When It Comes to Sponsorship, How Much Does Age Matter?

Student center Primicias de Vida in Nicaragua has 279 registered children. More than 90 percent of them are sponsored. Out of those sponsored children, 2 percent are sponsored by other children or teenagers.

older girl and older boy sitting on bench with three younger boys

Regardless of their sponsor’s age, children are happy to have someone overseas caring for them, someone to communicate with through letters. Josué is in the 2 percent of registered children sponsored by someone close in age.

A soft smile and a sparkling glimmer in his eyes were Josué’s immediate response when asked about his sponsor. With much enthusiasm, Josué was able to say the country and city where she lives. He also added,

“She was 18 when she sponsored me. She’s now 22 and her birthday is in September.”

Josué is a tall, skinny and serious teenager who speaks clearly about how much he enjoys the friendship with his sponsor.

From the moment Josué was registered eight years ago, he has had the privilege of being sponsored. While he doesn’t have much information about his first sponsor, he now has a sponsor with whom he has had consistent communication.

young man holding a letter

A simple letter can do incredible things in the lives of children and their sponsors.

Through letters, Josué’s sponsor has been a great encouragement to him, as he has also been for her. It is clear that they have become great friends.

“It means a lot to have a sponsor close in age because she understands what I go through and I understand her, too, because she is young.

I love her very much. I tell her almost everything I do in all my letters.”

Josué’s excitement is not only evident when he receives a letter, but also when it is his turn to write her. His teacher Karla shares,

“Josué wishes he could write pages and pages, but the letter format is only one. Most of the time, Josué has to staple an extra page to the format.”

When Josué was younger, his mother, Nohemí, who is also the center director, helped write his letters.

“He didn’t have good handwriting. Today, Josué writes letters on his own. He likes to write a lot and I wish there was no limit for writing.”

Josué recalled one especially meaningful exchange with his sponsor,

“She once told me that she stopped going to school, but the time passed and I shared with her that I passed my first year of high school, then the second one and so on, plus that I was doing good in class.

She would get happy, and finally she went back to school because she says I became an inspiration for her since she saw my effort. She did the same to continue her studies.”

Of all the letters and birthday cards Josué has received from his sponsor, he commented that there is one that affected him a lot,

“Recently I got a letter where she told me that she graduated from a business course. I was happy for her because of that and because she told me that I had impacted her life, so she pushed herself on as I did.”

For Josué, letters are important because,

“We have gotten to know each other and there is confidence between us. In this way she knows what’s going on with me and I know what´s going on with her, too.”

Josué’s teacher Karla expressed,

“Writing letters is important because Josué and his sponsor are communicating to each other. She can find out about Josué’s achievements. Letters are an excellent way of communicating.”

The ongoing encouragement and advice from his sponsor, parents and teachers have helped Josué become an outstanding young man in the child development center and church. He is becoming a good leader.

“He is no longer a shy Josué; he is now working with the youth group board and helping with his group in Sunday school class,” comments Nohemí.

I was very excited and impressed when my son was sponsored by this young lady because of her faithfulness to write and her continuous support when for a time she didn’t have a job. It is not only the monetary support that matters, but her love and interest in writing to my child, and I appreciate that.”

When Josué´s sponsor lost her job, he told her that he was going to pray for her. Communication on her part and prayer on his side have developed a special bond between them.

“If she was here in front of me, I would tell her that I love her very much, that as I have impacted her life, she has impacted mine with her advice.”

woman and young man standing together

Josué’s mother, Nohemí agrees:

“If she was here, I would give her a big hug for choosing my son, thank God for her, and tell her that she is a great blessing. My son is very happy to have her as a sponsor.”

The end result of the exchange of letters between people from two different nations is a special friendship where differences of food, language, culture and preferences don’t seem to matter.

15 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Lainah Munindwa June 22, 2023

    I’m looking for a sponser to my child suffering with eplaps and brain damaged lm a Zimbabwean

    1. Elizabeth June 23, 2023

      Hello Lainah. I am so sorry to hear of the difficult situation you are in. Please send our team an email at [email protected] so we can further assist you.

