Do you remember how you felt as a child when you received a letter or card in the post? Excited? Important? Special? Couldn’t wait to read and share it? Perhaps you kept it in a keepsake box to read over and over?
All children love to receive letters, cards and photos from their sponsors. They feel respected like grown-ups and it builds self-esteem and confidence because they know someone is thinking of them. It improves their reading and develops their knowledge of the world.
We encourage all sponsors to write to their sponsored child. It’s a great way to follow their progress, learn about each other’s lives and start to develop a lasting friendship. With every letter exchanged, the greater the satisfaction and enjoyment for you both.
Life is busy. We get that – so at the beginning of your sponsorship, you’ll receive a couple of postcards to send. Each year, we’ll also send you a birthday and Season’s Greeting card in plenty of time so you can add a personal message for your sponsored child.
And if you prefer to write your own letters, have a look at our hints and tips below for inspiration.
In return, you can expect a reply to your letters approximately sixteen weeks later. You’ll also receive an annual child progress report with an update on ChildFund program’s activities in their community. This provides you with information about your sponsored child’s development, living circumstances, educational progress and an updated photo.
Making sure your letter arrives
– Please always use an envelope (even for a postcard) and send by airmail. We recommend standard-sized envelopes as larger items can incur customs duties or go missing.
– You can find your sponsored child’s address inside their child profile.
– Please clearly write both your supporter number (A0…….) and sponsored child’s number on each page or item in your envelope (to ensure it stays together).
– For your own privacy and security, please don’t include your address anywhere on your letter or envelope.
– If you want to include a gift, we recommend small, flat and inexpensive items like stickers, postcards, bookmarks or stationery which fit easily in a standard envelope. These are also most likely to reach the child intact and without incurring cost for their families.
Hints & tips
Ask easy questions
Where they live, who is in their family, where they go to school, and what they like to do (hobbies, sport, favourite school subjects)
Share a bit about your life
Talk about your family, pets, occupation, hobbies, favourite sports and activities
Photos speak a thousand words
It’s lovely for children to put a face to your name so you might like to send a few snaps, perhaps of your family, friends or your local area.
What about drawing?
It’s fun for young children to receive a picture and might be something you haven’t tried for a while. Or ask your own children to give you a hand.
Your sponsored child’s experiences and background are very different from your own. So when writing or including photos, please consider this and avoid delicate subjects like religion or material possessions.
Keep it nice and short…
…and write clearly. This is easier for translators and also helps your sponsored child to understand and appreciate your letters. Your original letters is always included with the translation.
Have a question?
Please take a look below and get in touch on 1800 023 600 if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for.
Who writes if my child is very young or is still learning to write?
If your sponsored child is too young to write, or they don’t understand English, please don’t worry as help will be available from either a family member or ChildFund staff. This will continue until they feel able and happy to write themselves. Please be patient and persevere, as regular correspondence with you will help build this confidence.
Why does it take a while to receive a response?
A complete exchange of letters takes about sixteen weeks (6 – 8 weeks each way). This time allows for translation and transportation to and from the child, who may live in an extremely remote area. We rely on community volunteers to collect the letters and often deliver them on foot to each child.
Can I contact my sponsored child on social media?
While social media can be a great way to keep in touch with your friends and family – it is not a safe environment for you to communicate with your sponsored child, and we ask you to respect this.