Christian blog We talk about letter writing a lot. And as a result, we get lots of questions.

Lately, questions like these have been coming up more frequently:

  • Why, in this technologically advanced age, are we still relying on handwritten “snail mail” as our main form of sponsor-child communication?
  • If my child has access to a computer, why can’t I e-mail him directly?
  • Why doesn’t Compassion have a Facebook page or Web site for every child development center?
  • We have the technology for so many things. Why doesn’t Compassion use it?

And I thought the questions deserve some attention. So, here you go.

Because we want you to have the best relationship possible with your sponsored child, and your questions are reasonable ones, we are currently considering a few technology-driven options to help you connect more directly with your child.

And we’re planning to test some of them very soon.

But as we move forward in making the options available to you, we do so with several questions in mind.

  • What potential impact could the technology have on the safety of the children in our programs?
  • How could giving a third-party site or application access to our database place your personal information at risk?
  • How will our processes be affected (e.g., translation, tracking and training)?
  • Can we administer the program efficiently, cost effectively and consistently across cultures, languages and dissimilar rural and urban infrastructures in dissimilar countries?
  • Can we deliver what we promise? Can we guarantee integrity?

We definitely want to give you better, faster and more frequent communication with your child. And we’re working to make it happen.

It’s just that we’re doing it deliberately and carefully so we can be sure it’s done well, done right and done with the best interests of the children in mind.

Thanks for your patience.

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  1. Dec 22, 2009
    at 7:22 am

    I appreciate that you’re looking into new technology for communicating with our sponsored children! However, I appreciate even more the fact that you’re doing it in a way that upholds the integrity of the program. I’ll be patient :)

  2. Sarah
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 7:37 am

    As much as I would love better ways to communicate with my kids, I am so glad that you are putting their well-being first. I don’t want something to be easier for me if it puts them at risk in any way.

    Thank you!

  3. Sara Benson
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 8:07 am

    While it would be nice to communicate more quickly, I still enjoy receiving handwritten notes and pictures from my kids. As the technology advances will we still get this type of communications from our kids?
    Also, what about the children whose sponsors are not so tech savy? Will tehy feel left out because their sponsor does not facebbok/twitter/social network/Skype with them?

  4. Marvin
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 9:21 am

    Thanks for the post. I personally think compassion is in a difficult position. It is hard to maintain the safety of 1 million sponsored children and sponsors. In the Philippines most of the kids can read and write English and it’s a culture of remittance (people get jobs overseas and send money home) so the idea of asking for money from other countries is normal. I have been on many missions trips and people are in real need so that’s why they might ask but it still might be a difficult thing to respond too.

    I am not sure if you are asking for ideas but…I would suggest creating an advocate program for each project or city. Just like some people are advocates for compassion sponsorship a person could be asked to fill out an application… and then be a person given an email address of the project director and be an advocate for that project. This person could post pictures and information on the ourcompassion.com sight. Or ask the group for donations for a camera for the project or other real needs. They could also make suggestions to the project director about sponsor letters and give and receive cultural insight and bring urgent prayer requests to the sponsors.

    To me the ourcompasion.com sight has been a disappointment. I have posted some pictures and videos from my trips…(it’s on “I sponsor a child in the Philippines” group) but it has not become this great unifying thing to help the kids… that I thought it could be. As a person that has visited the developing world if we really understood the problems we could have a real and lasting impact and change nations for Christ.

  5. Dave Reed
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 9:24 am

    I think we should also think about the costs of technology and what can be accomplished with $38 per month sponsorship. It is wiser to focus on maximizing the $38 on the childs needs or should we be selfish enough to ask that some part of that $38 be used to enhance technology to communicate easier with my child? Are we willing to pay $50 or maybe $100 per month to have that luxury? Compassion strives to make impacts on the child’s life through many interventions at an extremely low cost per month. Is it right to ask for something for our convenience that could use up a great deal of that small amount? Just asking as I ponder the “need” vs. “want” dilemma we face. It is much different than that same dilemma in our child’s situation.

  6. Dec 22, 2009
    at 9:49 am

    Love our sweet compassion child but the MOST important thing is his saftey and well-being. As much as we would love to be able to quickly shoot him an email/fb message ect. saying we are thinking and praying for him, his saftey and all the other children’s saftey comes first! Glad you see it as the most important thing too!

