The relationship between child and sponsor is key to our ministry.
These relationships are often deep, close and warm enough to break down language, cultural and geographical barriers around the world.
There are many stories about how the child-sponsor relationship not only blesses children, sponsors and their families, but also affects the whole community. Such is the case with children living in East Indonesia.
In maintaining relationships between children and sponsors, correspondence plays an important role. Correspondence is the easiest and least expensive way for children and sponsors to build a relationship.
Understanding the importance of letters, our office in East Indonesia held a special campaign with the goal of improving the quality of the children’s letters.
We designed a Child Letter Campaign that focused on improving writing skills. This campaign spanned 17,097 sponsored children and 39 child development centers.
The training for this campaign was led by a partnership facilitator and training specialist who taught other staff members about the impact of letter-writing on sponsorship. They also learned how to manage and process the children’s letters efficiently and effectively, and how to develop the ‘Writing Letters’ creative module and lesson plan.
This training brought more information to our staff and gave them new perspective on how to manage letters.
Some development center leaders confessed that, before the training program, they had no idea about the importance of children’s letters and how they could affect sponsorship. Staff members committed to share their knowledge with the tutors in order to help children improve letter quality.
Wolly was a sponsored child in the 1970s and 1980s, he spoke at the Child Letter Campaign, sharing with the staff how he kept his sponsor’s letters for years.
Those letters gave him strength to reach his dream, he told those in attendance. Wolly has his own business now, having finished law school and becoming a lawyer.
His testimony gave wider perspective to the Child Development Center staff. They saw evidence of sponsorship and how its impact on the life of one child made a difference.
After the training, the program featured a Child Letter Competition which was the highlight of the campaign.
The competition was designed to help children who participate improve their writing skills and become aware that writing letters to sponsors is important.
There were 13 clusters participating in the competition. Each cluster selected its 10 best letters to compete. Of the letters entered, 40 passed the selection.
Finally, there were six letters chosen to compete further for the best letter. The judge asked each child to write their letter with “My Dream” as the theme.
Stella, from the Kharisma Waya Student Center, won the competition. Ester, from the Senggighilang Student Center, was the runner-up, and third place was Frits, from the Alfa-Omega Student Center.
All winners were enthusiastic.
Frits promised to improve his letters and to joyfully write them.
“I will help my friends to write good letters to their sponsor.”
And Ester shared,
“You must write the letter from your heart.”
She loves to write in a diary, which also helps improve her writing skills.
The campaign closed with a contest for the best creative writing letter lesson plan. Each cluster sent its best lesson plan to the competition, and the Talentu Student Center won.
The growth of our ministry in East Indonesia brings more responsibility to provide excellent service to sponsors, service that helps them have positive experiences. This understanding was the foundation of this letter-writing campaign to improve the quality of children’s letters and help all children write letters from the heart.