No. 3. They want you to know that you give your sponsored child a glimpse into another world.
Milagros has been a center director in the Dominican Republic for more than 15 years. She has observed many children become absorbed in their sponsors’ letters. “The letters are like teleporters,” she says. “When children receive them, they mentally travel to other places and countries and enjoy learning about their sponsors and other cultures.”
When you write your sponsored child, you give them access to a world beyond the one that they know — one that is often fraught with hardship. Children love learning about where their sponsors are from, what the weather is like and what kind of pets they have. Alemnesh in Ethiopia shares, “Especially a photograph can impact a child greatly.” So here is what your child’s center staff want you to know: Your sponsored child thinks you’re fascinating. Share your life with them, including pictures, and they will travel with you around the world in their heart and mind.
No. 2. They want you to know that letter writing encourages your sponsored child’s development.
According to staff, letters go beyond mere communication between sponsor and child. They are an essential part of your sponsored child’s well-being and development. Letter writing improves the children’s communication skills and boosts their self-esteem as they feel loved and appreciated. Sam is a center director in Kenya and has noted that children are even inspired to work harder as a result of communicating with their sponsors. “When sponsors ask about progress in school or Bible reading, you notice determination in the child to improve knowing they will be held accountable,” says Sam.
Alemnesh has noticed that children who receive letters from their sponsors even attend the center more often. “The difference is very visible,” Alemnesh says. “Please write!”
No. 1. Above all, they want you to know that your letters provide hope!
“When you say in a letter, ‘I am praying for you,’ that is hope to a child,” says Sam in Kenya. “Through letters, lives have changed, behaviors improved and perceptions transformed.” Your sponsored child’s center wants you to know that your words matter! “I can’t explain how joyful the children get when they receive a letter from the sponsor,” shares Alemnesh.
Each Compassion center handles letter delivery a bit differently, but most centers make a big deal and a celebration out of letter delivery day. In small communities, it’s rare to receive mail at all, let alone letters from someone halfway around the world. So, when letters arrive, a center may host an assembly where letters are handed out and everyone celebrates as though they received a letter of their own. Hope has been delivered!
- UNESCO Institute for Statistics Fact Sheet. September 2016, No. 38; 50th Anniversary of International Literacy Day: Literacy rates are on the rise but millions remain illiterate.
- UNESCO. 2017. Reading the Past, Writing the Future: Fifty Years of Promoting Literacy.