Great news! If you currently sponsor a child at Project Manuelito, you either recently received a letter from your child or will be receiving one very soon!
You may wonder… why is the letter I received from my child seem so generic?
Many children in Central/South America struggle with the concept of writing a letter. You are likely the only person that your sponsored child will write a letter to, and the concept of having a conversation by mail can be difficult to grasp.
But you say… Because of the age of the child, don’t you think he/she should have a better grasp by now?
Compassion International answers this question well:
“In Central and South America it’s not common for people to write letters, so the children are learning something completely out of the ordinary for them. But despite the cultural differences that may play a part in this, this probably isn’t the whole picture. . . Often during the designated time, teachers will write a list of suggestions or letter samples on the board to help the kids with their letters. . . he may rely heavily on the suggestion on the board. This often makes the child letters sound scripted or unoriginal because children will copy the samples or follow the list word for word.”
So what can you do?
If you have specific questions for your sponsored child, may we recommend that you keep them brief, simple, and number each question. This will call attention to your questions. It also helps to write to your sponsored child shortly after receive a letter from him/her. This can help your conversations get into rhythm.
I know that the quality of the letters you receive can be frustrating, and for that, we are sorry. We hope that you can see the letters you write as a ministry opportunity: an opportunity to pour into a child’s life halfway across the world, an opportunity to teach, mentor, celebrate, encourage and pray with a child in need, rather than just an exchange of information and details. Your frequent presence fosters trust and tells your child “I care about you and want to be a part of your life.”
Compassion International Blog: Why Do My Sponsored Child’s Letters Seem So Impersonal?