Child photos Right before Thanksgiving, I was rootin’ around in our digital asset management library and saw some child photos I absolutely had to share. Photos of children reading letters from their sponsors.

The photos helped me picture my sponsored child, Lerionga, reading letters I’ve sent him. They drew me closer to him.

Some of these photos are old – five or six years. Others were taken just last year.

Some of these children have left our program, and some have sponsors from countries other than the U.S.

The exciting thing is that we were able to contact several sponsors and let them know about this post, so they could download the photo.

Any time I can do that for you, I will.

Here is what I speak of – the sponsor letter photos.

  • Print This Post Print This Post
  • Add a Comment

58 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Dec 4, 2008
    at 4:30 am

    Wow thank you so much for sharing this!!

  2. Dec 4, 2008
    at 6:22 am

    Thanks, Chris! What a blessing to the sponsors whose children are pictured here. :)

  3. Dec 4, 2008
    at 6:57 am

    Wow, what an amazing moment to be able to share! I loved these! My favorite is the little boy who appears to be from Ethiopia reading his letter by candlelight. Thank you for sharing these!!!

  4. Steve Dean
    Dec 4, 2008
    at 7:57 am

    Thank you Chris for sharing those pictures.

  5. Julie
    Dec 4, 2008
    at 8:00 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m going to write my sponsored child today!

  6. Dec 4, 2008
    at 8:16 am

    I can’t see them! All I have is a black rectangle, with nothing to click, no hint of any way to see any photos! I closed my browser and came back in, hoping that would make a difference, but alas and alack, it didn’t!

  7. Dec 4, 2008
    at 10:39 am


    They are part of the Flickr account. Maybe you can go to and look up the Compassion pages. You probably see them bigger too.


  8. Dec 4, 2008
    at 10:48 am


    I’m not sure why you can’t see the slideshow. But you can use this link to view the photos.

  9. Dec 4, 2008
    at 1:27 pm

    Thank you, Chris and Kees. I took the link and did see the slide show–twice, so far. I would love to see any of my girls reading my letters, if only to have more pic’s of them.

  10. Dec 4, 2008
    at 3:19 pm

    Hi, Vicki,

    The closest I’ve come to that is when I was in Bolivia, one of my children got a letter from me, while I was there. That was fun. I actually have it on video. She did not spend too much time reading the letter, because I was right there and it was a bit in the midst of a Compassion presentation. :-)


    • Lori
      Feb 1, 2015
      at 10:47 am

      Hi, I know that you posted many years ago and I am hoping that this site will notify you thru email that you have a post . What program were you with? I want to make sure that the picture children international sent me is the actual person I will be sponsoring and I am wanting to be able to correspond back and forth with letters. I just want to make sure I chose a good orginization like it sounds like you did. Thanks

      • Susan Sayler
        Feb 2, 2015
        at 2:41 pm

        Hi Lori! Kees is always welcome to respond if he sees this. He’s a beloved sponsor, advocate, and volunteer with Compassion International. :) Just to clarify, you have reached the blog for Compassion and all of the content on this page is about our program. Children International is a different child sponsorship organization so we can’t speak for them. Compassion is a one-to-one child sponsorship organization that specializes in child development. We work to develop each child through individual attention, protection, and holistic provision of their educational, physical, social, and spiritual needs. We partner with local churches all around the world to administer our program. As a sponsor, your letters are cherished, valued, and extremely important. Your words encourage your child and challenge them to set higher goals for themselves which is a crucial part of what helps release children from poverty. If you sponsor a child (regardless of what program), please send them regular, loving letters as they really do make a difference! With Compassion, I can tell you for sure that you are sponsoring a specific child and we track each letter you send to make sure it gets to the right place. Also, feel free to check out our ratings online and through Charity Navigator, or if you can afford it, travel to see our work first-hand. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions or concerns as we are happy to help any way we can!

  11. Dec 4, 2008
    at 4:01 pm

    Very cool. I hope to get photos of my sponsored child as he gets older.

  12. Dec 4, 2008
    at 5:00 pm

    Put some music to that you you have an awesome video to show at a Compassion presentation.

  13. Dec 4, 2008
    at 6:33 pm

    So you were able to notify some of the sponsors that their children are being shown here? How cool is that??!??? Wow. Great, great post!

  14. melissa
    Dec 4, 2008
    at 6:38 pm

    I wasn’t sure I would be touched by this (I’m not easily moved), but it did. Thanks for posting these!

  15. Dec 4, 2008
    at 8:09 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing these. Wow.

  16. Dec 4, 2008
    at 8:18 pm

    WOW! I loved this!! The adults in the pictures seemed to be touched along with the children!

