May 30, 2013
My colleagues and I feel truly privileged to be able to count on the ongoing generosity of sponsors in our journey to ensuring a better future for poor children in our part of the world. As I write this post, over 23,000 of you are tirelessly supporting our activities, sponsoring roughly an equal number of children through our Sponsorship Program.
Sponsorship has many gratifying aspects. One of them is that special, one-on-one bond that develops between a sponsor and their sponsored child over the years. With this in mind, our staff puts a lot of effort into ensuring every sponsor experience with us is a truly enjoyable one. This blog post is one of those efforts, suggesting content you may want to include when writing to your sponsored child.
Going to school – an essential right for kids
Children have many rights including accessing quality, age-appropriate education. Communities expect non-family members, such as sponsors, to constantly remind children of this important right and make sure they take full advantage of it. Parents feel eternally grateful to those sponsors who talk about the benefits of education in their letters and encourage children to be regular school-goers and hard learners.
“Hearing a different voice singing the praise of education could carry more meaning for my child than the daily advice from me or his mother” says Seydou Bengaly, the father a 9-year-old sponsored boy. This feeling is shared by many community members who, despite the pervasive poverty that continues to be their bane, try to see that children enjoy their right to education as much as possible.
Learning social values – a fundamental duty for children
People in Mali, especially in rural areas, put a high premium on social morés and values such as respect, sharing, help, sense of responsibility, etc. They do their best to ensure these principles are inculcated into children so they will become successful adults. However, parents are aware that it’s not (and should not be) the sole responsibility of the family to bring up children and introduce them to socially acceptable manners. Given the sociable and extroverted nature of Malian communities, children interact with others daily. Everybody, sponsors included, can play a role in ensuring children learn the basic tenets of society.
Identifying one’s self as a man or woman
Names in Mali are typically different than those used in the West. Children often have difficulty recognizing from a name whether their sponsor is a male or female. This cultural issue is best addressed by including a picture of yourself or saying in your letter whether you are a woman or man.
Finally, remember that whatever you say in your letters, the most important thing is that you communicate. Why not write to your sponsored child today?
Brighten your sponsored child’s day – and future – by writing a letter today.
If you are not already a sponsor, become one today.