New Letter System: conflicting Information

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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There has been a BIG discussion over at OurCompassion in regards to what Compassion is telling us, and what we KNOW the countries are saying on the topic of letters. While we are not looking for a letter every month, we are just looking for an honest answer. I have an article from the country office of Ecuador stating that the MAXIMUM is 6 letters. and kids CANNOT write anymore. But, if you talk to Compassion, they will deny that there is a problem. And state that there is a miscommunication. There is no miscommunication. Ecuador wouldn't have made it an article telling the projects. I just want to know... is it 6 letters a year (no more than 6) or not? If not, then you need to contact the countries that have this mindset. I know many people on OC who have said that they are considering stopping there sponsorships because of how dishonest Compassion is with what we are seeing and what is being said. As if Compassion doesn't believe us. We wouldn't go to great lengths to correct it, if it weren't so. Please, PLEASE look into this. If we are only getting 6 a year, great. But, tell us. Don't say one thing and do something else.

I am sorry, but so many people are upset about this, and we don't know what to do, or who to tell to fix this, many people have given us water down responses, and we are tired of that. We want the truth, nothing less. And I fear if this isn't resolved, many kids will loose their sponsors.

Thank you for reading. Below is the article I found. I have translated it, but you don't need translation to figure out that there is a problem.

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Kimberly Warren

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  • hurt, angry, mad

Posted 7 years ago

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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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We hear you and will keep escalating. We're staying in the conversation as much as possible and will pass along information as we receive it.
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Kimberly Warren

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Thank you. I just feel like no one cares. And no one wants to be honest. We aren't looking for 100 letters a year, if 6 is the Max, then fine. But, let us know.
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KristenH, Champion

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I hardly think this is a case of no one wanting to be honest Kimmy. Compassion has always been a company of integrity and honesty. They are well aware of the issues that have been presented on OC and we have gotten the attention of the right people. I would suggest allowing them to digest all the information given to them and give them a chance to sort it all out. Calling them dishonest on a public forum is uncalled for IMO.
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Kimmy, as a fellow member of OurCompassion who has followed all of the discussions on this issue, I feel the need to say your post here is not a fair representation of the conversation over there. It's true there have been some who have been very negative about it and as a result, there has been a little bit of "the sky is falling" reaction to the negativity. But I think we are still presenting the facts and processing our own thoughts on the subject as I'm sure Compassion is doing the same.

Quote from your post: "But, if you talk to Compassion, they will deny that there is a problem. And state that there is a miscommunication."

I believe this to be false information as I have not seen anything like that at all. The dicussion has branched off into many different areas and it has only recently become clear that this conflicting information from some countries is the real issue. And when they respond to the facts we have presented, they will do so in the most thoughtful and prayerful way possible. So, let's be careful in the words we are posting about Compassion International in public, ok? These are God's people trying to do God's work and I bet they care about the children just as much as we do, if not more.

- Stephanie Tiblier Green
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Michelle Wright, Champion

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I believe that Compassion is committed to integrity and I am worried about the repurcussions of making a statement as bold as, "how dishonest Compassion is".

I have followed these discussions from the get-go and I am not seeing anything said with an intent to deceive or mislead. While I do believe there may be some miscommunication going on between different departments, country staff and the representatives that answer our questions, I do not feel that the root of the problem is dishonesty.

Compassion is a big organization doing BIG things. With changes, we may feel a few bumps along the way. However, I trust that Compassion will hear our concerns, take a look at the observations we are giving and -in time- work through them. Anyone expecting instant answers in this is not thinking about what a huge undertaking the letter writing system is and how many, many people are involved in this process.

For anyone reading, I would like to reiterate that Compassion is committed to integrity. It is one of the foundations of the organization.
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Haley, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Operations

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Official Response
Re-posting from OurCompassion Discussion Thread:

Thank you all very much for your feedback to my post from last week. A number of us met last Friday to discuss your comments.

One message we have clearly heard is that you are hearing different things from different parts of Compassion – from our call center, our country offices, some sponsored children, and from some of us.

To this point of inconsistent messaging – we have a number of actions currently underway to address this. We are reviewing and refining our FAQ’s and our internal educational and training literature. We are also reviewing our Field training communications as they relate to the new correspondence process. We are in the process of contacting all of our Area and Field Office management to reinforce the importance of consistency of understanding and practice, and to reinforce the latest release of the updated letter writing curriculum sent out in September 2012. The content formally states “If a child receives more than one letter or gift in a 60-day time frame, s/he will only be required to write one reply letter. However, any child who wants to write their sponsor more often should be allowed to do so.”

Clearly, in some cases, there has been a disconnect between our training & communications and local implementation. I apologize for this. This is a brand new process for all of our 26 countries and with our 5,800 local church partners. I understand your frustration, but humbly ask for your patience as we work through the challenges with standardization.

A second major message we heard from you is reduced frequency. Yes, some sponsors will see a decline in the quantity and frequency of child letters. With the new standardized process, there can be a decline in the number of child letters written – particularly from those countries which previously and voluntarily practiced a reciprocal process.

There are additional issues which continue to be raised in this forum and for that, we are grateful. We try very hard to respect the capabilities of our church partners, the volunteers and staff around the world, the children in our program, and to also respect and listen to you. We are not perfect, but we do ask our Lord to guide us each day.

Thank you again for your comments and continued support of our ministry. We are listening.