  17. Dec 4, 2008
    at 8:35 pm

    About what Britt said . . . I had a similar thought, when I looked at the adults in the pic’s. I was reminded of the important lesson I learned in DR, in October: We don’t sponsor a child, only; we really do sponsor the family. We meet that responsibility by mentioning and greeting them in those letters, by the giving of what gifts we can, but most of all, by praying for them.

  18. Ken M.
    Dec 4, 2008
    at 8:48 pm

    I loved all of the pictures, especially the picture of the little boy with the Brazilian flag on his shirt. All of my children are from Brazil.
    Once I told I friend of mine that I wish I could see the expressions on my children’s faces as they received the letters and gifts from me. What emotions are they feeling? I’d like to know.
    A few weeks later I received a letter from one of my children. It was written by his correspondence monitor. It stated Milton and his friends “marveled” over the letter and the postcards you had sent. His mother was happy, too. Now they would like to see where the President lives.
    Since I live across the Potomac River from DC I sent postcards of DC sites that were professionally photographed.
    I could feel Milton and his friends’ excitement. An answered prayer.

  19. […] Pics and Letters The Compassion Blog recently had some really great photos of children reading their sponsor letters.  This reminded me […]

  20. Dec 5, 2008
    at 8:09 am

    Dave–great idea! Wow! I’d love to do that, or for someone who knows how and has the necessary software to do it and make it available.

  21. Dec 5, 2008
    at 10:40 am

    Cool Vicki–your hired! Put me down for one copy when it’s finished!

  22. Dec 5, 2008
    at 10:43 am

    Y’all may be interested in this. It’s post I published in March of this year. It contains photos of artwork created by children in our child sponsorship program.

  23. Dec 5, 2008
    at 2:54 pm

    Cute, Dave! Read the part, again, about “someone who knows how….” :o)

  24. Dec 5, 2008
    at 3:13 pm

    My bad (I missed the ‘or’ word)…OK Chris, the ball is back in your court.

  25. Jason
    Dec 7, 2008
    at 7:52 pm

    I love these photos. I love being a sponsor. My wife and I have two children we sponsor. One for about 6 years. We have 4 different photo’s of him. I only wished we could get more picutures and maybe at his home. I often wonder what his living conditions are.

  26. Dec 7, 2008
    at 11:40 pm

    Hi, Jason,

    I feel the same way. One thing that I really enjoy about the sponsorship with Compassion is that the sponsor actually gets to have a big part into the ministry of the children.

    I don’t know if the project has a digital camera, but maybe you can ask the child if the project does have a camera, if he wouldn’t mind sending pictures of the surroundings. I know I’ve gotten letters from children where they have asked me to send them some pictures of my home. And when I went to visit them, they would ask me what my home was like. Since I live in a Mobile Home, I told them that my home is long with wheels. They liked that. I’ve never sent pictures of it though, because i don’t want them to feel bad.


  27. Dec 9, 2008
    at 10:11 am

    Hi Chris,
    I truly enjoyed each photo… thank you! I also sponsor a little boy from Rwanda. I could only imagine what a blessing it would be to see him reading one of his letters! But you are right, seeing these children reading their correspondence does help me relate more to what the children may experience, as well as the joy it should bring the sponsors. (If the opportunity should arise, it would be nice to see some of the girls pictured also.) Thanks again for sharing this experience!
    God Bless,
    Barbara :)

  28. Dec 11, 2008
    at 4:39 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this! A simple letter can make so much of a difference to these children.


  29. Dec 15, 2008
    at 6:42 pm

    I spoke with a staff guy from Compassion and he told me the letter means more than the money.

  30. Dec 15, 2008
    at 10:22 pm

    Yes, I agree with that. If you think about it from a child’s prospective, the big difference between a sponsored child and unsponsored child are the letters. Where the money comes from is more of an issue of accounting for the child. That’s why when I ask people to sponsor children and if they tell me that they won’t write, I will ask them not to sponsor a child, but give in other ways. Children cry when they don’t get letters.



  31. Dec 16, 2008
    at 11:16 am

    Amen, Kees!

  32. Joey
    Dec 29, 2008
    at 5:17 pm


  33. Terra in Washington
    Dec 30, 2008
    at 10:15 pm

    This is really encouraging! I was looking at the letters you can see and got some great ideas. Thanks for the post! : )

  34. Jan 7, 2009
    at 8:57 am

    i know that i am only 15 years old but i want to do everything to help these children out expecally babies because that’s what i like the most so please let me sponsor some one.

