Once a child is fully enrolled in our sponsorship program, each of our partner countries begin working to link the child with a sponsor. While this occurs, the staff in our Ghana country office and at our church partners begin praying for kindhearted individuals to see the pictures of the children and pick them up for sponsorship.
Our Communications Department is one of the first areas to learn that a child has a sponsor. They receive a regularly generated list of children who have new sponsors. A copy of the list is printed out, together with an age-graded, first-letter pad bearing a bar code with sponsor and child details on it. This is placed in the “pigeon holes” of the respective child development centers whose children have new sponsors.
The next center worker to visit the country office picks up the material from the holes and brings it to the center where the child notification process is carried out.
“Any time we come to the country office and find this list, we become very happy,” says Fredrick, the center coordinator for Victory Assemblies Child Development Center.
At the center the list is filed in a special folder that has been created to hold the new assignment list. The next step is to go to the child’s home and inform the family about the sponsorship.
Every child who receives a sponsor must write a first letter of introduction. This letter must contain detailed information about the child and the family. Some of this information the child may not know. So as part of the notification process, the center worker takes down all the information needed to complete the first letter later.
The worker takes down the names of the parents, the names and ages of all the children in the family, and the work the caregivers do, among other things.
Children who cannot write their letters are assisted by center staff. When the letters are written, they are returned to the country office.
In Ghana, this first letter has a deadline, which is one week. This means the letter is to be submitted to the country office no later than one week after collection so the Sponsor Donor Services Associate in the Communications Department has ample time to check it and ensure that the letter meets all standards before packaging and subsequent mailing to Colorado Springs.
From Colorado Springs, the child’s first letter is then sent to the sponsor’s country, where it is mailed to the sponsor, and communication commences between sponsor and child.
(UPDATE: All letters between sponsor and child are now digitally scanned, sent to and from the country office and then printed for delivery. Learn more about the speedy letter-writing process!)
We originally published this post on Oct. 19, 2010.