A letter from a sponsor is one of the most desired things a sponsored child can receive. Letters from sponsors can do more than money because they build relationship between child and sponsor. These are not just pieces of paper; these letters are filled with love, affection, emotion and inspiration for the children.
In Bangladesh, Compassion centers do not celebrate any particular day of the month as “Letter Day,” as some other countries do. But every month children reply to their sponsor’s letters after receiving letters from the Bangladesh Compassion office. Children of Sath Nong Khasiapungi Child Development Center are always looking forward to the day when their center staff members bring the big envelope full of sponsor letters.
The head of the center, Mr. Pius, explains, “We are several miles away from the small town where the letters are received. Every month we receive sponsors’ letters at least twice. Children are very eager about these letters; they always ask us about them. Here we don’t have a mailman who can bring the letters to the center.
“We are required to collect these letters from the courier office. We use ‘three wheelers’ (small three-wheel taxi/auto rickshaw that runs by motor). It takes more than two hours to reach the town and come back. Children are always very excited and happy to see the big brown envelope in our hands.”
The caregivers, social workers and other center staff help the children read the letters and write back to their sponsors.
Bangladesh is a country where different tribal groups have their own languages. Bengali is the only language that is widely used. English is not spoken or understood by most people. So a group of young students at the Compassion country office translate the sponsor letters before they are sent to the centers.
Then the Sponsor Donor Service staff distribute the translated letters to the various ICPs (Implementing Church Partners). Children at the center receive the original letter with a translation in their local language at the bottom.
Rita, a caregiver at Sath Nong Khasiapungi, says, “Most of the time we receive letters in the afternoon. So we distribute the letters to children the next day. We call each child and help them to read the letter. We explain to them if they are unable to understand anything. After reading the letters we arrange a letter-writing session. The children sit together inside our church and write to their sponsors.”
Lishtina’s sponsors Lindsay and Steve are from the United States. They are very responsive. They reply to her every letter. This year Lishtina wrote six letters and received five from her sponsors.
“I received a birthday gift from my sponsors, but I love to receive letters and photos from my sponsors more than gifts. These letters are precious to me. I showed this photo to my friends.”
For boys, to receive a letter from their sponsors is equally important. Robin loves to get notes from his sponsors. He shares with his parents every time he receives a letter from his friends. Whenever he gets any cards or pictures he becomes very delighted.
It has been five years since Compassion started to work through the local church at this community. The staff in this center are experienced and understand the importance of children’s letters for their sponsors. Letter writing is considered as essential as any other regular activities in the Compassion center. Generally the children reply to their sponsors’ letters the day after the center receives them from the country office.
The letter-writing process is very organized and systematic here. Children read their letters from sponsors and then they sit together inside the church and write their replies. They sit on long benches and place their writing papers on narrow tables.
Compassion Bangladesh provides a special letter form for the children to write to their sponsors. These letter forms are colorful, and children can write and draw on them. There is also a small space for translation (from Bengali to English). The children who are in higher grades write their letters on their own; the staff help the younger children to write their letters.
Usually the information and language of the children’s letters are different for different age groups.
Synod is the eldest registered child of Sath Nong Khasiapungi. She is now 14 and studying in grade 8. She feels the significance of her sponsor’s messages.
“Every time when I receive a letter from Sylvia I get so excited. She is like my family member. I can feel her emotion, love and care for me. It is something very special for me. She encourages me to keep up my good results at school. Her inspiration helps me to improve myself. I always wait for her letter.”
Writing letters to their friends is an event of joy for the Compassion children. They love to write about their emotions, favorites, families, study, Compassion life and prayer requests. They also know that the drawings they made on the letters are appreciated by their friends abroad. These drawings are very special because they carry the emotion of the child for the sponsor. The alphabets may not be familiar to sponsors, but drawing is a common language for all.
A short message from the sponsor could play a vital role in the life of a child. The letter is not only a piece of paper, but it is a tool that builds a friendship between a child and a sponsor. It can develop a heavenly bond of love. This small piece of paper can bring huge inspiration, hope and change in the life of a child.
All of us at Compassion Bangladesh really appreciate the effort of our sponsors for not only supporting the children, but also for strengthening the bond of love by writing to them.
January 14 (this Friday) is our monthly letter-writing day! We encourage you to put some time aside to let your sponsored child know you are thinking of them!
23 Comments |Add a comment
Is it better to write a letter than email one ?
My wife and I sponser 3 children in Bangladesh. We both work and she gets home after I do, so when letters arrive from the kids we open them together. This around the dinner table and the conversation is all about these children.We look forward to hearing from them so much that it seems as if the letters take forever to get here.
