Questions about 'controversial issues' in letters

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Hi. I just sponsored another child, and I noticed a writing tip that instructs sponsors to "Be sensitive" about controversial issues such as politics, sexuality, smoking, alcohol, or drugs. (page 10) This tip wasn't included in the booklets that were sent out 3 1/2 years ago.

Does this mean that sponsors should not encourage their child to stay away from things like drugs or alcohol?

Regarding politics, is it ok to mention that we voted that week, or that our country gets a new president every 4 years? I certainly have not discussed who I voted for, just what was going on at the time where I live.

At times there may be a current event from the child's country which is in the news. Is it not ok to share such info with a child?

Also, the new booklet states that Compassion reserves the right to decline to forward any letters, etc. that they view as incompatible with the ministry approach. Does this mean that if a sponsor mentioned one of these items in their letter (not in a 'bad' way, just a 'controversial' topic) that the whole letter would be discarded, not just the 'controversial' part?

Thanks for clarifying. The new booklet I just received is the only place I have seen this mentioned.

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Beth

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Posted 2 years ago

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Christina, Employee

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Beth I'm so sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding regarding our letter guidelines. Please know that our hearts for these guidelines are to protect the children. Compassion is an evangelical Christian ministry dedicated to holistic development of children in poverty. Our program is implemented by over 5,000 church partners from 65 denominations and scores of indigenous churches that perform local outreach to the children and their families. These partnerships are entered into based on a common vision for ministry and an agreement to a common statement of faith. The statement of faith that Compassion uses is that of the World Evangelical Association. If you would like to explore this in more detail, our statement of faith can be found here. Please know that our heart is not to condemn those who do not agree with our statement of faith. We love all of our neighbors as Jesus has called us to. 

Being sensitive does not mean that you cannot talk about these types of topics. What we meant by "please be sensitive" is to please consider how a child may interpret what you write about such topics. Encouraging your child to stay about from destructive temptations and encouraging them to make wise choices is definitely a great thing to do. It is certainly okay to talk about American culture and customs as well as their country's current events. We think its great for children all over the world to learn about their country as well as others :). We simply ask that you remain diplomatic and tactful. We also ask that you please not speak about these topics with prejudice or hostile feelings or opinions.

The only reason we would prevent a letter from being delivered to a child is if the entire letter includes detailed personal content (i.e. address, contact information) or is filled with content that contradicts our ministry approach. Of course, the decision to decline the forwarding of a letter is up to the discretion of our mail room staff. We trust their discernment in these matters. If there are simply a couple of sentences that our mail room staff is concerned about, then they would simply cover up those sentences. Please know that our staff is very rarely put in these situations. If we have ever had to do this with your letters in the past, we would have contacted you. If you have not received an undeliverable notification from us, then please rest assured that all of your letters have been delivered to your kiddos :). 
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Beth

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Thank you, Christina. That all makes sense, and sounds very reasonable. Thank you for clarifying that they are not taboo topics. I certainly agree with Compassion's viewpoints, and what is meant by being sensitive in the way you explained it.  :-)

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