We know that sponsored children treasure their sponsor’s letters and many children read the letters repeatedly. We also know that some sponsors struggle to know what and how to write to their child. Your letters do not need to be long and you do not need to write more than three or four times a year but please do write. You can use our special writing paper or write online ( www.compassion.ca/write ).

Some hints that we hope will help are:

Keep your letters simple and not too long.
Talk about your family and ask about theirs.
You could share about your interests or hobbies.
If you have pets, let your child know. They may have an animal too.
Do you have a garden? Many children are involved in growing some form of crops.
Share favourite Bible verses. Your faith is something you have in common.
Ask clear questions. This helps you get to know your child and helps them know what to write to you.
Occasional photographs and postcards add interest, and give something else to talk about in the letters.
Remind your child that you are praying for them.
Your letters are your personal, emotional giving to your child. Let them know that you love and value them.

Here are some resources to give you more ideas

1.    You Can Copy These Sample Letters!

       What Can I Share in Letters to My Sponsored Child?

       10 Motivating Reasons to Write Your Child

 20 Letter-Writing Prompts About Food and Your Local Church

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Where can I find my supporter number?

April 28, 2014 4:15 pm

Your supporter number is on every piece of correspondence you receive from Compassion Canada. Your number appears below the barcode attached to letters from your sponsored child, and beside your name on the letter writing paper included with every child letter (on the right side of the page).

Your number may start with CA, usually followed by seven to eight digits.

You can also view this information through your MyCompassion account

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Children are required to write to their sponsors a minimum of two letters a year. If there is something wrong with your sponsored child, we will contact you. If it has been 6 months since you have received a letter, please contact our office. We may have an undeliverable address for you and have been unable to send your sponsored child’s letters through to you.

You can reach us by phone at 1-800-563-5437 or by email at info@compassion.ca

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Due to the limitations of customs regulations, only paper items can be sent to sponsored children. Items made of paper up to 8.5″ by 11″ and up to .25″ thick can be sent on. Compassion cannot send on or return gifts that do not fall within these guidelines. If you would like to bless your child in other ways, please send a financial gift, which your child can use to purchase something they really need. Your money will go a lot further in the countries where we work and it will help stimulate the local economy.

Examples of what you can send in the mail include: photos, greeting cards, stickers, bookmarks, postcards, colouring pages, booklets, small calendars, scripture cards, decorative writing paper, paper dolls, and paper planes.

Items which we cannot send include: pencils, crayons, balloons, gum, jewelry, candy, magnets, clothes, toys, seeds, etc.

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An online letter (without a photo attached) will be received by the office in that country quicker. Online letters are received daily, formatted and then sent in an email to the Compassion office in each country. They are then translated and printed. As projects are often very remote, the head office will wait until they have received a reasonable number of letters before they are delivered to a particular project. A member of staff will then hand deliver them as mail systems can be very erratic and unreliable. Many sponsored children do not have a postal address in the way that we do in Canada. Please be assured that we will do our best to make sure that your letter will arrive as soon as possible. The exchange of letters is a crucial element of sponsorship and it is an area we are constantly working to improve.

Online letters with photos are printed at the Compassion Canada office so as to ensure the quality of the printed photos. These letters then follow our regular letter process.

To send a letter to your sponsored child through our website click here.

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If you are fluent in the language your child speaks, please feel free to write to them using that language. Otherwise, please write in English. Please include an English version of the letter as well, as all letters are scanned at our headquarters in accordance with our child protection policy before they are couriered weekly to our country offices. Writing in your child’s language will mean one less letter for the Compassion staff to translate. However, it will not speed your letter to your child as we are unable to separate individual letters from the packages. Unfortunately, it is not possible to arrange for your letters not to be translated into English as our colleagues across the world deal with hundreds of letters everyday and are unable to single out individual letters. However, you will also receive the original letter written in their language, which you will be able to enjoy reading.