  7. Dec 22, 2009
    at 10:29 am

    Glad I don’t have your job to make these kinds of decisions! But how I would love to at least write LDP students & formerly sponsored children online! You made some good points Sara, and I agree completely with Sarah and Nicole. I do trust the decisions Compassion makes in these types of matters, and can certainly remain patient. I also love getting hand-written letters although I’m sure the children would like getting them either or both ways.

  8. Shannon K
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 10:35 am

    Heh, I actually do communicate with one of the young ladies I sponsor via Facebook. She’s an older student and is taking classes at a nearby college. I assume that’s how she started having access to the internet. In any event, she took the initiative to look me up on Facebook last week, so now I can communicate with her through that. She speaks English very well (it’s not her first language), and it’s great not having to wait months for our letters to get through.

  9. Dec 22, 2009
    at 11:18 am

    Marvin,

    Ideas are always welcome. Thanks for sharing.

    OurCompassion has a way to go to live up to its potential, but we’re committed to developing it so it can be what you want it to be.

    We’re working on some enhancements right now that will improve the functionality and we will use OurCompassion to test some of the electronic communication options in the near future.

  10. Dec 22, 2009
    at 11:59 am

    I like the idea of communicating with my kids too, but we need to be careful how much information is put out there for hackers to see.
    Not only do we want to protect our child, we want to protect our idenity too.

  11. Sara Benson
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 12:14 pm

    Dave,
    While there may be some extra costs involved with technology, a lot of the money we send is already going towards our communication with our kids. It takes a lot of people and a lot of resources to send letters back and forth and keep everything straight. Shipping alone is hugely expensive. If we could turn half of the correspondence into electronic communication It is possible that it would actually save money and that more of the sponsorship money could be directed the other needs of the children. Just a thought.
    I am sure that Compassion is looking into the costs and benefits to the children before they move forward.

  12. Bob
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 12:40 pm

    It’s interesting to see “privacy” mentioned, because that’s one area where OurCompassion has come up short — for example, permitting Google to harvest communications, pictures, etc., between members.

    Solutions to issues like that must be implemented before we develop social networking connections w/our sponsored children.

  13. Rob Mac
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 2:19 pm

    I am already impressed with how Compassion uses technology in communication to the sponsors as well as btw sponsors and children. Just because America is Facebook driven doesn’t mean that is best for the rest of the world. I appreciate everything Compassion does with the utmost integrity. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!

  14. Dec 22, 2009
    at 2:22 pm

    Bob,

    You are correct. And the Google harvesting is no longer occurring.

  15. Douglas
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 4:18 pm

    I seem to recall that Compassion needs to monitor what we write and pictures sent to kids to ensure content is not inappropriate, because let’s face it, Compassion do not character check thoses who choose to sponsor. Nor do I think child saftey could be entrusted to a third party like Facebook whos policies can change. But maybe if we wrote a message on a page for our child on ourcompassion.org the system could route our messages directly to a central queue per country waiting for translation. Translators would just login and translate the next message in the queue as they were able and once translated (+checked for content) the post would appear on child’s page. Then imagine the increase in translators needed for increased communicationn.

  16. Amy Smelley
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 7:09 pm

    I love writing hand written letters and receiving them as well! BUT I would like to be able to talk to my LDP student via facebook. I looked to see if he was on there….and he is. BUT I did not add him. Will I be able to talk to him via facebook when he has graduated and therefore, I no longer sponsor him?? Love you all and everything you do….you are amazing and I trust your decisions!

  17. Marvin
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 7:39 pm

    Thanks Chris for the response. I hope they can come up with something good with ourcompasion.com

    The issue is different in different countries. In some countries like the Philippines many of the kids already have access to face book by way of internet cafes and they also read and write English. At some point they will type the sponsors name into face book… and get a profile. It has not happened to me yet but it is just a matter of time. If compassion does not create some type of alternative and regulate it I am afraid people will start end running the system and it could create a very bad situation. In countries that do not read and write English it will be less of an issue.

