Inconsistent

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I am finding some inconsistencies between the letters I receive from one of my sponsored children. He’s told me in one letter he has no parents and the next letter said that his parents used the funds to buy food. Also I sponsor three children. And all three write the same information to me each letter. I’m beginning to feel that there is a standard letter that comes out of each church center in that country. All three of my children are above the ages of 16 and I feel that there should be a better dialogue between us other than typically the same thing each time. This has been concerning to me for sometime. And when I got the letter that said he had no parents and the next letter he refers to his parents and his family, I’m really beginning to doubt the honesty and integrity of the correspondence/letter writing.
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Ollivia Taylor Brown

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Posted 5 months ago

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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Ollivia, 
I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling a bit discouraged and concerned due to your child letters. First off, please know that we would be more then happy to inquire about your child's family to see why there is some discrepancy on that. Can you please tell us which kiddo this is?

Secondly, I did look at a handful of your most recent letters from your sweet children and I do understand where your heart is coming from on this. However, please keep in mind that many of our children struggle with the concept of writing a letter. You are probably the only person your child will ever write a letter to, and sometimes children have trouble grasping the concept of having a “conversation” by mail. When children receive their letters, they often take them home and put them in a special place. Then, when it is letter writing day at their project, they may forget to bring your letter back and may not have any references to your letter’s content. Sometimes the staff will write a list of suggestions or letter samples on the board to help the children in their letter writing. This is one reason letters can sound scripted or unoriginal; out of a deep desire to communicate with their sponsors, children will copy the samples or follow the list word for word. If you have specific questions for your child, we suggest that you keep them brief, simple, and number and highlight each question. This will call the staff’s attention to your questions and may help your letters become a little more like a conversation and a little less repetitive!

I hope this is helpful!:) 
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Ollivia Taylor Brown

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Thank you for your explanation.  That helps me understand in a broader sense.  The family discrepancy i for the one in Ethiopia, x36200040.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Ollivia, 
I am so sorry for the confusion here! It looks like Surafel did not actually indicate in his last letter that he had parents, rather he just said family. I do see he lives with his two brothers and a sister. :) If I am wrong and you do see where he used the term "parents", please let me know where you are seeing this. Thanks so much! 
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Ollivia Taylor Brown

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If you will, compare his two letters from Dec 2, 2017 and June 11, 2018.  Let me know if you still see a discrepancy.  Thank you!
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Ollivia, 
Are these dates the dates on the physical letter itself, or the dates that the letters show they were uploaded online? 
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Ollivia Taylor Brown

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Uploaded online
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Christina, Employee

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Ollivia, I appreciate your willingness and patience to help us address your concerns. I have reviewed these two letters from Surafel, and I see what you are referring to. In the first letter, Surafel says that he doesn't have parents, and he is sad about that. In the second letter, Surafel says his parents used your gift funds to purchase items for him. I understand how this may be concerning or confusing since his Compassion profile does state that his parents have passed away. It's possible that he was referring to his siblings that are taking care of him, or it's possibly a translation mistake. Please rest assured that I have sent an inquiry to our field office in Ethiopia, and they will verify whether his parents are living or not and offer some explanation as to why he mentions parents in his most recent letter. We will be in contact with you as soon as we receive a response within 45 days. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention so we may help you, and thank you again for your patience! 

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