To help improve the correspondence with your child, I would suggest responding to each letter you receive from Julianna. This way, your letters will be more fresh in her mind so that she can be more responsive to them. You might try highlighting or underlining your questions so that they stand out to Julianna. This will let her know that you would love to have a response to that particular question. With these suggestions, you should hopefully see an improvement in the content of Julianna's letters.
If, after trying the tips above, she continues to say the same things, and not answer your questions, let me know. We can have staff work with Julianna to help improve her letters. In this case, it would be helpful to have a sample of these letters so that I can show staff what went wrong. You can send them in any of the following ways:
-Email: Scan and attach the letters in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
-Fax: Send the letters via fax to 719-487-4828
-Mail: Send the letters via mail to:
Attn. Susan, SDR
Colorado Springs, CO 80997
If she has been getting our letters and colorings and drawings and cards, I don't see any way that she could wonder if I had any children...especially since one is almost the same age as her and we've mentioned that every time. I feel disheartened and saddened that my daughter is building a relationship with someone who potentially isn't even getting the things we send to her. I just don't know what to do about it really.
Does my child really get what we are sending?.
I am beginning to not trust compassion international. Our child writes and doesn't seem to know anything about us, we send pictures and give lots of details and yet she writes and asks things she and ALL of Compassion worker should EASILY know based on the pictures and ALL the details we are always writing??? A few times she thanked us for ordinary things such as stickers but recently asked if we have children??? We have talked extensively about them so that doesn't make sense? I just want to do the right thing but don't want to be taken either as we can be donating elsewhere. Thoughts?
Same Letter Different Day.
My sponsored child recently graduated from the program. In the beginning, I believed strongly in this ministry, going through the training to become a volunteer child advocate & working tirelessly to increase awareness & help raise up sponsors. After a few years however, I began to loose heart. From the outset of the relationship, every letter I received from my sponsored child (and I have saved them all) had the same content - none of which was ever response to the content of my letters - not one of my questions was answered - not one attempt to connect was successful. I found myself essentially answering the same questions each time I wrote a response, only to have him ask them again as if it were the first time we had corresponded.
I contacted Compassion, but was given simplistic and what felt like evasive answers. While I continued to pray for the child and provide financial support, I eventually stopped writing letters and working as an advocate. I have lost confidence in Compassion and am therefore unable to commit to sponsoring another child - and that makes me sad on so many levels.
help getting to know my child.
I have been a sponsor of a boy in Ghana since Aug 2009. In those 6 years, with writing letters and him responding I still hardly know him. It is really frustrating me - I pray that he will tell me something about himself - something different than what he has been telling me for years. I guess I'm struggling to connect with him which is disheartening to me.
Do you have any tips for me on how to connect better with him?
I have all the same questions. I've written letters to our child on behalf of our family, and my daughter, 11, who was 7 or 8 when we started sponsoring our child, has written letters as well. Every time we receive a letter they are addressed to me...my first name, even though I always ended our letter with all of our names. Letters my daughter has written, we've yet to see a reply saying anything like, "Hi Lily, thanks for writing me" or something more personal like that; like my daughter's letters are being read by our sponsored child and that she understands my daughter is writing her specifically and responding to answer her specific questions. I understand the differences in culture, shyness, etc. However, it is a little bizarre.
The red flag to me was that since I set up the account, is my first name being used by default in responses? Is a child, my sponsored child, even writing my letters? It seems a little scripted... robotic...and impersonal. There has been nothing answered to questions we've written. In addition to always asking specific questions about school and family, we wrote and sent pictures of our family and pictures our new baby boy. Our replies contain nothing referencing what we've asked. I mean, being her sponsor for 4 years or so, you'd think that a reply would contain some kind of excitement or reference to our new baby boy. I'm not saying I need our child to say anything about our baby, but it would seem like a legitimate response if ANY letter contained something that seemed like our letters were being read and comprehended by a live person. Also, my latest letter was addressed, "Hi dear sponsor"... never "Hello Smith Family!" or something a real person would write that we've been writing for 4 years or so. It also is casting a cloud of doubt over my daughter who I'm trying to instill good values, that giving to a charity is a responsibility we are fortunate enough to be able to take part in. Also, why do the letters seem like scans? It would be nice to get the real letter... and feel real crayons being drawn on the paper... it's weird.
I have chosen to not have an autopay on our account because I want to make sure I am making a monthly check-in with my sponsor child. I really don't like complaining about stuff like this, but at the same time, one of the marketing tools Compassion (and other child sponsorship programs) use is the letter writing aspect. It is always promoted as such an important thing, yet the experience is very different. I have decided that I will sponsor Aimee for six more months. if, in that time, letter writing does not improve dramatically, I will be cancelling. I pray, sincerely, that Compassion understands this for the serious thing it is. As others have mentioned, it is now a matter of questioning the legitimacy of the program.
To not be so so dour and to be a problem solver, I do have a few recommendations.
First, if a sponsor writes a letter, have the children reply to it within a couple of weeks. Now that everything is digital, this should be a simple task and that will improve the letter writing experience. It'll also help strengthen the relationships.
Second, send annual pictures of the specific sponsor child! We as families should be sending pictures regularly and it would be nice to have the same in return so we can watch our sponsor child grow!
Third, if a sponsor sends extra funds for a gift (i.e. Christmas or birthday), have the sponsor child or project manager share the child's reaction from the gift in picture form.
All these would do a lot to improve relationships and hopefully make Compassion better equipped to respond to the sorts of posts that it seems to be deluged with.