  18. Diana
    Dec 22, 2009
    at 11:39 pm

    I personally, really like things the way they are and wouldn’t change it. I’m 22, but old fashioned I guess. I prefer phonecalls at home or snail mail instead of texting and FB type sites. I tend to also think along the lines of “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” The worst thing would be to implement something, have problems with it, and then try to rearrange things again. Also, I think if the kids in the countries where we sponsor had major access to internet and those types of things, they may put more emphasis on materialistic things rather than God’s word. I know I have had trouble myself with watching tv or being on the internet when I should be reading the Bible. Plus, you’d really have to screen what the kids were allowed to see. On FB and other sites, they don’t always have such wholesome things. Ads, videos, etc. Just a thought.

    Douglas made really good points.

  19. Dec 23, 2009
    at 3:36 am

    This can be a difficult topic. Because not only are we dealing with the safety of both the children and the sponsors, we’re also dealing with the differences in etiquette and culture that are there between the country of the sponsor and the child. Things that are totally acceptable in one culture could be downright rude in another culture. And the crazy thing is that culture is so ingrained in people, that it is very hard to intrepret it, if you don’t know.
    Now, there are a certain part of the sponsors that have experienced different cultures and could possibly not have that much problem with it. But there are other sponsors, who might have never experienced another culture and might run into difficulties.
    I wonder if we can start the process maybe with the LDP students. They are adults for all intents and purposes. They could even be “trained” as to how a sponsor might think. It is funny, because I am in touch with some LDP students, whom I don’t sponsor, but the LDP student that I have, I couldn’t be in touch with. It would be great if I could encourage him more real time.
    In the mean time, we can be an example to our sponsored children of submission.
    I know one child contacted me through email and wanted to write with me. It was one of the hardest emails I’ve written, but I had to tell her that I really appreciated hearing from her, but that I wanted to continue writing through Compassion, until she graduates. I’ve heard of an LDP student, who almost lost his LDP scholarship, because he/she was in touch with the sponsor directly outside of Compassion. So, I never want to put any of the sponsored children in that position. It would truly defeat the purpose.
    It would be nice if there was a thing called Compassion telegram, that would take the place of a fieldmemo. Sometimes, the field memos take so long and it would be nice at times to get the answer to a simple question in a shorter time, maybe through someone making a phonecall or sending a quick email.

    Blessings,

    Kees

  20. Dick
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 5:14 am

    Please take it slow with any plans to add more
    technology to the communication with our children. Like all things american, we look for the quickest solution which is often times at the expense of personal effort and expression. Having to send a letter by mail is not a bad thing, Thanks for all you do.

    • Jun 23, 2011
      at 5:37 pm

      Filnaly! This is just what I was looking for.

  21. Chad
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 7:55 am

    I’m a technology junkie and spend a lot of time on Facebook. However, I don’t think that just because a technology exists, we should use it. If after looking into it, you feel that the risk outweighs the benefit, I would be happy to stick to old-fashioned snail mail.

  22. Amanda
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 9:38 am

    I absolutely love hearing from my Compassion kiddos! It is like Christmas each time I get a letter from them. However, I am old-fashioned too and really love the snail mail approach. There are so many ways that using the technology can go wrong…and in the end either hurt the kids or discourage sponsors. I do not participate in mycompassion.com because of concerns over privacy. I do not want just anyone to know what I am thinking or doing. I hope that Compassion takes this VERY slowly. Trying technology with the LDP students is a great idea! They are more mature and would be more able to deal with the inevitable changes that will take place as the program evolves. God Bless! Amanda

  23. Dec 23, 2009
    at 10:40 am

    Amy,

    This blog post has some information about staying in touch with your child / student after graduation.

  24. Terese
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 3:44 pm

    Very interesting. This discussion prompted me to look for my 20-year-old correspondence child from Uganda, who attends a Christian university there, on Facebook. I found him. I did not “add” him as a Friend – will wait to hear from someone who works for Compassion as to whether that is appropriate. Thanks.

  25. alyson
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 4:04 pm

    I want my sweet children to be safe, and I just don’t think there is anything better to brighten my day than opening my mailbox and seeing a cream-colored envelope that says “Message From Your Sponsored Child”. I love getting the handwritten letters and really really don’t want that to stop…

  26. Dec 23, 2009
    at 4:41 pm

    Terese,

    Thank you for holding back on adding your child as a friend. We appreciate your willingness to respect the communication policies we’ve established.

    We ask that you don’t communicate with your correspondence child outside of the channels we provide. This is to protect both you and the child because the direct communication can develop into potentially problematic situations – for you, the child and us.