  35. Jan 7, 2009
    at 10:32 am

    Awesome Latasha…

    1st, honor your mom, dad, guardian, etc. by sharing your desire with them. If they’re onboard, then call this number:

    (8oo) 336-7676

    If they should not want you to do so, let us know because there are many other ways you can support the ministry and please the Lord without actually having to sponsor a child.

    God bless you Latasha.

  36. Heather
    Jan 10, 2009
    at 1:55 pm

    Maybe if you can’t sponsor anyone maybe you could become a correspondence sponsor! You don’t have to send any money just write letters to them. All it takes is a big heart,a stamp and stationary! :) Oh! and a pen! :)

  37. Jan 10, 2009
    at 2:17 pm

    I compiled a Top-10 list of things you can do with Compassion (and 9 of them are cost-free). Here is the link:

  38. Feb 14, 2009
    at 8:30 pm

    Wow! These are awesome! Thanks a bunch!

  39. alyson
    Feb 15, 2009
    at 1:17 pm

    Latasha -

    My name is Alyson. I am fifteen years old, too. I sponsor a child, and I also have 3 correspondence children. They are all sponsored through Compassion.

    If you cannot afford to sponsor a child, I encourage you to check out the correspondence program if you can. It is just like having a sponsored child, except you only write letters to your child. You do not pay the $32/month. Letters mean so much to the children and they are fun to write. I write each of my sponsored children 2 to 3 times a month.

    Again, the phone number for Compassion is (800)-336-7676.

    I am happy that you are interested in having a Compassion child! :)

  40. Hannah
    Mar 2, 2009
    at 3:11 pm

    I am relatively new as far as sponsoring children goes. My mom told me about Compassion this summer and I started sponsoring a boy from Ethiopia in August. Then in February, I also started sponsoring a girl from Haiti. I definitely find myself writing A LOT! I wondered if I wrote too much or if they really even cared about what I was writing. One day in January I received a Christmas letter from my boy in Ethiopia. Here is part of what he wrote: “Thank you for the letter you sent me…. It’s exciting to hear from you.”
    I didn’t think a 12-yr-old boy would care what some teacher did in her class, or what she did at Christmas, or what her favorite animal is. I guess I was wrong!
    Hope this encourages you all to keep writing!

  41. Tanis
    Mar 22, 2009
    at 2:23 pm

    @Latasha – Latasha: I am 18 years old and have been sponsoring my child for almost two years. At first, I was unsure if I would be able to support a child, but as time has gone on, I have found that God will provide the means for you to sponsor. Again, check with your guardians and make sure they are okay with your sponsorship… or you could make it a family sponsorship. Becoming a sponsor is the best decision I have ever made, and I hope you have the opportunity to experience it!

  42. Helena Dworeck
    May 16, 2009
    at 9:31 pm

    That slideshow made me both glad and serious. Serious, because I thought, what is worth to write to my letters if they are so intensively read. God help me to choose right things and words to write!

  43. Mike Stephens
    May 27, 2009
    at 3:02 pm

    @Vicki Small – We don’t sponsor a child, only; we really do sponsor the family.

    How true! I often get letters from various family members!

  44. Sharon doris
    Jun 8, 2009
    at 1:23 pm

    Thanks. I imagine Lizbeth getting my letters and wonder if she studies mine like I study hers.

    I will get to meet her in September and am so looking forward to it.

    I will be taking pictures and will submit them when I am able.

  45. Jun 14, 2009
    at 1:03 pm

    Does anyone check the letters for accuracy in translation?

    Several weeks ago, I got a letter from my child in Ecuador. I know just enough Spanish to be dangerous.
    She wrote about her “hermano” (brother), “juego” (which is, I believe “I play”), “flores” (flowers), “La foto queme enbiastes estan muy bonitas” (the photo . . . something . . is very pretty)

    My concern is that the translation I received doesn’t mention ANY of these items. It makes me wonder what else I am missing. I contacted Compassion and mailed a copy of the letter back, but I haven’t received a new translation yet.

    I know there are a lot of letters, but if my translation is missing things, are the letters I send to my children missing things?

    My other child is in Rwanda. I don’t know any words from her language, so nothing would clue me in.

    Just curious.

  46. Catherine Shaw
    Jun 21, 2009
    at 2:32 am

    I am fifteen as well. I Cannot afford to sponsor a child, although i would like to become a correspondence sponsor. How do i do this?

  47. Jun 22, 2009
    at 7:33 am

    @Amy Brooke – Amy, so much depends on the tranlator’s real grasp of English. I have two girls in Ecuador and know about as much Spanish as you do. I often scan their letters in Spanish to see if I pick up anything that is not tranlated; so far, I’ve never found any lack as pronounced as your letter seems to have. I think if I were to find an unsatisfactory translation, I would call the 800# to let them know and ask them to pass my observation along to the country office. Then if I needed help completing the translation for myself, I would contact a Spanish-speaking friend and ask for help. If I didn’t know anyone like that, I would probably call a college in my area and see if someone could help me–maybe a student working as a tutor.

