Child sponsors, do you ever wonder why you don’t receive many letters from your sponsored children each year? Do you sometimes wonder why your sponsored child does not respond to the questions you asked them in your last letter? Do you question whether or not that child really values or cares that you write to them?
These are challenges that our African Vision of Hope teachers and Child Rescue Team face and address every day. To answer your questions…
1. Why doesn’t my child write to me more often? If your children could write to you every day, they would. They would love to share all of the details of their lives and tell you they’re praying for you daily. The reality is that many students do not learn to speak English until grade 4, and they do not learn to write English until grade 7. So, until that time, students rely on their teachers and the Child Rescue Team to translate their letters. This is a very labor-intensive process, especially since there are 5 African Vision of Hope schools across Zambia that have to be reached to translate and collect letters. The team travels to each school and works with every sponsored child one-on-one to get their letters to you. Also, each region where our students live speaks their own tongue and dialect. School to school, translating does not look the same.
2. Why doesn’t my child answer my questions in their letters back to me? Like we said, our students do not learn to write English until the 7th grade This means that every letter they write up until that point is written with the help of a teacher or staff member who does not know what you wrote in the last letter. The child certainly remembers that you wrote to them, and most likely has that letter hanging on the dirt wall of their home. When they are writing you back, they do not have that letter with them to remember all of the thoughtful questions you asked. Also, during the designated letter-writing time, teachers and staff will write a list of suggestions or give letter examples to help students form their own letters. If you ever feel frustrated by the lack of personal content in your child’s letters, remember that this is an opportunity for you to pour into the life of a student on the other side of the globe and not just a way to communicate back and forth or an exchange of information.
3. Does my child even care if I write to them or not? Absolutely, yes! Every time they receive a letter from you is like Christmas morning. The single most effective way to encourage your sponsored child is through letters. Whether you send two paragraphs or two pages, you are sending that child the message that they are valued, they are loved, and they are not alone. Writing letters to your sponsored child builds their self-esteem, encourages them in their studies, nurtures their dreams, and provides them with a real example of love. Write as often as you like! Letters go over with each mission team, and teams go 4-6 times per year.
When you sponsor a child and write to them, you are telling them that you care about them and want to be part of their life. This may be the only love and encouragement, outside of what they receive from their teachers, that they receive. Many students have very challenging home situations, and your encouragement to stay in school and follow their dreams is what fuels their success.
Not a child sponsor? Start your relationship with a waiting student today! Click HERE.