    One example of a problem which can occur is when a family member demands money from the sponsor to guarantee the safety of the child.

    Before a child is registered in our program, the children and the parents agree to our communication guidelines. Initiating contact outside of Compassion places the child, family and church partner staff in a difficult situation.

    If your child happens to leave our program and you tell us you want to continue writing, we’ll send you information to read, sign and return to us. The information describes what your new relationship will look like and what you should be aware of.

  27. Shannon K
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 9:10 pm

    Chris: Please, PLEASE tell me I didn’t just get my sponsored child in trouble with you guys. I’m very afraid for her after reading Kees’ comment and don’t know how I’ll live with myself if the fact I blabbed creates problems for her or causes her to get kicked out of the Compassion program.

  28. Sarah C.
    Dec 23, 2009
    at 10:10 pm

    I, too, am very wary of allowing communication through email or Facebook. I very much appreciate the filtering/translation system that Compassion has which keeps the children safe. As the mother of three teenagers, I can’t imagine allowing adults I don’t know to have direct email/Facebook contact with my children. The parents of our sponsored children are depending on us to keep their children safe – they trust us to do this. The Compassion kids are much more naïve and vulnerable than technology savvy American kids and are in even greater need of protection.

    I would be very excited, though, to have the opportunity to learn more about the neighborhoods where my children live and the Compassion projects they attend. I would LOVE a website with information and pictures showing their activities… their field trips, their worship services, their games, parent meetings, etc. I would like to see pictures of the staff members and read about their lives. I would like to know what the project looks like… I would like to have the type of information that I love seeing on the Blog… but, I want to know those things about the projects which my kids attend! What songs do they sing? What Bible verses are they learning? How is Easter celebrated? Christmas? What needs does the project have? What prayer requests? Here’s another idea. What if we could email a staff member and ask questions directly? Think how much better connected we would be to the kids with information like this readily available! If given the chance to ask staff members questions, what else would you all like to know about the projects your kids attend?

  29. Stephanie
    Dec 24, 2009
    at 9:10 am

    I’ve been very impressed with Compassion’s use of technology to this point! The website is a wealth of information (though it is hard to find what I’m looking for). This blog and the Facebook page are very informative and encouraging.

    I’ve also found OurCompassion to be encouraging. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other sponsors and getting great ideas for future correspondence with my sponsored children. I recently connected with a lady who visited a project one of my kids is in. Her insight and pictures were extremely helpful for me to understand what living conditions are like for my sponsored child.

    I think Compassion’s approach to technology is good. When children are involved you can never be too cautious!

  30. Dec 24, 2009
    at 10:36 am

    Hi, Shannon,

    I don’t think that this LDP student was expelled from the program. I think he/she got told to not communicate this way. He/She had communicated with the sponsor like that before he/she was an LDP student and then the sponsorship started. But I do think that it might be a good idea to not communicate that way anymore. I would maybe write a final email and explain the situation. (BTW, that’s just a suggestion. I’m no authority in this. I’m just suggesting it as a fellowsponsor as to what I would do.)

    Blessings,

    Kees

  31. Caitlin
    Dec 24, 2009
    at 11:53 am

    I must first say, I am a fan of the handwritten letters in both directions, and would not give it up for all the email in the world! I think before we try to channel correspondence through technology, we should generally improve letter writing habits, such as, work on getting all the projects on one to one correspondence (letter per letter). Because it seems to me that in many countries, the time to deliver a letter is the smallest percentage of the time I’m waiting for a letter. In Haiti, I get one letter every three months. I’m lucky my girl is a very good correspondent, so it is worth the wait. In East India, I get a letter from my boy maybe once every 5 months, and he’s young, and his project helper is a very brief letter writer, so while I can’t quite say the letter is worth the wait, I’m always relieved to find out he’s alive every 5 months. I can imagine waiting those months and receiving the letter maybe a month earlier than I would have through better technology, but I would be terribly saddened to receive a printed letter, to not be able to see the handwriting as it improves with each letter, or the pictures she draws me. With these two children (The ones I wait the longest for) I find somewhere near the end of my waiting period, I have a harder time convincing myself the child is real (even though I know they are, it’s just too easy to forget in these waits…I’m not blaming Compassion in this matter in any way, it’s just my own humanness), I don’t think it would be a convincing reassurance to receive a typed letter.

