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It can be very disheartening to pour our love, time and prayer into the sponsorship process and feel like te child is not interested in hearing from us or writing back. However I do not think this is the case with our Ethiopian children. I have talked to many people with sponsor kids in ET and they all have the same experience....infrequent and generic letters. I truly believe this is a problem at the country level office. For whatever reason they are not putting emphasis on the importance of a relationship between sponsor and child and they are not following Compassion's guidelines for writing. I think if you join the Facebook Community that Denise was talkin about on another thread you will hear from many others who have the same concerns about ET.
I hope you continue to write your child, and contact Compassion if it's been more than six months since you have received a letter. I'm not sure what it will take to turn the tide in ET when it comes to correspondence, but my hope is that it happens soon. Too many are discouraged by their sponsorship experience there.
I apologize for any typos, I am on my phone and it is still early here :)
I would continue to write if I were you though...Hopefully the situation in ET will be looked at and fixed soon, and if you are writing less, than you'll hear back less when it is :) Plus I'm sure your child cherishes each of your letters, even if she/he isn't allowed to write back more often at the moment.
Definitely report it though :) People asking about ET have been told that Compassion hasn't heard there is a problem with this country.
My kids in Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda write (or wrote) frequently. Uganda is another one where they write in English after a certain age if that's important to you. Personally I like sponsoring in a country where they are learning English because it's so much easier to find things to send.
All of the countries I sponsor(ed) in have been great about the frequency of letters except Ethiopia quite honestly. I'm not sure if it's a cultural issue or what with ET.
Regrettably, I was unable to locate your account by your name or email address. Please post your child's reference number in this forum and I would love check and see if you have a letter on its way to you! If it has been more than 6 months since your last letter, we can send an inquiry to our field office to request a letter and make sure your girl is okay. I would encourage you to continue writing as often as you are able to your child. Ethiopia has the same correspondence process as all of our countries and she receives every letter, sticker, and card that you send to her :). She will be prompted to respond to the letters you send and you can receive up to 6 letters per year from your child. Our staff care deeply for these children and are trained on how to assist the children in improving their letters each time and on the importance of letter writing. We value your relationship with your child and I certainly pray that your relationship with your girl improves the longer you sponsor her. We take these situations case by case and contact our projects individually if we feel that further training is needed to place a bigger emphasis on letter writing or if you are not receiving responses to your letters. I would recommend underlining or highlighting your questions so that they stand out to your child. If you see the same content in your letters overtime or she does not answer your questions, please send us a letter sample. We can ask her tutors to work more closely with her to help improve her letters. Thank you for investing time and love into your sweet girl. Please know that you are making a dramatic difference in her life!
Hawkeye is absolutely right. A process can be written on paper but if it is not implemented and followed in reality, we may have some integrity concerns.
As you already know, our policy says that each child is required to write twice a year if they do not receive consistent letters but their a sponsor writes frequently (as I know you all do), the child is required to reply to each letter for up to six letters per
After we received your feedback on OurCompassion about lack of correspondence from Ethiopia last November, we contacted our department that communicates with our centers directly and oversees our centers in various parts of the world, including Ethiopia. We wanted to see if this was an issue that needed to be addressed to the country as a whole, but we found that this issue is only related to specific projects. Because of this we have decided to address these issues as they come up, and not on a widespread global scale. As sponsor’s, you are on the front lines in communication with your child and have the opportunity to reach out to us when things seem to be off or not going as they should be.
We certainly do not want this situation be ignored nor are we not keeping Ethiopia accountable in regards to communication and letter writing, which is why I want to make sure we are all on the same page with how these circumstances are being handled and addressed.
I understand how frustrating it is to have to send an inquiry once much less, multiple times for the same child with concerns about letter writing. But because this is not a country wide issue and is only with specific projects, we unfortunately cannot address it as such and need to take it on a case by case basis. We are happy to take your inquiries personally through this web page or you are welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever a concern comes up with your child’s letters. This will reduce the amount of hands that touch your account so that we can ensure you are receiving clear, accurate, and efficient information about your child in a timely manner.
TKC4419, I am so sorry that you feel your situation has not been taken seriously by us or feel that it is being avoided. After reviewing your account, I cannot express to you how grateful I am for the time you take to write each child as often as you do and the energy you put into making each one feel loved and special. I see that you have a couple children in Ethiopia but it looks like Yeabsira may be the specific child you are mentioning (please correct me if I am wrong). I definitely agree that you have been more than patient for four years in waiting for things to improve in your child’s letters and this needs to be addressed. I want to handle this personally for you so that this communication gets through the correct channels and we resolve this at the project level. I will contact our field staff and make sure your child is doing okay, but more importantly I want to inquire further about how this specific project has been handling letters with your child and if there is a reason that your child is not writing you more frequently.
I understand that when you all hear from each other, and you are all having issues with Ethiopia in regards to lack of correspondence, it sounds like there is quite a large problem in Ethiopia. However, just to give a little perspective, Compassion has 970 centers in Ethiopia alone. Each of those centers serves hundreds of very needy children. In this conversation, we are talking about less than 100 children who are struggling with correspondence. I'm not saying that there is not a problem with particular children, staff, and centers in Ethiopia, but it is important to keep things in perspective. Quite frankly, it breaks my heart as an advocate for children (this is my number one job title) when I hear you all say that you will not advocate for children from Ethiopia because a few of you have had trouble with correspondence there.
That said, I know that it can be frustrating and disappointing to continue writing to a child when you feel that you are not getting much back and I am happy to address each of your issues individually. Just to be clear, I am currently sending inquiries for sponsors who:
- write their children regularly (six or more letters a year)
- receive only two letters a year from their child or a letter every six months
- have sponsored/corresponded with that particular child for at least two years (to give the child a chance to catch up to your frequency of writing and respond to everything you have written)
JanC, I noticed that only one of the four children you sponsor in Ethiopia has been sponsored for more than a year. I would kindly ask that you please give your children a chance to catch up to writing more frequently. If this continues for another year or so, please contact Emily or I and we will address it at that time. I am sending an inquiry now for Lidya since you have had her for two years.
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