I’ve had a sponsor child since 2004. I’ve seen her grow from a little girl to age 14. I’m a busy single mom so I failed to get in the good habit of writing with any regularity. 2011 is the year that I am going to improve on this and work hard to write regularly, get to know my child even better, and pour on the love and encouragement that Christ pours out to me.
It is true that letters change and inspire a child. Today I received a letter written by my youngest child’s correspondence monitor. My child is 7. She stated that God did a miracle in my child’s life. He used to have difficult behavior: talking back to staff and refusing to do the activities. After visiting him a year ago and writing to him on a consistent basis, my child’s behavior has completely changed. The monitor stated that I am very special to him. So don’t stop writing to your child. And don’t forget to pray for your child, too.
I am a sponsor to a young boy now 16 yrs old in Dominican Republic named Angel Joel. I have been blessed by his letters and I can see how he has grown from the age of 8. When he first started he printed and now he writes in cursive. I am so excited when I see a letter in the mail from him. It just makes my week. We share information about each other which truly means so much. Sometimes I wish I would write to him more often. Being able to send letters on the internet helps with this. I just hope I inspire others to write too.
Tomorrow, I am going to get to the post office. I have a letter written, sealed in an envelope and ready to go except for the postage. Thank you for the reminder.
This is so awesome. I wish every sponsor could see this…. The letters even have so much impact on others besides the children too. I know a translater in Bolivia, whose wife became a Christian after she saw the letters.
The letter can speak whole life of Children and as well as sponsors. Thank you.
Hello, I am not an employee of Compassion but what I saw is, most of the time the people working in the centers in latin america are women, I think is because they have more time to expend at church
[quote comment=”24590″]I love seeing photos of kids getting their mail.
I have a random question for a Compassion employee — what is the percentage of men who work at Compassion centers and what is the percentage of women? I’ve just always been curious and never known quite where to ask…[/quote]
Thank you so much for your comments and concern. Your comments inspire me to write/work better for the children of Bangladesh. David (FCS- Compassion Bangladesh)
I think a video of letters getting passed out on Letter Day, in any country, would be cool 🙂
I got to observe a lot of the mail things in Bolivia this past summer. So, these are my observations from Bolivia. The mail arrives in the country office about once a week in a big yelllow box from DHL.
It gets translated and sorted into the different boxes (each project has a wooden mailbox type of thing) Then it gets sent to the projects. In the project, a person organizes and logs the mail. Many projects will put a sign on the wall with the names of the children, who need to come to the office to pick up something. About 10% of the children get mail each month, so it gets handled more in private almost. At least that’s what I saw in Bolivia.
For instance if a project has 300 children, then about 30 of those children get mail each month, which might be about 7 or 8 each week. Since some children attend the project in the morning, and others in the afternoon, it might be about 3 or 4 that get mail on that particular day in the morning.
Some children share the mail, others don’t. Thus it is a lot more private. In one project where I was at, I saw the person with the 3 or 4 children sitting in a special area, answering the mail. The children first write their letter on scrappaper and then they copy it on the stationary.
So, the mail in Bolivia was a lot more of a private thing in most projects.
Thank you so much for this explanation. It makes me realize how important it is for me to take a few minutes to write a letter. Imagine the child who is praying to God to ask for a letter and it does happen. Imagine the child who is praying to God to ask for a letter and it DOESN’T happen. Something so simple, yet so meaningful to a child who trusts in God.
Thank you so much for this blog article. One of our little girls in Bangladesh and it is wonderful to know the process for letters in that country. I’m even printing the post to keep in our letter binder so we can be reminded just how important the letters are to our kids. We write twice a month and receive great letters in return. Santona is only 7 so she gets help with her writing and she draws the cutest flowers on each letter. Thanks again for the great post!
I love this!! Inspiring sponsors to dedicate time to the letter writing aspect of this ministry has become a passion for me. I hope that many sponsors read this and are inspired to write a letter or email to their child!
Thank you, Compassion for continuing to emphasize how important our letters are to our sponsored children. EVERY sponsor needs to write – frequently! These precious children need more than our sponsor money every month. They need our love and encouragement!
I agree whit you Nina, the need too much love every day, this is the work people in churches do, so I think we need to encourage these persons too because they trasmit your love directly to children, also your letters are a good tool for this.
I love seeing photos of kids getting their mail.
I have a random question for a Compassion employee — what is the percentage of men who work at Compassion centers and what is the percentage of women? I’ve just always been curious and never known quite where to ask…
Oh, I almost sponsored a little boy from Bangladesh last time, but went with a girl in Ghana instead! I love to see pictures of the children holding up their letters and pictures from sponsors. I hope my letters put such a big, emotional smile on the faces of my children!
I JUST SPONSERED A BOY FROM GHANA TOO! 🙂