  32. Dec 26, 2009
    at 12:32 am

    I don’t think the post is trying to suggest that the email communication is going to replace the hand written letters. I think for some children, the hand written letters will be the only way because of the remoteness involved in the areas.

    I think Compassion is being put in a situation, where technology is forcing the issue. More and more children are getting in touch with their sponsors through mediums like Facebook and email. What I’m getting from this post is more how to deal with that situation. It’s not an easy situation. Both the sponsors and the children want to have more direct communication, but how does Compassion do this while at the same time protecting both the sponsor and the child? That’s the big question. I like the OurCompassion.Org site. I could see there being a start in this. It’s all very public. Of course with everything public, it could also create a bit of a difficulty. For instance, I go visit my children in Bolivia about once a year. I could see my one child in Burkina Faso wondering why I didn’t visit him yet…. Some of my children have asked me, if they could call me daddy. Their father has left them. I told them “Yes.” I could see some other children wondering why they don’t call me “daddy.” It could create other difficulties. In other words, I’m not sure I like all my children to know how I spend my time with each of the other children. Right now OurCompassion.Org is set up publicly for everyone to see. Of course, how would they deal with the translation issue. I’m curious to see how it all will work out.

    Merry Christmas everyone!!!

    Kees

  33. Marvin
    Dec 26, 2009
    at 8:26 pm

    I agree with Keey’s I think Compassion is being put in a situation, where technology is forcing the issue. The issue is really big in countries like the Philippines because they can read and write English and they have access to the internet.
    I hope we get access to the project and the case worker. This will let us see pictures and know what is going on at the project from month to month. It would be nice if the case worker did a monthy report on the kids saying what they did…. I give a montly report at my job. One report could be for the 25 kids they work with. I think people might write more if they did this. Even if it takes 2 months for the letter to reach the child. It would give them somehthing to say.

  34. Michelle
    Dec 28, 2009
    at 10:31 am

    Sarah said:

    “I would be very excited, though, to have the opportunity to learn more about the neighborhoods where my children live and the Compassion projects they attend. I would LOVE a website with information and pictures showing their activities… their field trips, their worship services, their games, parent meetings, etc. I would like to see pictures of the staff members and read about their lives. I would like to know what the project looks like… I would like to have the type of information that I love seeing on the Blog… but, I want to know those things about the projects which my kids attend! What songs do they sing? What Bible verses are they learning? How is Easter celebrated? Christmas? What needs does the project have? What prayer requests? Here’s another idea. What if we could email a staff member and ask questions directly? Think how much better connected we would be to the kids with information like this readily available! If given the chance to ask staff members questions, what else would you all like to know about the projects your kids attend?”

    I second her thoughts… I’d love to have PRIVATE access to a site where I could learn more about my girl’s daily activities. A site individual to the CDI where she lives and accessed only by the sponsors of the children there…

    I’m one of the people who would LOVE more letters…. but for some reason I’m not eager to get them via computer. Facebook makes me uneasy…. Email would be okay, but for my girl would require transcription anyways….

    So I’d rather have a place where we could go to see pics and hear updates on activities that was private. I bet most sponsors would even be happy to contribute to the cost of cameras for their child development center. I know I would!!! :)

  35. Diana
    Dec 28, 2009
    at 1:27 pm

    I agree with Sarah completely. I too, would like to learn more about my children, their centers, what they do each day, etc. I also would be willing to help contribute to a fund for cameras and things like that. I think that whatever Compassion does will be well thought out and wonderful to be a part of. I have faith in this organization. Compassion does an amazing job.

  36. Paul Clutterbuck
    Dec 28, 2009
    at 4:48 pm

    I would tend to agree with Michelle and others here. Just a few days ago I made a suggestion through OC that a secure section of the site be set up with photos and videos from the centers, which would only be accessible to those who actually sponsor children there. I would actually go further and suggest that OC be reconfigured as a secure site, so that access would only be for members.

    I agree that Facebook is not an appropriate way of communicating with our children. Facebook is so widely misused anyway, that the children should be discouraged from joining it. However, I would disagree with the comment that children in Third World countries are more naïve than children in the West; considering all the risks that our children face, I’m sure they are at least as streetwise as children in our own countries. Sometimes I think it is us as adults who are the naïve ones!

