What Children Really Want to Hear From Their Sponsors

Writing a letter to the child or youth you sponsor can seem a little intimidating at first. But even sponsors who have been writing for years still ask, “What should I write about?” Well, instead of us giving you ideas of what to write this month for the Second Friday Letter-Writing Club, we decided to share from a trusted source what children really want to hear from their sponsors.

Our trusted source? The joyful students enrolled in our Child Sponsorship Program in Rwanda.

What Children Really Want to Hear From Their Sponsors

When asked, “What do you like to hear from your sponsor?” the children were filled with glee as they shared about the letters they receive.

Cyprien from Gashora is in his final year of secondary education and wanted to thank his sponsor in the U.S. for investing in him. He was very grateful for the love and care his sponsor’s family has shown him and likes to hear how his family is doing.

In Nyamata, Dieudonne is a resident in one of the cottages built for the Highly Vulnerable Children from his child development center.

“I like that my sponsor is still writing to me and that he and everybody else is fine. I always hear terrible international news and I am so relieved to hear from him and to know that he is OK. I like how he sees me, his attitude and feelings towards me, his encouraging comments all the time. I like that he receives my letters, responds to my questions, and prays for my prayer requests. I really appreciate my sponsor and his family.”


Nearly all of the children shared that they love it when their sponsors express their love for them and encourage them to study hard.
They like it when their sponsors pray for them and ask for them to pray for them in return.

“I love when she writes ‘God be with you and your family’ and when she tells me she is praying for me. I thank her so much for this!” — Jeanne, from Kayenzi

“I like it when she wishes me the best in my studies and when she prays for me.” — Sandrine, from MBYO

“I like it when my sponsor tells me how her children are doing in school; it encourages me to work hard not to let her down.” — Lilliane, from Kayenzi

With eagerness to learn more about his sponsor, Evariste said he’d like to know if his sponsor is still studying and how old he is.

“I love how my sponsor feels about me. I like that he loves me.”

Most of the children were curious to know more about their sponsors’ lives, families and studies, if pursuing any, and also hoped to one day meet them face to face.

Twelve-year-old Alice wanted to know what her sponsor does for a living, whereas 11-year-old Josias was interested to know whether his sponsor is married or has a family.

What Children Really Want to Hear From Their Sponsors

From Kayenzi, Lilliane wanted to know where her sponsor in Canada is studying, Theodette wanted to see a picture of her sponsor from France, and Veronique from Gikomero (featured above) hoped her sponsor would come to visit her.

All of the children expressed gratefulness. They consider themselves blessed to have wonderful sponsors who love them and write to them.

When you write that special kiddo or teen this month, take one of the topics mentioned by these students and think about how you can share your life with them in your next letter.

As always, check out our Second Friday Letter-Writing Club board on Pinterest to share more great ideas for you next letter!


This story is from Rosette Mutoni, Rwandan Field Communications Specialist, and was originally published on Aug. 23, 2010, under the title “What Your Sponsored Child Wants to Hear From You.”

31 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Dave Vincent July 9, 2016

    My wife and I have been sponsering Farida for close to 7 years.We call her our Kenyan daughter.We love her as if she is our daughter.Not having a mother or father makes us feel like parents to her.
    We write to her,encourage her and pray for farida.The letters we get back from her are full of love.She prays for us as do her 3 cousins who she lives with.
    Farida is very special to us and we sense,by the things she says to us,that she is very close to us.Sponsoring Farida was the best thing we have done for many many years.In fact awesome.P T L..

  2. -Lori Ragas June 23, 2016

    Once I found out that I can write to my sponsored children online – I have committed to writing to them more often. I still send them the personal, hand-written letter too, but I like the convenience of writing to them online and now they can hear from me and my girls more often! I love how it makes me feel to know that we are making a difference in these young lives. I also love that my girls (12, 13, & 16) are learning to think outside of their own world – they pray for our sponsored children every night & we talk about what might be going on in their part of the world. We are learning about other countries & other cultures by researching where our children live. I love what it’s doing in their lives; this is the BEST thing we have done in a long time & we love it!

