your kitchen table to a child’s excited hands, why not send one to say hello?

Write a letter!

Written by: Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips is the Marketing Writer for Compassion Canada. She is passionate about pursuing justice and mercy through writing, crafting, music, and sharing stories over a cup of strong coffee.