  37. Jennifer
    Dec 28, 2009
    at 6:19 pm

    All good posts and points. One thing I’d like to see added sooner than later is the ability to attach a digital photo to the email letter capability. I spend my days at a computer and love to send quicker and more frequent notes to my child through the Compassion site but am disappointed that I can’t also send photos that way. I don’t have easy access to print my pictures to send hardcopy.

  38. Paul Clutterbuck
    Dec 29, 2009
    at 1:02 pm

    I was thinking over the last 24 hours that if the centers could upload photos and videos to sponsors, then maybe sponsors could likewise upload photos, videos and other files, which subject to approval of the staff could then be made available to the children. Better yet, what about the ability to videoconference with the children – with a staff member on hand to translate, of course?

  39. Paul Clutterbuck
    Dec 29, 2009
    at 1:36 pm

    Further to my previous comments, I would suggest that membership of OC be on a request-to-join basis, so that a prospective member would send his/her email address to be matched against CI’s database of sponsors’email addresses (much like registration on the CI website). The entire site would be SSL-secured and would require login every time the site is used.

    A comprehensive terms of use would cover all interactions with the centers and the children through the site, and any breach of said terms of use would result in one’s sponsorship(s) being reviewed. If videoconferencing were to be enabled, the terms of use would not only have to do with what is said, but perhaps more importantly, conduct of those participating as well as the visual cues in the environment where the videoconference is recorded.

    This sounds strict, I know, but it would protect the children from improper and inappropriate interactions. Just my 2c worth.

  40. Marci
    Jan 3, 2010
    at 3:57 pm

    I totally agree with Sarah and Michelle – a specific, password protected website that shows what is going on at the project where Arthur is attending and maybe some pictures of group activities would be wonderful and I would be more than happy to send more money in order to see that happen.

    I’m brand new (only a little over a month now as Arthur’s sponsor) to Compassion and I have to say that the one thing I am disappointed in is this website. It’s not user friendly at all. Between work and normal life activities I don’t have time to read all the blogs or surf around. I would LOVE to have one page to go to where I can log in, read about what is happening with Arthur and what is happening at his project, and see photographs of him and the other children. I cannot presently afford to go visit him…but I’m very curious to learn about his life and to see if he’s happy. It would be nice to watch him grow up. My sister sponsors a child and has only received a few photographs…the stilted “stand right here and don’t move while I take your picture” photos. I’m sure she (as well as others!) would love to see their children learning and playing!

    Regarding the correspondence – I knew when I sponsored Arthur that I wouldn’t receive many letters and that’s perfectly alright – I’d much prefer to wait for the hardcopy than get messages via Facebook or email.

    Please, Compassion – consider getting individual password protected websites for sponsors to log into and read up on their children and see how they are doing. I’d be willing to pay a little more every month for a digital camera and to keep my child’s site up and current.

  41. Annie Garcia
    Jan 6, 2010
    at 11:45 am

    I love getting snail mail because it is so personal. I can see my child’s handwriting and they usually draw me little pictures which I love! I have used the online letter writing option one time, but only because I wanted to get a letter to my child right after I sponsored them as quickly as I could.
    Also, we need to remember that while some of the older students at university might have internet access, most of the children have never even seen a computer. They have no concept of the way we communicate with each other electronically. They don’t know what email or Facebook is.

    Like some others have said, I guess I am old fashioned and I would like to think that my sponsored child likes to see my handwriting as well. It makes me feel like I know them a little better because of the way we comminicate.

  42. Marvin
    Jan 6, 2010
    at 7:33 pm

    In many countries the children and projects have access to computers. In the Philippines I saw internet café’s all over the place with cheap access to the internet. The student center is teaching the kids how to use computers.

    I just received 3 letters each had postage of .38 cents that’s $1.14 in postage plus the cost of the envelop, the processing in Colorado and the cost to ship them to the USA. We get about 20 letters a year from two children we sponsor in the Philippines. We are only one family among 1 million sponsored children. One letter said we don’t have a lot of food but we have Jesus this Christmas. I would rather have the letter scanned and emailed and the money saved…go to my children for food. It would be nice to have the option of receiving my letters scanned so the money saved could be used to help the children.

