Letter writing FAQ

Why can I not access the letter writing service?

The most common mistake is that the sponsor-ID number that has been entered is incorrect. You access the letter writing service by entering your 8 digits sponsor number. When the correct sponsor number has been filled in, your sponsored child’s name will appear automatically under “I’m writing to”. Make sure you tick off the box next to the child’s name, only then will it be possible to click on the next step and proceed to the letter writing.

I understand that the letters are sent digitally but can I get a paper letter instead?

Yes. You can get physical copies of your letters. However, we prefer that you receive your letters by email as it helps to reduce our printing and postage costs and processing time. The letters come to our office digitally, so what we send to you is a printout of the child's letter.

Can I send stickers and other paper gifts?

Yes. You can send, for example, stickers, coloring books and other paper gifts. The thickness must be max 6 mm and the size A4. Note that it can take a long time before it reaches your sponsored child.

I don't know what to write. Do you have any advice?

Absolutely! Just tell your child about your everyday life, your family, what you do in your spare time, what you work with, etc. Help the child get to know you better and ask them about their lives as well. You can send a favorite Bible verse or share something that you have experienced that God has taught you. Encourage them in their schoolwork and let them know you are praying for them. Remember that it does not need to be a long letter, it can also be a short greeting.

What can I expect from my sponsored child letters?

Max 6 letters per year. Children up to the age of 9 fill out a questionnaire. Through this you will learn more facts about the child's life. Sometimes a parent or other adult from the project staff helps. We encourage the children to write about personal things that affect their lives and of course answer the questions you asked in your letter. In some cultures, this is a major challenge as they are not used to writing letters. Therefore, we would like to urge you not to expect too much from the answers you receive, but first and foremost see the letter correspondence as a way to encourage your sponsor child.

How often will my sponsored child write to me?

Your sponsor child will send at least 2 letters a year but if you write more often then you are likely to get more letters back.

Can I write directly to my sponsored child?

All communication between sponsors and their sponsored children must go through Compassion and our letter writing process. Our experience has shown that routing letters through the Compassion system is the safest way to handle the correspondence.

It allows us to:

  • secure the appropriate translation service you and your child need for effective communication.
  • secure the delivery of letters to children in remote areas where post services are not available.
  • protect your privacy.
  • protect the children.

Can I connect with my sponsored child through Facebook, Twitter, email, Skype, etc.?

As the spreading and access to social media platforms continues to increase around the world, we realise that it is possible for sponsors and their sponsored children to connect with each other without Compassion’s involvement. This comes with increased risks for the privacy and safety for both sponsor and child. Therefore, all communication must go through Compassion. Do not contact your sponsored child on social media platforms.

There have been cases where someone who knows a sponsored child, or even a family member, has created an account on a social networking site and pretends to be the child and asks for money, and threatens the child’s well-being if money is not provided.

If you are contacted by your sponsored child outside of Compassion (for example by phone, email, Facebook, Twitter etc.), please do not respond. Let us know about the contact by calling +46 823 62 00 or emailing info@compassionfi.fi.

We cannot protect your privacy or your sponsored child if we are not involved in the correspondence. We also have a responsibility to protect the children from people who do not have the children’s best interest in mind.

Being involved in the correspondence process also allows us to help you navigate between cross-cultural sensitivities and avoid inadvertently writing something inappropriate or offensive to your sponsored child.

Why can I not include my address, email address or phone number in my letter?

If you share your personal contact information, you might jeopardise your own as well as your sponsored child’s safety. Some sponsors who have shared their personal contact information have received solicitations for money from people claiming to be friends or family members of their sponsored child. There have also been situations where children have been placed at risk in their communities due to their direct contact with a sponsor from a high-income country.

We ask that you do not share your personal contact information with your sponsored child.

I have been contacted on social media by my sponsored child, what should I do?

If you are contacted by your sponsored child outside of Compassion (for example by phone, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), please do not respond. Let us know about the contact by calling +46-823 62 00 or emailing info@compassionfi.fi.

Sponsored children and their families are prohibited from direct communication as a condition of participation in our programs. By letting us know when this happens, you allow us to notify people in the field who can work with your sponsored child’s family to reinforce our communication policies.

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