Every year, thousands of children’s faces light up in some of the world’s poorest places because they’ve received a letter, card or postcard from someone on the other side of the globe who cares about them.
Whether it’s the first time or the 10th, it can be difficult to know what to write to your sponsored child. But writing a letter/card is easy.
If you get stuck, please check out our ‘Still have a question?’ guide.
- Use simple language. In most cases your letter/card will be translated by someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language.
- Avoid topics of religion or politics, as cultural backgrounds can be varied.
- Consider the circumstances in which your sponsored child lives and avoid writing about material possessions. For some children simply having clean drinking water is an achievement.
- Never promise you’ll visit them.
- Photos are cherished by children. Send a photo of yourself or your family but please remember that most non-Western cultures are more conservative than ours, so dress appropriately.
- If you’re sending your own letter/card directly to your child’s country, you’re welcome to send small inexpensive items, visit our guidelines for sending gifts for details.
- Please do not send any items with the greeting cards or letters we send you to complete. These are processed in Australia and sent in bulk, we cannot send additional items.
- Do not send any money, visit our guidelines for sending gifts for details.
- Never write your address on the card or letter. This is to avoid any risk that your details will make their way into the wrong hands in your sponsored child’s country.
- Enjoy and have fun!
Sample lettersHere's an example of what you could write if this is your first letter to your sponsored child...Here’s an example of what you could write if you’ve written to your sponsored child before…
You could write about...
- Subjects that children learn at school in Australia
- The suburb or town where you live
- What you do at work or school
- Australian animals (it’s surprising how many children know about kangaroos!), festivals, foods, climate
- Your pets, friends, hobbies
- Encourage your sponsored child in their education and hobbies
- Other things you might have in common
You could ask...
- What are your favourite activities at school?
- Is your school close by or do you have far to travel?
- Have you learnt anything about Australia?
- What things do you do when you are not at school?
- Do you have brothers or sisters?
- Write who, what, where, when and how questions. “Why” questions can be more difficult to answer.
Involving your own children
It’s not surprising that children
all over the world have similar thoughts and feelings. Many of our
sponsors’ own children are active writers and are thrilled to have a pen
pal. Encouraging your children to write all or part of your letters is a great way to teach them about the world, issues of
development and the human faces behind poverty.
You can be sure that your sponsored child is every bit as curious about your child too.
They love to learn about children just like them who live on the other
side of the world. Children are great artists!
Get your children to do a special drawing, make a card, postcard or create a cartoon for their sponsored friend.