    1. Sarah
      Sarah June 24, 2016

      Wow, Lori, I am so glad you are enjoying writing letters physically and online to your precious kiddos, Judith and Alexis! Thank you for including your own girls in the sponsorships as well. From the time I was three, my own family sponsored with Compassion. To this day, I know developing relationships with our kids over the years challenged me to think beyond myself too! You’re a wonderful mom :). Please thank your girls for praying over Judith and Alexis!

      1. Ela x July 12, 2016

        Im enjoying our fo undation like this too but it was named unbound foundation which it really help a lot to our community 🙂 my sponsors wasnt writing or replying back to my letters which makes me hopeless sometimes but i hope soon they will.

        1. Chris Chaikowsky August 3, 2016

          Dearest Ela, I know that your sponsors love you or they wouldn’t care enough to support you every month. Sometimes sponsors just don’t know what to write about and are slow in starting their letter responses, but I am sure that in their hearts, they have great love for you. I will be praying that God will lay the thought of writing a letter to you on their heart, and that you will be hearing from them very soon. Love and blessings to you Ela.

        2. Jessica July 19, 2016

          Ela,
          I am praying for you and your sponsor. I hope you recieve a letter from them soon.Please know how much God loves you and that there are many people who care about you and who are praying for you!

        3. Christina Wilson
          Christina Wilson July 12, 2016

          Hi Ela, I’m so sorry you have not received any replies to your letters yet. We are praying your sponsors write to you soon!

          1. Robin Gilbert August 14, 2016

            Hi Ela,

            I wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you. Please know that God and your Sponsor loves you.

            I have been a child since April, but until this week didnt realize how much the letters meant. I since have started writing her, and feel so happy about it.

            Also realize your Sponsor may just not be a person who is good at communication. Sometimes we have to just know that God is in control and all will be well in the world.

            Here bis to your peace and I will pray for you to receive letters soon.

  3. Jean McCrady June 4, 2012

    I am making a resolve to write to my sponsored children more often. I wrote to all 5 of them yesterday (and sent a gift to the one who has a birthday in July) and afterwards I felt so uplifted, as I always do when I write to them. In the past I have allowed myself to “put it off” until a more convenient time, but no more. It takes so little effort, and impact the letter could have in the child’s life, we can’t measure. It may be just the thing that will get them through that day in a favorable way. To all of us sponsors, Let’s “just do it!”

  4. John Wheeler February 23, 2012

    Thanks for this great and encouraging post! I’m not the best correspondent with my sponsored child, and one of my resolutions this year is to do better – I just wrote her a letter this morning and this post gave me great ideas to help encourage her. Many thanks, and God’s love and blessings be with you.

  5. Boniface February 10, 2012

    This is good.Most thing is hearing the cry of our children in need of support.In Rwanda,Western province, they are many children who do need your light of life,some of them abandoned school and they are in the street,others are in critical situation.I continue to pray for them ,one time,they could hear the voice of God inviting them to a nice place. God bless you.

    1. Marlena August 1, 2013

      Boniface: Thank you for your comment. I just signed up to sponsor a child from Rwanda and your insights will help me a lot as I write my first letter to her. I will keep you and the people of your country in my prayers. Your English is very good, by the way! God bless you, too!

  6. Elaine February 8, 2012

    Wow! Such an humbling reminder! Would we be so excited about just a simple piece of paper with words on it? Lord, teach us to be more content and put our all ino this childs future! We have no idea how we are affecting them! Give us eyes to see!

  7. Becky June 23, 2011

    Wow, I love this post! It just sums up the whole reason for sponsoring in the first place: to share the love of Christ and give children in poverty-stricken areas hope. Couldn’t you feel that hope springing to life in each of their responses?! It brought tears to my eyes, and inspired me all the more!

