How wonderful that one of your
New Year’s resolutions will be to write more often to your sponsored child!
(Right?) To help inspire you, we asked staff in the countries where we work to
share with us children’s reactions to correspondence from their sponsors. What
they told us reveals sponsorship to be an important, vibrant relationship that
includes comedy, sometimes tragedy and, often, puzzlement. So, as you grow your
connection with your sponsored child, here are some helpful things to know:
1. Some everyday activities may require
“My sponsor’s letter says that they have gone to
picnic,” says Ronald, 7, who lives in Zambia. “I didn’t
know what picnic is. I wondered what a picnic is and where it is supposed to
“They said they also ate ice cream,” he continues. “I have
never tasted it, but I have heard children that live in town eat ice cream.
When I grow up, I want to go to town and eat ice cream.”
idea of pets may mystify children living in extreme poverty.
Allyna’s sponsor loves dogs — a lot. “In the Philippines, they are usually ignored. They just
wander in the streets,” says the 7-year-old. “And [my sponsor’s dogs] have
their own house! I am really wondering why dogs are that valuable to them. I
want to ask my sponsor — I’m just shy to do it.”
3. But some
sponsored children do have pets, which may come up in their chatty, newsy
Christhian, a 13-year-old boy living in Bolivia,
wrote to his sponsor, “Once my little dog named Shado got out and chase a
female little dog, and then he got lost for a week. When he got back, he was
very dirty, and now he wants to get out every single day. I think he is dating
a little female dog.”
4. Speaking of pets, think twice about
sending that snap of your pet python …
… especially if your
sponsored child lives in Mozambique, home to puff
adders, black mambas, green mambas, snouted cobras, spitting cobras, boomslangs
and, yes, pythons. Snakes are not a pleasant thought for most children in our
5. Your sponsored child’s experience of birthdays may
In Zambia, 9-year-old Ernest
recently got his first-ever birthday card. “I wonder what the sponsor meant by
‘many happy returns,’” he says. “It is my first time to receive birthday card
and presents, but it has never been practiced in my family. That made me think
that my sponsor is a very nice person. I said thank you to him in my letter.”
6. Among the 30 countries where ChildFund works, 28 lie within
the tropics. Therefore, snow is … strange.
Snow is a wonder for
sponsored children in Guatemala. “How is the snow?”
they ask. “How does it fall down? How does it melt?”
10-year-old Joyce received a picture of her sponsor and a friend walking in
snow. “Thank God we only have rains in Zambia and not
the snow! I don’t need to wear such heavy clothes even when it is raining,” she
says. “My sponsor would like the weather in Zambia. It is nicer and warm.”
7. Sometimes, news from your sponsored child’s world may be
worrisome, even sad.
In Sri Lanka, one
sponsored child’s family was particularly poor, and her home situation was
unstable. After a few years of sponsorship, the girl had to leave ChildFund’s
programs because she got married. She was only 16. (Early marriage is common in
some places where ChildFund works. Although we educate about and encourage
alternatives, in the end we do not have jurisdiction over families and
Her sponsor inquired about sending the girl a parting gift.
When she received the message, she said, “I wish I had someone so caring like
him in my family here. I am sure I would still be schooling and not have got
married in that case.”
8. Often, though, their words bring
From ChildFund’s United
“My poppy is short that is why I’m short but I
don’t care cause I like being short cause it don’t matter if you short or not
cause you can still get a good wife when you grow up.” —12-year-old boy
“I don’t think you are old till you are 72 years old.” —14-year-old girl
“Do you know Obama? If you do, please tell him I want to meet him someday.”
9. Sometimes, sponsored children worry about
Daeng, 17 and living in Indonesia, calls his sponsor “mother.” When she became
ill with breast cancer, she set up a monthly monetary gift for Daeng, but
there’s something he wants even more. “I don’t care whether I have a package
each month or not,” he says. “All I want is a letter from my mother, telling me
about her well-being.”
10. When your sponsored children do hear
from you, it inspires them. And that’s an understatement.
Sponsor,” writes Rita, in Uganda, “I am glad to write to
you a poem about how I feel when I get your cards.”
I feel good, I jump high,
laugh then smile.
receive a birthday card from you,
my dear sponsor, I wish you were here.
I feel that you love me and that I love you,
that you know me and
that you care,
because you never forget me.
I learnt English. I
learnt to read.
I learnt how to write.
I learnt how to draw
just because of you, my sponsor.
When I get your cards,
good, I jump up high,
laugh and smile
when I hear from you.