    @Catherine Shaw – Catherine, you can call 1-800-336-7676 and tell whoever you talk to that you would like to be added to the list of correspondent sponsors. I have no idea whether they have a minimum age requirement, so you need to ask that. Thanks for your desire to meet this critical need for a child!

  48. Jun 24, 2009
    at 8:33 am

    @Amy Brooke -

    Does anyone check the letters for accuracy in translation?

    Yes. In fact, we just profiled someone in our Bangladesh office who does that as part of her job – Meet Jhumur Biswas

    Several weeks ago, I got a letter from my child in Ecuador. I know just enough Spanish to be dangerous.

    She wrote about her “hermano” (brother), “juego” (which is, I believe “I play”), “flores” (flowers), “La foto queme enbiastes estan muy bonitas” (the photo . . . something . . is very pretty)

    My concern is that the translation I received doesn’t mention ANY of these items. It makes me wonder what else I am missing. I contacted Compassion and mailed a copy of the letter back, but I haven’t received a new translation yet.

    I know there are a lot of letters, but if my translation is missing things, are the letters I send to my children missing things

    I apologize for my delayed response. I was waiting for a reply from our International Program Group – the folks who are responsible for the translation process in the countries.

    I was told that we do use trained translators, and the translators work is quality checked, but the reality is that with the volume of letters we process 100 percent of the translated work can’t be double-checked.

    You did exactly the right thing in contacting us and asking that the translation be verified. It also helps us identify if there are consistent translation issues that need to be addressed.

  49. Mike Huskey
    Jun 29, 2009
    at 4:36 am

    @Amy Brooke – Hi Amy, we seem to have about the same proficiency in Spanish and I also scan the letters to try and pick up more words.
    I received letters from 2 of my girls in Colombia that also was not translated entirely. Like you I sent it back to Compassion and they send it back to the country office to get it translated again. Then they work with the original translator to improve the translations. It took a couple months before I received the translated letter again.
    Occasionally I will find a word or two not translated correctly, but for the most part the translations have be good. I’ve not had a problem with letters from my children in Ecuador.
    Hope you recieve your new translations soon.

  50. Aug 31, 2009
    at 8:30 am

    @Amy Brooke – Hi, Amy. Sounds a bit unusual to not have a good translation. I have a child in Columbia and the translation seems to be done very well from my point of view. Mind you I do not know Spanish at all but looking at the words that are obvious helps me understand that the translation is done quite well. I try to make my letters very simple because translating is difficult when using colloquialisms and slang. One thing I am doing for my Columbian child is sending Father’s Love Letter in Spanish which I found on the internet. That is so beautiful. If you have not seen it, it is worth looking at. It is available in multiple languages. Check

  51. Veronika Cook
    Sep 19, 2009
    at 6:18 pm

    Hi, today I got a new picture of my sweet girl. She’s so cute!!

  52. Caitlin
    Sep 24, 2009
    at 4:43 pm

    I just received a letter in the mail from Compassion, reminding me about sending a Christmas gift for the kids, on the letter there was a picture of a girl with the Barbie doll she got for Christmas. I think it would be really awesome if may sometime we could get a slide show like this one, but with the different “project bought” Christmas presents…and maybe even a few labels to show which kids are sponsored and which are still waiting.

  53. Amy Buzan
    Oct 28, 2009
    at 8:29 pm

    Thanks so much for posting these beautiful photos…I was in Uganda recently as part of a mission trip, and these photos are a very real reminder of how much the smallest things are cherished by these more than deserving children!

  54. starrwindom
    Dec 8, 2009
    at 12:45 pm

    Simple question (I think)… We just started our sponsorship of a girl in Ghana. I sent her first letter via email today. I would like to send photos of our family. Can this be done electronically? Thank you in advance for any advice.

  55. Dec 8, 2009
    at 1:01 pm

    At this time, you can't send photos to your sponsored child electronically. They still need to be handled by regular mail.

  56. Sue DeVore
    Jul 8, 2011
    at 3:40 pm

    This week I received a packet of updated pics of my little ethiopian girl. The differences between the ones taken in 2008, when I first started blessing her and the ones I just received this week are incredible. She has grown, she is smiling and she is more precious than ever. Keep those pics coming! I am blessed by them…

© 2008-2015 Compassion International. All Rights Reserved.
ECFA Charity Navigator BBB