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You may send paper items to your sponsored child. We cannot send non-paper items to sponsored children due to the high cost of postage, the risk of loss, theft or damage. It can also be very difficult to determine a culturally appropriate gift for a sponsored child. You may wish to send a financial gift to your sponsored child which we can ensure is used to choose a suitable gift for him or herself. This will often be done with the help of a family member or project worker. If you would like to recommend how your money gift should be spent please add an instruction when you send it. However, bear in mind that your sponsored child may have a need for a very practical gift.

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Many of the children who Compassion supports have received no, or only very limited formal education prior to being registered in the project. Many are therefore not as advanced in their learning as a child of the same age from Canada. Many are the equivalent of at least two or three years younger in their educational development. If a child is unable to write their own letters, project staff will sit and talk with the child and ask what they would like to say in their letters. Writing letters is a new skill for many children and therefore many will be unfamiliar with how to go about it. The project staff will then write up the letters which are translated and then sent on to us to forward to you. Some projects will also use letter writing as part of their curriculum to help children develop their reading and writing skills, therefore the letters may seem a little formal. Please do be patient as your sponsored child learns to write and is then able to write to you personally. Many children will draw pictures or write their name or a few words that they can, to share with you what they are able to do. Rest assured that the letters you write to your sponsored child will be greatly valued, and will really help to remind your sponsored child that they are precious and loved.

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There are a number of reasons why we ask that you don’t communicate directly with your sponsored child. One of the important features of our program is that it enables project workers to understand the child’s struggles and to provide help and support. Having your sponsored child’s letters go via the project allows the project staff to become familiar with your child’s needs, and to help them appropriately. Corresponding directly with your sponsored child would prevent the project staff from knowing what support the child is requesting. By limiting all correspondence through Compassion projects, we are also able to protect sponsors from receiving unsolicited or inappropriate requests from members of your child’s community who may otherwise gain access to your personal details. Most sponsored children speak other languages, so by having the correspondence go through Compassion, we are able to translate the letters, from your child, for you.

View Original Post

Many of the children who Compassion supports have received no, or only very limited formal education prior to being registered in the project. Many are therefore not as advanced in their learning as a child of the same age from Canada. Many are the equivalent of at least two or three years younger in their educational development. If a child is unable to write their own letters, project staff will sit and talk with the child and ask what they would like to say in their letters. Writing letters is a new skill for many children and therefore many will be unfamiliar with how to go about it. The project staff will then write up the letters which are translated and then sent on to us to forward to you. Some projects will also use letter writing as part of their curriculum to help children develop their reading and writing skills, therefore the letters may seem a little formal. Please do be patient as your sponsored child learns to write and is then able to write to you personally. Many children will draw pictures or write their name or a few words that they can, to share with you what they are able to do. Rest assured that the letters you write to your sponsored child will be greatly valued, and will really help to remind your sponsored child that they are precious and loved.

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We do not encourage sponsors to send items by mail or courier to your child’s country because it is not guaranteed to reach your child. When a package other than paper goods is sent, there will be custom charges that our Country office would not be able to pay and there is no guarantee that this item will get to our office. The mail systems in most of the countries we work in are not reliable.

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In many countries where Compassion works, letter writing is not a normal part of the culture. Therefore, the letters written by your sponsored child are probably the only ones ever written. Our project workers endeavour to teach the children how to express themselves in writing, and will often use the letter-writing days as an educational activity. Many children write what they think their sponsor might want to hear. If your sponsored child is young, please be patient while he or she learns how to write. In some cultures, it is not common to discuss personal things like hopes and dreams, or even what daily life is like. Your sponsored child may need your help to understand that you are interested in the small details. You can help your sponsored child to understand that you want to know him or her better by asking lots of questions in your letters, and telling your sponsored child about your own life. You may consider highlighting the questions you would really like answered.

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Yes, we can setup your children/friend as the correspondent. The sponsored child will then write to the correspondent and all letters will be sent to the correspondent. All letters to the child should come from the correspondent only.

