What Does Your Sponsored Child Want to Know About You?

How many of us sit in front of a blank computer screen or sheet of paper wondering what to share with our sponsored child? What do you say or not say? What would he or she be interested in knowing?

A group of older children in Ethiopia were asked, “What do you want to know about your sponsor?”

What do you think of their questions below?

The gospel of the kingdom of heaven is spreading rapidly in my country. How is it in your country? — Addisu, age 20

What is the name of the church you go to? — Birhanemeskel, age 15

What do you do for a living? — Desalegn, age 13

What motivated you to sponsor me? Who influenced you to make this decision? — Yabsira, age 18

young people writing letters

Contemplating what to share in a sponsor letter.

From the Bible, which story do you like the most? — Ashenafi, age 12

What is your view about women’s equality? — Weineshet, age 13

What is your favorite food? — Aynalem, age 10

What are the names of your children? — Temesgen, age 10

Do you have any knowledge of our cultural food called doro wot? — Lidya, age 9

Questions compiled by field communications staff member Eldad Girma.

31 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Meshia November 19, 2019

    I have no clue where to start. My sponsored child is 5 and I am daunted by the age difference

    1. Christina November 20, 2019

      Hi Meshia! I completely understand the challenge of figuring out how to write to your young kiddo. We are so grateful that you responded to God tugging at your heart to sponsor Emmanuel. I hear your heart for this ministry and your desire to foster a relationship with your sweet child. Please know that our desire is for every sponsor to have this opportunity to develop a meaningful relationship with their child, too! Children under the age of 9 typically use our form letters because it is easier for them to understand the concept of writing and to fill in the blanks. Sadly, many children feel timid or have a lack of confidence when it comes to writing, so it might take a little bit of patience and time to really start to see Emmanuel open up to you and for your relationship to develop. When I began sponsoring my own child several years ago, he was only four, and I faced the same types of questions that I’m sure you’re asking yourself. I recommend writing to him as if your speaking to a five year old here in the U.S. Start very simple like asking questions about his favorite color, animal, hobby, etc., and share some simple information about yourself too! I also found https://www.compassion.com/letter-writing/letter-writing-prompts.htm to be very helpful when trying to come up with things to write about! I encourage you to dive in, and try not to overthink things and keep it simple! Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Have a blessed day!

  2. Alyson July 14, 2012

    Our sponser child is from Haiti and always asks us how we celebrate Holidays…esp. Christmas and Easter.

  3. sara May 31, 2012

    Can someone tell me where to find what we are not to mention or send photos of? I know I saw this somewhere and I never include anything very personal because I do not want to do anything to offend. I would like to see the guidelines again just to feel comfortable with sharing things like my child is leaving for college, or we are going to the beach it is my favorite place etc…, I know you are not supposed to talk about food since most children do not have an abundance of food. Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!!

    1. Jacquie Parella May 31, 2012

      Hi Sara! The post, What Can I Share in Letters to My Sponsored Child will help!

      1. sara May 31, 2012


  4. Katie May 23, 2012

    My 15 year old sponsored girl from Peru always wonders how i spend the holidays in America. I always talk about weather and activities we do. she loves to hear about July 4 over and over again.

  5. Kris April 21, 2012

    One of my sponsored children from Kenya (who was new to me) wrote me an effusive first letter, in which she declared “I welcome you to my family (in Kenya).” I thought that was incredibly sweet, and now I use the phrase with all my other sponsored children. Don’t you love it when a child teaches you something wonderful and important?

  6. Caitlin April 19, 2012

    Ah those questions are so adorable. Our sponsor children are in guetamala and are only 4 and 6. They ask about our pets, what we do for Christmas/Easter and they ask us what we like to do such as hobbies.

  7. alice April 16, 2012

    One of my sponsor children is a precious little 9-year-old from the Philippines. She writes me long letters once or twice a month. Once she asked me how was the bonding going with my daughters! (They are 6 and 8). I don’t know where she got that term/concept from, but it made me smile.

  8. Jenn G April 16, 2012

    My 7 year old little girl from the Philippines always asks me about holidays and if I celebrate certain holidays like her. Almost every letter I get is telling me about a holiday and asking if I have one or asking about a holiday I tell her about.

  9. Kees Boer April 16, 2012

    My little girl Sheyla from Peru wrote: “I didn’t know that you taught math, then I got a question for you. Do you like icecream?”

