One-to-one sponsorship helps children across the globe write off poverty and begin living a lives of hope. And it begins when someone picks up a child packet and makes the commitment to sponsor a child. That’s when our sponsorship notification process gets rolling.
The field country office initiates the process of notifying the child with the exciting news that he or she has a sponsor.
In the country office, the Program Communication Department is the first to learn that a child has been sponsored. It takes 60 days from the time the country is notified that there is a new sponsor to when the first child letters arrive in our Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs.
In East India, for example, the Sponsor Donor Services (SDS) Associate generates the list of newly sponsored children from our Correspondence Tracking Application each Monday.
Next, the packing list for new assignments is printed for every child development center and the blank stationary for each child’s first letter is also printed out along with the bar code, the names and numbers of the child and the sponsor on it. The letters are dispatched to the centers the following day.
The centers learn about the sponsorship details from the new assignment packing list and letters they receive from the country office. They check the individual child folders of the children mentioned in the list to see if they are first-time or formerly sponsored, and they update the child sponsorship register accordingly.
The sponsorship date and the child numbers from the list are then recorded in the Correspondence Data Chart that every center maintains. The original packing list is photocopied and filed at the center in a separate folder.
The center manager then goes into individual classrooms to notify the children about their new sponsors. Once children are notified, the center staff makes it a point to explain them about the whole idea of sponsorship through informal talk. This helps them relate you better in the future.
Parents are notified about their child being sponsored either during a home visit by the social worker or during the parents’ meeting at the center.
Each child has to write a letter of introduction to his or her sponsor. A child’s first letter includes information about the child’s family, the family’s income, the community, the challenges the family faces, and a small note of thanks from the child’s family. The child development workers (CDW) collect this information from the children and their parents through informal interaction.
In each center, the child development workers help children to write letters. The manager writes down the sponsor’s name and number along with the sponsor’s country on a small piece of paper and hands it out to the tutors. The tutors help the children to memorize their sponsors’ names. The center staff assists small children who cannot frame full sentences by writing on their behalf.
Children who can’t yet write are encouraged to write the alphabet, numbers or draw in the space provided for them in the child letter. Older children write on their own in their vernacular, which is corrected for grammatical errors and translated back into English by the child development workers.
After children finish writing their letters, the check box next to the child names in the New Assignment Packing List is ticked. The center manager then checks each letter before they are returned to the country office for processing.
Once the letters arrive at the field office they are again checked for quality, content and child contribution by the SDS Associate. The letters are then sorted by sponsor country and scanned into our Correspondence Tracking Application.
A packing list is generated for each scanned set of new assignment letters and the printed copy of it is attached with the physical bunch, after which it is ready for packaging and subsequent mailing to the Colorado Springs office.
Once the letters reach the Colorado Springs office, they are routed to sponsors in the different countries where sponsors live. A child’s first letter is important as it begins the link between the child and the sponsor and sets the foundation for bonding in the future.