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Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they get your stickers. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. They may be writing back some weeks or even a month after they receive your letter, so may not remember whether they have already acknowledged what you have sent them. Please remember that each letter may take up to two months for translation and delivery. Please check the date of your child’s letter to work out whether he or she would have received your stickers before they last wrote back to you. Compassion is working on a process to ensure that every child acknowledges every piece of mail they receive from their sponsor. If you are in doubt whether your sponsored child has received your mail, you are welcome to write and ask.

View Original Post

Where can I find my sponsor number?

March 19, 2013 10:49 am

Your sponsor number is on every piece of correspondence you receive from Compassion. Your number appears to the right of your name on correspondence, below the barcode attached to letters from your sponsored child, and beside your name on the letter writing paper included with every child letter (on the right side of the page).

Your number may start with CA, usually followed by seven to eight digits.

If you still cannot find your number feel free to contact us by phone.

 

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Communication within many of the countries where we work can be extremely slow. All letters to and from the children can take two to four months to arrive. They are couriered to the Compassion office in each country where they are translated. As projects are often very remote, the head office will wait until they have received a reasonable number of letters before they are delivered to a particular project. A member of staff will then hand deliver them as mail systems can be very erratic and unreliable. Many sponsored children do not have a postal address in the way that we do in Canada. Please be assured that we will do our best to make sure that your letter will arrive as soon as possible. The exchange of letters is a crucial element of sponsorship and it is an area we are constantly working to improve.

Check out this detailed description of the letter writing process in Ghana.

Follow a letter from a sponsored child in Guatemala to her sponsor.

 

View Original Post

Communication within many of the countries where we work can be extremely slow. All letters to and from the children can take two to four months to arrive. They are couriered to the Compassion office in each country where they are translated. As projects are often very remote, the head office will wait until they have received a reasonable number of letters before they are delivered to a particular project. A member of staff will then hand-deliver them as mail systems can be very erratic and unreliable. Many sponsored children do not have a postal address in the way that we do in Canada. Please be assured that we will do our best to make sure that your letter will arrive as soon as possible. The exchange of letters is a crucial element of sponsorship and it is an area we are constantly working to improve.

Check out this detailed description of the letter writing process in Ghana.

View Original Post

Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they get your photo. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. They may be writing back some weeks or even a month after they receive your letter, so may not remember whether they have already acknowledged what you have sent them. Please remember that each letter may take up to two months for translation and delivery. Please check the date of your child’s letter to work out whether he or she would have received your photo before they last wrote back to you. Compassion is working on a process to ensure that every child acknowledges every piece of mail they receive from their sponsor. If you are in doubt whether your sponsored child has received your mail, you are welcome to write and ask.

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No less than 80 percent of your monthly support benefits your child, either directly or indirectly. Compassion-assisted children and their families receive no cash. Benefits are in the form of goods and services, carefully designed, delivered and purchased according to each child’s individual needs.

As a general rule, 20 percent of these funds are invested in the development, oversight, and auditing of Compassion’s programs in which every assisted-child participates. These investments ensure that each child receives the best care possible, rather than becoming the recipient of a handout.

The remaining funds are used to meet the day-to-day needs of each child. This can include:

nutritional meals and the provision of clean drinking water;

medical and dental check-ups, care and education;

educational supplies and tuition fees;

clothing including school uniforms;

non-formal educational and life-skills training such as participation in excursions and camps;

extra-curricular activities such as drama, dance, music and art etc.; and

biblical training and discipleship

Our local church partners also invest considerable resources in the development of each child, allowing Compassion and the church to help bring an eternal solution to poverty in the life of a child.

View Original Post

Can I write to my sponsored child?

March 19, 2013 10:49 am

Yes. We encourage sponsors to write to their sponsored child, to include photos and cards and encourage them in their spiritual journey. Children love to receive letters and cherish them. They also love to write to their sponsors and to pray for them. Children are required to write to their sponsors a minimum of two letters a year.

To send a letter, card, paper play set or poster to your sponsored child through our website click here.

See how letter writing impacts a child in Ghana.

Read how receiving letters affects in child in Nicaragua.

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