    1. alice April 16, 2012

      I love that! Just get to the important stuff, right?!

    2. Jacquie Parella April 16, 2012

      That just made me laugh out loud!!!

  10. Linda T. April 15, 2012

    Nayelli, age 7, from Ecuador, wants to know what I was like as a child. That will be the subject of my next letter, along with a picture of myself at age 7.

    1. Reva April 17, 2012

      I love that!! Would make a cute homemade book/scrapbook! Maybe for a birthday.. “When I was_ years old”….. with different pictures and/or drawings of things done and liked at that age. I am working on “Where I live” book for one of my kids that wanted to know more about where I live. No pictures of material things. Just scenery and things in my yard, plants, tree, animals, looking down my road (I live in the country), and my mail box:)

    2. Jen D April 16, 2012

      What a great idea!

  11. Judith Tremblaymiztremblay April 15, 2012

    Aww, Debbie! Such a heartwarming comment, and heartbreaking all in one. These children sure can surprise us, eh? It’s a testament, though, to the bond these letters create between sponsors & children that goes beyond mere pen pal.

    I’ve had children ask if I’ve ever been to there country before, and would I come visit them. I would go in a heartbeat if I was able to just save up the money first. 🙂 I’m glad to have enough extra to sponsor my children, but there’s not too much extra these days, unfortunately.

  12. Aura April 14, 2012

    My sponsored child in Togo asked ‘Does the snow damage your car?’

  13. Debbie Beghetto April 14, 2012

    My sponsor boy from Mexico, asked me if the deer in your backyard yours? (while back… I send him a photo of a deer in our yard having a drink from the birdbath). He mention to me in the letter,he wished he was the deer cuz he wanted to see me so much….

    1. Needhu May 2, 2016

      That was so sweet! really! Got tears reading that comment from that child.

    2. Rachel Lynn June 11, 2012

      Aww, that is so precious!

  14. emily April 13, 2012

    Some great questions, i would never think to answer some of those questions without first being asked. Cant wait to see some of the questions my new sponsor kiddos want to know. the child i have sponsored the longest has asked me favorite color, if i knew who the soccer player Michael Essian is, and if i had a best friend and what we liked to do.

  15. Maryann April 13, 2012

    My girl in Burkina Faso seems interested in our garden and in whether we got enough rain. 🙂 I did explain at one point that we don’t grow our own food in our garden – that other people grow food and we buy it from them, and we have only flowers in our garden – but I don’t think I’ve managed to quite jump the cultural gap on this subject. 🙂

  16. Rebecca April 13, 2012

    Our little girl in Bangladesh loves flowers and always asks us what’s blooming. Unfortunately, living in Seattle, half the year we have nothing to say. 🙂 Our little girl in Colombia always asks about everything we are doing (school, work, church, family, etc), and, most precious, she always asks about her “brother and sister in Christ”, our two other sponsored children. 🙂

    1. Abbie January 31, 2015

      I recently started sponsoring a third girl. I shared some small pictures of them with each other, though I wasn’t sure I should since I don’t want them to think they are less special because I now correspond with three. Your comment gladdened me.

  17. Stephanie Green April 13, 2012

    My older kids really seem to like to hear about our family, our schooling, about the education system here, about my college experience and what I did for a living. They also like to hear about how I serve in my church and I how I work in children’s ministry. I LOVE writing to older kids !!

  18. Olivia April 13, 2012

    Hey. My sponsored child always asks me about my pet. 😉 she also like to hear about the weather, and my family.

  19. Brittany Holmes April 13, 2012

    My sponsored child from India is obsessed with the weather. She’s 10 and I’ve been sponsoring her for three years, and almost every letter we send to one another involves weather patterns and seasons. In fact, one of the gifts her center bought her with donation money was an umbrella! She loves to tell me when it’s monsoon season, snowy season, hot, etc. I figured since she writes about it so much, I’d follow her ways and inform her of the weather in America. I live in the Heartland/Midwest and so it could be 90 today and snowing tomorrow! 🙂

  20. Alice Green April 13, 2012

    My child in Rwanda could not understand my name being a color. I love her letters.

  21. Audrey April 13, 2012

    Desalegn, 12, of Ethiopia asked me:

    “Do I live in a developed country”?
    “Are there wild animals in my country?”

    You gotta love ’em!

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