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.

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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.

 

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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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Your sponsored child’s number is on any letter that you receive from your child. You will find it printed above the barcode that is attached to every letter your child sends, along with his or her name. You will also find it beside his or her name on the letter writing paper included with every child letter (on the left side of the page).

Child numbers always begin with two letters (indicating country) followed by seven digits.

You can also view this information through your MyCompassion account

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You should not communicate with your sponsored child outside of the avenues provided by Compassion. While communication via social media like Facebook might save time and money, it comes at the expense of your safety and that of your sponsored child. We cannot guarantee everyone’s safety if we are not aware of what’s being communicated.

By serving as the conduit for communication between you and your sponsored child, we are able to watch for any content that may be inappropriate or culturally insensitive ã no matter how well intentioned or innocent a comment may be.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon for someone who knows a child is sponsored to create an account on a social network and posing as that child, contact his or her sponsor asking for money. In this situation, the child may be facing the threat of physical harm if the money is not provided.

Finally, we have an obligation to protect the children in our care from sponsors who may not have the child’s best interests in mind. While we trust that those who sponsor with Compassion are doing so out of a love for Christ, we must be aware of what’s being communicated to ensure the child’s well-being.

Should you receive a friend request or a message from anyone claiming to be your sponsored child on Facebook or another social network or through any medium other than your letters from Compassion, please do not respond but rather contact us immediately at info@compassion.ca or 1-800-563-5437.

For more information on this subject, please read the following post from the Compassion blog: Why Can’t I Communicate With My Sponsored Child via Facebook?.

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What is a Compassion project?

February 22, 2013 11:35 am

Compassion’s holistic child development program activities take place at church-based child development centres or “projects”. Sometimes activities take place in the church building or the church may have another facility designated for the child development centre. Each centre is within a 30-minute walk of the homes of the children it serves.

Program activities vary in detail according to the culture, environment, or needs of the area where the individual centres are located. However, there are common elements in all Compassion child development centres which ensure that all Compassion-assisted children are given the greatest opportunity to be released from spiritual, economic, social, emotional and physical poverty.

Each child development centre:

Meets on a regular basis.
Uses the facilities of the local church partner through which the program operates.
Provides a programmed curriculum of activities for registered and sponsored children.
Has a committee which provides local accountability and support.
Has a director employed by the church to manage the day-to-day activities.
Employs staff and volunteers selected by the local church.
Operates under Compassion International’s carefully monitored standards and guidelines. 
Provides reasonable levels of safety for children relative to the realities of the surrounding community.

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If you do not already have software on your computer for photo organization and editing, there are a number of online tools to resize your photographs. We would recommend a trusted service such as Photoshop Express at www.Photoshop.com, which offers you a number of easy-to-use editing and resizing tools in a secure, password-protected environment. To sign up for an account, please visit: https://www.photoshop.com/account/join.

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While we cannot speak for other organizations, Compassion’s approach to child sponsorship is to develop people from birth to adulthood, which means we need to address the specific needs of the individual to give them the best opportunity to achieve their God-given potential. Our sponsorship rates reflect this. To learn more about what sponsorship provides, click here.

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