Petition to have more CONTROL!

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please someone help me out. I do not want to cancel my sponsorship because I feel if my child is TRULY receiving my payments, he will suffer of I stop. I want to see pictures of him with the things I bought him. Please is there anyone else going through this? I stop sending money because he sent a letter that was SOO irrelevant that it seems as if he never seen my last. He did it TWICE!! He is old enough to reply a relevant answer! Where is the staff? Why would they let these children answer irrelevant responses?? Please comment! I will not send another penny til I know he is actually getting my stuff and my letters.
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Safiro Rosa

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  • Hurt

Posted 1 year ago

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heather o

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Safiro, I am another sponsor and I can assure you your child is getting everything you send him. Our kiddos often don't know how to express themselves in letters. They are often well behind education wise compared to kids in the U.S. so they are not on a level we expect them to be. You should receive a thank you letter about 6 month after gifts and depending on the amount ($60 or greater) you will get a photo. I sponsor several children and correspond with many more and there are vast difference in how my children express themselves and at what age they write for themselves. I have a 6 year old in the Philippines that writes short sweet letters herself and a 14 year old in Haiti that still doesn't write for himself and all sorts of levels in between. It takes a while for children to get comfortable writing, I have found that
especially true if they have had several sponsors come and go. It can take over a year to get letters flowing regularly and a relationship started. My advice write often and let them The awesome people who monitor this forum will look into for you. Blessings!
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Safiro Rosa

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This is beyond crazy. I was told we DO NOT get pictures when I called customer service. That isn't an answer or helpful, sorry to come off as rude but I don't understand the need to tell sponsors more and more that these children can't express themselves like americans, it's a disrespect. You guys are spreading a false illusion that children in poor countries are extreme illiterate, these children are NOT dumb. Every one of them has been targeted as dumb and unable to express themselves "as americans" you are pretty much saying their is NO guidance there because we are only ENCOURAGED and GUIDED to express ourselves AS AMERICANS we are not the "beholder of expressions" nor are we higher, than they. I want actual help to solve this problem. Please do not sweet talk this is VERY serious. God did not create fools, and I will not rest until I figure this out.
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Sarah Heacock Schreffler

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Not every American child would write good letters in these situations. I don't see it as illiteracy. Its different cultures and different priorities. My son is 10 years old and requires a LOT of guidance to write a decent letter (prodding about topics, to give more details, etc.). My daughter is 6 years old and already writes a better letter than he does, with the only effort needed from me to make sure it is clarified what she is talking about on the paper itself.
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Safiro Rosa

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I am not on the side saying americans write better, or express more. I am on the opposing side because as I said above we are ONLY more encouraged and GUIDED. This is with anyone. Which is why I felt it was a disrespect to use this very thing as an excuse. It's about the "willing" and "lazy" if these children have people helping them SHAME on them for letting them finish before covering relevancy. Where there is an adult, staff, or counselor there is a WAY.
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heather o

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No one is sweet talking or portraying these children as ignorant. They are very smart but face many more challenges than their first world counterparts. We do have to accept culture differences, personality differences, and educational lag and sometimes lack of in underdeveloped countries. I have children whom write very well and write long detailed letters and others who do not and they are either the same age or older than my best writers. There are several hundred children in each project so often parents or other family members help with writing too. Many of these cultures value spoken communication over written so therefore letter writing is a bit foreign to everyone, the children, the project volunteers, and parents and family. This can intimidate them until they they have been writing a while. There are 50+ kiddos in my family's Compassion family my post was meant to share what we have discovered in our years with Compassion. WE KNOW OUR CHILDREN ARE BRIGHT AND WE TELL THEM IN EVERY LETTER.
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Safiro, 

I am so sorry for the hurt, frustration, and powerlessness you were made to feel. I also want to sincerely apologize that you were given incorrect information when you had called. You absolutely should be getting photos. I regrettably do not have any record that you called. Do you know who you spoke with?  

We greatly appreciate your partnership and everything that you are doing for this precious young man as a sponsor. I look forward to working hard to earn back your trust and help you to build a good relationship with your sponsored child. 

You say in the title of this post that you want more control over the sponsorship. I want to work with you here. Would you please explain a little further what you mean when you say you would like to have more control over  your sponsorship? Once I know what you are wanting to see, I can then work with you within the confines of what Compassion does.

If I am understanding you correctly, it sounds like what you are really wanting is more photos of your child and letters from your child that answer your questions. As Heather mentioned, we process full child updates every two years and then photos with thank you letters for gifts of $60 or more. Antonio's last update photo was taken in October 2016. This means that you should have received two photo updates since you started sponsoring. Please let me know if you need copies of any of these photos and I would be happy to get you prints in the mail (of current photos) or jpegs via email (of any of his photos). 