  43. Apofia Katusiime
    Mar 22, 2010
    at 4:01 am

    I loved communicating with my sponsor directly but an fortunately I coud not access their address. Now I have left the program and have no relationship with my sponsor because I have no address. its a good Idea if Kids are allowed to communicate directly with their sponsors. Like now I may need to update my sponsor about my progres but I do not have any way out. How can you help to solve this problem? I am happy you are thinking through it. I will wait patiently too. love you guys.
    Apofia.

  44. Mar 22, 2010
    at 11:55 am

    Apofia,

    Sometimes children and sponsors stay in touch after the child graduates from the sponsorship program. Here’s a blog post that talks about that.

    What country was your sponsor from? If you speak with the Compassion office in that country, they may be able to contact your sponsor and let him or her know you would like to reconnect.

    What happens after that is up to the sponsor.

  45. Apofia Katusiime
    Mar 23, 2010
    at 3:36 am

    Thanks chris.
    my sponsor comes from USA. their names are Bob, Joan, Katy and Ali Gates.I was in eighth Batch. Compassion International- Uganda.I feel I miss them so much. I cant live this better life with out them.They mean a lot to me.They made me what I am. i would love to reconnect with them even if it is through compassion offices. All I need is to communicate with them Again. Please Help.I cant handle mising them as friends, parents,mentors,name it. Thanks and love you guys.

    • Mar 23, 2010
      at 10:57 am

      Apofia,

      If you send an email to Compassion U.S. at ciinfo@us.ci.org, a sponsor relations representative should be able to assist you. That person can determine if we still have any contact information for your sponsors and should be able to let the sponsors know you are interested in contacting them. If we are able to connect with your former sponsors we can share your contact information with them, but we can’t guarantee that they will act upon it. It’s their decision.

  46. Apofia Katusiime
    Mar 24, 2010
    at 12:01 am

    Thanks chris. I am so greatful. God bless you richly.

  47. Gillian
    Mar 26, 2010
    at 7:50 am

    @ Apofia,

    As a child sponsor, I would like to thank you for saying what that you miss your sponsors …. that encourages us! God bless!

  48. Apofia Katusiime
    Apr 16, 2010
    at 4:05 am

    Chris, thanks for helping me reconnect to my sponsor. its today that I received a mail from them and I am extremely happy because I could not afford missing them. It was such a heavy load for me to bear. I am so grateful and I will forever be . God bless you.

  49. Peter Pumpkineater
    Jun 8, 2010
    at 5:54 am

    I agree that while technology is a useful tool for us to communicate with, special care must be taken when communicating cross-culturally and between 1st and 3rd world countries. The potential for misuse is great, and yet the benefit is great as well if used appropriately.

  50. Jan Woodford
    Jun 28, 2010
    at 8:27 pm

    I absolutely agree that safety for the child is the most important think, and privacy for the sponsor is a close second, but it would be wonderful to be able to communicate with my children in a shorter amount of time. Right now, it takes so long for my letters to reach my children and receive their letters back that prayer requests are outdated by the time they are received. If there were some way that letters could be received by the local staff via computer, without jeopordizing safety and privacy that would be great. It would be so wonderful to be able to send pictures via email, too, and receive them. I realize as I say this that it may require extra supervision from the staff, and thereby cost more. And that would not be good. I’d rather use extra money to send more family gifts and child gifts.
    I trust Compassion to make the right decisions in these matters.

  51. Mike Hailey
    Aug 28, 2010
    at 10:41 pm

    I’m perfectly fine with the current letter-writing process. Why do I need a faster response? Oh sure, theres a part of me that would enjoy that, but this is not about me. I don’t even use the online letter-writing option because I think its too impersonal. The beautiful pictures the younger children I sponsor draw and color for me are priceless, allowing me a glimpse into their world as seen through their eyes. Would we lose that bit of expression by those children too young to write by implementing a faster turnaround? Will it make us, as sponsors, more consistent in our correspondence? I’m not trying to be overly critical, but these are some thoughts and concerns that I have.

  52. Kim
    Apr 6, 2014
    at 7:35 pm

    I believe technology can help lower the cost of shipping letters for Compassion. For those that write letters online, those letters can then be translated and emailed to the locations vs snail mail. Snail mail will still exist as many of us sponsors love to send things to the children.

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