  2. Lainah Munindwa June 22, 2023

    I’m thankfully for what you are doing , you’re doing a good job ,you have a good heart continue to sponser more children God will reward you lm hapy because l see most children some know to write you teach them a lot of exercise lm hapy l love to all the kids love

  3. JustMe April 24, 2019

    Awesome post! I was 14 when I started sponsoring a 14-year-old girl almost 2 years ago. She’s 5 months older than me, but most of the time, you can’t tell the difference in age. 😉

  4. Wisdom Solomon July 28, 2011

    I am 20 years old and i want to sponsor child

    1. MommyJo July 30, 2011

      just do it, its the most rewarding gift you’ll ever give to yourself…i cant say it enough, my little girl :Jean just keeps on giving love love love, sponsoring her is awesome

  5. R L GASKELL July 14, 2011

    Does age matter? No. There are two sides to the coin. I am a grandfather with three grandchildren just a year or two older than my El Savador sponsored child, Berenice whom I count as my fourth grandchild which evens up the count . . . two of each gender. Although to date I have only had one letter from her she will be treated as if she was my very own. I feel the reciprocal love from her one letter and her photograph. I look forward to sending her gifts for her needs and to her two siblings and her mother. Also my sponsored child doesn’t have a father so that gives me a chance to be a father-figure. Add to that experience, knowledge and wisdom and being well-versed on the teachings of the Bible. I am a baptised Christian and one with compassion both for the unfortunate and the animals that depend on us for their well-being. Being of an older age also brings its benefits. So if there are those who consider being too old to sponsor, I say go for it!

  6. Whitney July 8, 2011

    I am 17 years old and I sponsor a little girl from Ecuador named Sheyla. She is 4 years old and I cannot wait for her to grow into a young lady. I’m a big supporter of teenage and child sponsors.

  7. MommyJo July 7, 2011

    I have often been thinking about sponsoring a second child and this has helped to make my decision that my children are going to sponsor our next child themselves, they love our little girl Jean who is my first sponsor child and the little girl I never had myself. What a wonderful idea it would be for my boys to do this themselves so I thank you…These children are such huge blessings in our lives, they just keep on giving, I know little Jean does
    Gods greatest blessings too you all with love

  8. Emily July 7, 2011

    I was 17 when I first began to sponsor Marlen two years ago. I did a ton of research going in so that I knew what I would need to do as a sponsor, both financially and through letters and encouragement. It’s been a great experience watching her mature. I’ve always kind of wondered what kids sponsored by other kids/teens thought about their young sponsors so this was a really great article!

  9. Rachel B July 7, 2011

    Thanks for this. I’m a younger sponsor (22), and I sponsor 4 kids. My oldest is turning 16 this month, and I have been so blessed by her. Most of my kids are like “my” children, but she and I are more like sisters…. in fact, we call each other sisters. 🙂 So it is different, but in a really good way.

  10. Jill Foley – Compassion Family July 7, 2011

    This is so heartwarming – to see how the sponsors was so encouraged and inspired by her sponsored child. My six year old daughter has a “birthday buddy’ that we sponsor. They were born on the exact same day. My prayer is that as she gets older, she will take over the responsibility of writing and eventually the two will get to meet.

  11. Teena July 7, 2011

    Wow what an amazing story. Wonderful.

    My 13yr old daughter just sponsored her first child. A little girl from the Philippines! Her name is Jazzy Rain! She is 7.

    Much love

  12. Mark Clinton July 7, 2011

    The contributor should be able to contract, so at least 18 and legally competent.

  13. Nina July 7, 2011

    This is beautiful! Thank you for saying over and over to sponsors how important writing letters to their child is. It is probably not possible to do, but I wish that either writing regularly to your child, or having a correspondent sponsor for your child, chould be mandatory for every sponsorship. These kids need the love and encouragement!

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