I reviewed every single letter that Antonio has sent to you over the last year and a half. It looks like his first letter was written on the younger children's stationary with general information about his life. We designed the younger children's stationary for children ages 8 and under. At about nine years old, children transition to writing on their own on the older kids stationary. This typically happens gradually as they feel more confident in their letter writing skills. The second letter was written by Antonio himself and is written on the older children's stationary. He is relatively specific about what his life looks like - his family, what he likes, and when he attends the Compassion center. All throughout this letter he is incredibly affectionate and sweet. I would say that is a good letter for a ten year old boy in the fourth grade (at the time the letter was written) from the letters I have seen from children over the years. His third letter is similar. It was written by him on the older children's stationary and is very affectionate and loving. He mentions some details about his life. In these three letters over the last year and a half, I see some progress in Antonio's letter writing ability.  It is important to keep in mind that letter writing is somewhat of a foreign cultural concept in many of the places we work. Verbal communication in these areas is the focus. I noticed by reading over your letters to Antonio that you make statements to him that I personally would know to respond to in my culture but these cultural nuances might not be overly clear in other contexts. You don't need to necessarily not mention these things but I do recommend asking clear questions about things you would like to know. Then, number, highlight, or somehow bring attention to those questions. If you do this, it will be more clear what you would like responded to. Also, please try to avoid phrases and acronyms that might be difficult to translate. This will ensure that your message and what you are trying to say to him will be understood on the other side. 

Also, to help give a little background, the letters are often written as part of a class exercise so staff can provide adequate help and attention to individual children as they write their letters. Several weeks after Antonio received your letter, the staff at the student center would have scheduled a time for all the children to write letters to their sponsors. 

I understand that it can be tough to pour love and affection into a child's life and get very little if anything back. Please know that your letters do matter. You have the very special opportunity to act as a mentor for the child you are sponsoring. Your consistent letters of encouragement communicate, “I care about you and I want to be a part of your life.” There is power in that. With each letter, you are building up his life in ways that we may not be able to dream or imagine. 
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Safiro Rosa

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This really doesn't do it for me. If there is a person you can have contact me and solve this issue a little better that would be fine. No need to continue saying sorry, I just want the problem solved.
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Susan, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Safiro, I want to make sure I fully understand your concerns and what you are wanting so that I can make the right fix here. That said, I am happy to contact you and work things through. Is there a good time that I could call you? 
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Safiro Rosa

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Can you email me?
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Sharon M Ulstad

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Safiro please stop and pray before you lash out. I have been a sponsor for 30 years now. My Ugandan son I have been write since he was 8 yrs of age, he is 21 and in University. As we communicate now he is just understanding the differences in our cultures. He has never had hot running water and never taken a shower. He thought I lived the same way and had the same issues. Their experiences are very different then ours and the way they perceive life. It is very humbling for me to know him and lean of his life.This is a journey you take and it is not about me it is about him. He is very busy trying to learn, survive and help his family. We need to have grace with each other. I have sponsored children from different countries and some wrote a lot and others wrote little but I wrote unto the Lord. My son told me a card I sent him was so special because it made sounds and he took it back to the slums where he lived to show the other children. He treasured every letter and every card. And my support allowed him to go to school and now he is in university studying to be a pharmacist. Now in his university  it is a simple building and he only has one text book.  he lives in a hostile sharing a room no running water. I would suggest you watch the movie Queen of Katwe to understand a little about what these children face. Compassion is an excellent organisation. As your child grows he or she will be able to express more to you. Don't give up pray and be steadfast it is life changing for them to be sponsored and that is the most important thing. In Jesus Name.
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Patty

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Hi Safiro,

Like you and many other sponsors, we care deeply and love deeply which drives us to ask these questions.

We sponsor 2 kids and started last year.  One child, Julien just turned 7 years old and is from Burkina Faso and the other is Megan from Bolivia 10 years old.  We literally overkilled it if possible on letter writing to these 2 -- I'm talking we wrote almost weekly and sent letter packages with coloring sheets, photos of our family trees to describe ourselves, magazine posters, stickers, Sunday School bookmarks, sports trading cards , etc.

The kids have never actually answered any of our questions but have asked us questions which we enthusiastically answer.  I thinking ...maybe our expectations are too high-- these are the poorest of the poor and unless you are with them face to face speaking... they could answer you directly.  Letter writing for many is foreign and unless your sponsor child is extraordinarily bright, and ambitious  will they be able to answer and express themselves.  These kids have zero advantages in life and to start from zero and to be motivated has got to be difficult especially if everyone around you is in the same situation.  I am guessing our letters are external stimulation that  God Willing help them to believe and know they are worthy and can break out of the cycle of poverty and that having a foreign sponsor could be someone they could have a friendship with and know. 

Our hope is to have that sponsor kid that makes it out of poverty and like Sharon M Ulstad wrote above about her sponsor child in university... that has got to be 1 in possibly  a hundred of kids in the Compassion program.

You mentioned you have not received photos of the items he purchased with the money you sent -- did you send over 60 dollars?  That's the rule for photos-- 60 and over-- you get a photo. 

We have found the photos of the kids with their gifts gave us peace that they indeed receiving gifts from us. 

Blessings.
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Patty

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Hi Safiro,

Another idea is to pick another sponsor child who has above average written in  their biography for their schooling. 

We actually did think to this at first when choosing a child because we did perhaps believe ... ok... we're going to get more advanced letter writing results but while we were praying and after we did and we started scrolling through the sponsored kids available, we were led to choose the ones we have now.  So , heh,heh.... yeah... Grace and Love.

Blessings!

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