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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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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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.

 

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.

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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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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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Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they receive your letter. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. Your sponsored child may have proudly taken your letter home to share with family & friends and may not have it handy to remind them of the questions you answered. Please remember that it can take up to two months for your letter to be translated (if needed) and delivered. Please check the date of your sponsored child’s letter so you can work out whether he or she would have received your answers before they last wrote. Compassion is working on a program to ensure that answers are recorded by project staff, so they can ensure that the children know them. You can help in this process by underlining or highlighting your answers in your letter and making them easy to understand.

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We encourage sponsors to write to their sponsored child. Although you can not send an email directly through to your sponsored child, you can send a letter through our website. 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, colouring page or paper play set to your sponsored child through our website click here.

View Original Post

Children don’t necessarily write back to you on the same day that they receive your letter. Instead, they reply on a scheduled day when all the children at the project write to their sponsors. Your sponsored child may have proudly taken your letter home to share with family & friends and may not have it handy to remind them of the questions you answered. Please remember that it can take up to two months for your letter to be translated (if needed) and delivered. Please check the date of your sponsored child’s letter so you can work out whether he or she would have received your questions before they last wrote. In some cultures children are rarely asked about what they think and do, which may explain why your child doesn’t always answer your questions, or has difficulty expressing an answer. Compassion is working on a program to ensure that questions are recorded by project staff, so they can ensure that the children answer them. You can help in this process by underlining or highlighting your questions in your letter and making them easy to understand.

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Yes! Our online letter form allows you to attach one photo to your letter. Letters with photos are then printed here in our office and then sent to each field country by courier. Letters without photos are sent through to each field country office by email.

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Many sponsors have requested that opportunity. For years, we have discouraged such efforts due to the potential abuses of personal information (i.e. addresses) exchanged outside of a monitored relationship between a sponsor and a child. The potential for abuse is real. But, so is the potential for healthy communication between a motivated sponsor and a young person who is launching into adulthood. We encourage you to pray about your decision and then contact our office. You will need to sign a release form, and include it with a final letter to your sponsored child.

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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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