6 Teens Tell Us What They Like to Hear in Their Sponsors’ Letters

Mekdelawit, Meliket, and Kalkidan are standing outside and are sharing the letters they wrote to their sponsors.

Sponsors have a lot of questions about writing to the teenagers they sponsor. Do my words make a difference? Does the young person I sponsor enjoy writing back to me? Do they actually write the letters I receive from them? And youths in Compassion’s program have the same questions about their sponsors: Do they enjoy writing to me? Are they real?

To answer some of those common questions about exchanging letters, we asked sponsored teenagers to tell you themselves. Here’s what six young people in Ethiopia and Colombia said they like most about their sponsors’ letters — and what they’d love more of.

Liya, 14

Liya is wearing a jean jacket and a pink head covering. She is standing outside and is holding a letter from her sponsor.

“I would like it if my sponsors tell me more about their family and their country. That is why I ask them questions in my letters. It would make me extremely happy if they could tell me that they love me. I also want to know about their well-being.”

Adonay, 17

Adonay is wearing a gray shirt and is standing outside reading a letter from his sponsor.

“I know my sponsors want the best for me and that they pray for me. That is why I confidently ask them to pray for me in my letters. I tell them about my family and ask them different questions. I would be incredibly happy if they could answer my questions.”

Carlos, 13

Carlos is wearing a blue shirt and black pants. He is outside, sitting against a tree, and reading a letter from his sponsor.

“I like to know about my sponsor and her three children. I also like to receive pictures of the family. I keep the letters in a basket, to keep them safe.”

Mekdelawit, 15

Mekdelawit is wearing a pink shirt and a jean jacket. She is outside and is holding a letter she is writing to her sponsor.

“I find joy in asking my sponsors about their family. I want to learn more about them and their country. I also want to know about their health and their daily life. I’m always excited to hear back from my sponsor.”

Carlos, 14

Carlos is wearing jeans and a blue shirt. He is sitting down outside reading one of his sponsor's letters. There are trees in the background.

“My sponsor’s name is Lynn. I really like to receive his pictures and letters. In his letters, he tells me what happens in Texas, the place where he lives. What he likes to do is go to the beach. … In the letters I write to Lynn, I like to tell him about my family and how I am doing at school. I thank him for his prayers, because he prays for my family and for me, for my health and for me to do well in school.

Sara, 13

Sara, in a white uniform shirt, is sitting at a table at the project. She smiles while reading a letter she received from her sponsor Pamela.

“When I receive a letter, it makes me feel that I am important to my sponsor. I like to write letters to Pamela and tell her about my life and family. The most important thing about being sponsored is to have a person who writes to me from the other side of the world to teach me about her culture and tell me nice things like she loves me. I feel happy when I receive a letter from my sponsor.”

Brighten your sponsored teenager’s day — write a letter now!

International reporting and photos by Lina Marcela Alarcón Molina and Tigist Gizachew.

Three girls looking at a letter

12 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Jackie Hardman November 25, 2021

    I have been a sponsor of children for many years. I have got to know them through the letters. Compassion is so wonderful in successfully helping build relationships. Each time a child ages out and I have to say a final farewell, I cry. Pray they never turn away from the Lord and will serve Him as an adult. I can’t thank Compassion enough for allowing me to share the gospel and planting seeds In the children, families, communities. On this Thanksgiving I am truly blessed and grateful.
    May the Lord continue to grow this ministry.
    Jackie Hardman, Ohio

  2. Lynne Magruder July 5, 2021

    I’d like the new sponsors to know I have sponsored a child in Bolivia. During the pandemic I get letters on his behalf from a compassion volunteer in Boliva. They identify themselves immediately. Whenever I send extra money for birthdays etc I get a letter back telling me what he got. With extreme delays of weeks and outrageous postage to other countries our child actually receives more when given the cash.

    1. Nicole July 7, 2021

      Hi, Lynne! Thank you for sharing your tips regarding gifts as well as a glimpse into your relationship with your child in Bolivia! We are so grateful for your partnership and for the difference you are making in his life. ?

  3. Yvonne Reynolds February 26, 2021

    When I went on my first sponsor trip to Mexico, the teenagers told us they love receiving photos of their sponsors. I love sending our sponsored children photos of Yosemite, the Pacific Ocean, and other places we are able to visit around our state and our country.

  4. Mary Manteuffel February 26, 2021

    I am surprised that there are those writing to older children (19)
    We no longer “kept” our children when they became 18 or maybe it was 16.
    What are the guidelines now?
    We have not received a letter from two of our sponsored children for about a year now.
    Surely this COVID is global.

    Thank you,

    1. Shannon February 26, 2021

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much for your comment! A few years back Compassion did raise the maximum age of the program to 22 years of age. In some countries though, it is still 18. We wanted to extend the maximum age to give time for the beneficiaries to finish school or lean a trade, if they choose.
      As you mentioned, sadly, Covid-19 has affected the whole world and it has put some delays on letters from the kiddos. We are all in prayer this will be over soon! ?

  5. Aljon Lego February 26, 2021

    This is true! I was a sponsored child from the Philippines and what I liked the most is receiving letters from my sponsors. I still keep all of their letters as those inspired me and helped me be a better person. They were also the reason why I decided to become a sponsor as well. Now, I write letters to my sponsored kids, one from Ethiopia to whom I am a correspondent, and one from the Philippines, who my friends and I are sponsoring. (my friends and I are all Compassion sponsored kids as well…)

    1. Shannon February 26, 2021

      Wow! How incredibly special! Thank you so much for sharing how letters were such a blessing to you and what a difference they made! It is so inspiring to know that you and your friends are now sponsoring a child! This just makes my heart smile! ?

  6. Leanne February 25, 2021

    I sponsor a young man in Ecuador – aged 19. I have been sponsoring him for the last few years. I also sponsor a 12 year old boy in Peru and have been sponsoring him since he was 4 years old.

    I found writing letters to my 12 year old a real challenge when he was younger! I am not so intimidated writing to him now as I am always asking about his culture and telling him about my culture. My 19 year old is very easy to write to. We have discovered we have a lot of interests in common.

    1. Shannon February 26, 2021

      Thank you so much for choosing to be a devoted sponsor to your two precious Compassion children! Thank you for writing them and choosing to stick by them for so many years! It is an honor to have you in our Compassion family!

  7. Diana February 25, 2021

    I am really about being apart of this Wonderful Community, and being able to sponsor a Precious little child. and I look forward to hearing about how was her day and get to know more about her family and country in Tanzania she is the cutes little 1 year old girl I am really happy I can be apart of her life , I look forward to sending more letters and hearing more about her. And I send Prayers of Love and encouragement and to her family members as well. May god bless you with Strength to grow up to be the beautiful and courageous young lady you are destine to be.

  8. Madison February 25, 2021

    This is wonderful! I just sponsored a 21-year old girl who’ll be 22 in a month and now I feel encouraged to write to her. It seems like what these kids want to hear most is that they’re loved!

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