  8. Rosie October 26, 2010

    Thank you for posting this. It is very helpful!

  9. Michelle ~ Blogging from the Boonies October 20, 2010

    Great reminder on the importance of letter writing!! If anyone is looking for letter-writing inspiration, feel free to stop by my blog. Many of my posts are about writing letters for our Compassion kids and I hope that I can help sponsors deepen that bond between themselves and their child. Click on my name in blue to check it out.

  10. Sarah Levanway October 19, 2010

    Wow! I’ve been a sponsor for many years and found this article quite helpful! Great ideas on letter writing!

  11. Debra Parr September 13, 2010

    I found this blog area today and hope to participate more in the future. I made the commitment to visit my child on the next Rwanda trip in April/May 2011. I just wrote him a letter to let him know that I plan on coming to meet him. He will be 18 this year so he really already is a man. Compassion told me that they can continue in the program until they are 22.

  12. Moses Mbonigaba September 8, 2010

    True! I too enjoyed to hear from my former sponsor that he loves me and I am part of his family. I beleive God can never disappoint the child or the sponsor, what about when they pray together?

  13. Diane Nichols August 26, 2010

    I love writing to my kids both sponsored and correspondent, I look forward to their letters that make me feel so good!. I like it when they say that they are praying for me and my family and also when they tell me that my encouragement helps them stay in school,etc. One of my older boys sent a very encouraging letter when my husband had a long illness and it was full of how God is here with me and that everything will be alright and he and his famly were praying for us. My husband recovered and he treasures that letter. They include me in their everyday activities through the letters. Whenever I get a new child, I always welcome them to our family in my first letter and that I am happy to be their sponsor. Most of our kids answer my questions and I try to answer theirs. All in all I get such joy out of writing to them and my husband says I am like a kid at Christmas when we get their letters.

  14. Dana August 25, 2010

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve had letters form my kids that have brought tears to my eyes. It’s great to hear about what our children want to know about. 🙂 Reading that my children pray for me still humbles me, when I look at the vast wealth that I am surrounded by – not wealth by North American standards but certainly by the standards of the poorer countries.

  15. James August 24, 2010

    I get a little chocked up each time I read from the kids that they are praying for me. I am a new sponsor so the more letter writing tips the better. Thank you for this post.

  16. Deborah B. August 24, 2010

    It’s so beautiful to hear what they has to say about you. These children really appreciated what you do for them or say to them through letters. It great blessing!

  17. Lydia August 23, 2010

    this is a great reminder that even the simplest things we can say to them, they really appreciate. Sometimes i feel repetitive always saying that I am praying for them, but it’s probably good for them to hear it again so they know that it is true

  18. Leandra Kuindersma August 23, 2010

    Thank you so much for this information! Great to read how the children feel about what e write, it’s inspiring!

  19. Raymond August 23, 2010

    Great reminder that I should write to my sponsored child more often. She is turning 14 this September.

  20. Dona Pugh August 23, 2010

    The words of the children really touch my heart! I am so honored to be a sponsor, and I pray that I will be able to encouragement and help to her. I so appreciate all of the hard work all of the Compassion staff do for these little ones across the globe. You all are in my prayers, too!

  21. Teresa August 23, 2010

    The timing of this is perfect. I just wrote to my children in Rwanda right before I checked the blog this morning. I am happy to hear they will appreciate the things I wrote!

  22. Catherine August 23, 2010

    Love this! Now that my child is a teen, I’m going to start asking her what she’s interested in studying when she gets older, what she wants to do with her future. That way I can continue encouraging her, only now I can start encouraging her to follow her dreams and God’s will for her. 🙂

  23. Marisa August 23, 2010

    Great post! I agree with the commenter above, it’s very inspiring.

  24. JD August 23, 2010

    I really, really appreciate this information, this post… this encouragement. Thank you for taking the time to ask these Compassion children to share their thoughts with us on the letters they receive!

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