We often have sponsors say to us, "I'd love to write to my sponsored child but I don't know what to write about!". Many people find it difficult as the lives of children in our APs in Africa are so different to our own. But it's worth remembering how special receiving a postcard or letter from you will be to your sponsored child, and not just to them, but to their entire family. That's why we've put together these simple Dos and Don'ts to help you to write to your sponsored child. We hope it helps!
By all means...
• Introduce your family
• Tell your sponsored child about your day to day life, activities you do with friends and family, your family pets etc. Children also love to hear about family events and special occasions, and you can ask them about school and their family too.
• Keep your letters short and simple, as all messages have to be translated by our local staff
• Include photos, postcards and pictures of Ireland, and even drawings from your own children with their letters.
• Do be sensitive to cultural, religious and political differences when sending both messages and photographs.
• Do be careful when mentioning money or personal possessions
• Please don't include your postal address or telephone number as within poor communities, your address could become a source of unsolicited requests for money
• Please NEVER include money directly to the child you sponsor as there may be no shops nearby and they will be unable to exchange currency
And that's it. All that's left now is to start writing!
We hope this will help you get started writing to your sponsored child! Delivery of your message and a reply may take a few months but do let us know if you haven't had a response in 3-4 months.
Don't forget you can also email your sponsored child now by composing your message (putting your child's reference number and name in the subject line) and sending to email@example.com. Don't forget to include your Child's Reference in the subject line.
The email arrives in our Dublin office where it is printed and sent by post to your sponsored child's ADP. You can still include up to 2 photographs (total not exceeding 2Mb) as an attachment!
Child-safe sharing online: How to protect your sponsored child
Sponsoring a child is a wonderful experience and one we encourage you to share with friends and loved ones. You might inspire someone else to change a child’s life! In most cases you are welcome to share updates, photos and videos of your sponsored child and their community via social media. But we do ask you to make sure that the information you share respects your sponsored child, protects their privacy and keeps them safe.
Check what you can share online
If your sponsored child does not live in a restricted country, you are free to share this information online:
• child and community photos and videos, as long as they don’t contain landmarks that reveal your sponsored child’s location
• excerpts of letters and cards from your sponsored child that don’t include their last name or address
• your sponsored child’s first name, age and country
• your sponsored child's language, hobbies, chores and grade level at school
• your sponsored child’s general health status (excluding sensitive details)
Sharing some types of personal information can threaten the privacy and safety of your sponsored child and their community. For this reason we don’t include last names, community names or locations or any other information that might identify the location of sponsored children on our website. We ask you to do the same when you are sharing your sponsorship story online.
Please don’t share this information online:
• your sponsored child’s surname and sponsorship ID number
• first names, surnames and occupations of your sponsored child’s parents
• your sponsored child’s address or school name and address
• community village/name
• your sponsored child’s height and weight, specific medical conditions or disabilities
• your sponsored child’s religion
• images that are geotagged to your sponsored child's location
These things all reveal too much about your sponsored child’s identity and location and could place them at risk.