Ugandan Students Happy to Hear from Sponsors

“You’ve Got Mail”. Three Special Words to our Child Sponsorship Program Students

“You’ve Got Mail” is more than just a movie title. It aptly describes the glee of our sponsored children when they receive a letter or card from their sponsor.  And we know sponsors are also excited when they receive a letter from their sponsored child.
Sponsored child, Apoka Franka, writes to her sponsor.

Apoka Franka, who attends our northern Uganda school, shows the letter she has just written to her sponsor.

At Outreach Uganda, several U.S. volunteers, plus teachers and staff in Uganda help make this letter exchange happen.  It is no easy task! A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into these exchanges. Most younger  students need a little help from a teacher or the child sponsorship coordinator to read and write out their letters. Often, they require translation between English and Acholi-Luo, their native language. Letter writing is not a skill normally taught to students. Therefore, our sponsorship coordinator has to help the students learn what writing a letter means, and what kinds of things sponsors might want to know about the child and where he/she lives.

With older secondary students, timing can be complicated because most attend boarding schools outside of their village and are only home for holidays three times per year. Often, this is when families go visit relatives back in their ancestral villages. Because shipping costs between the two countries are high, we collect child letters all at once, at the end of each Ugandan school term, and mail them all together. In the US, we collect sponsor letters and mail them to Uganda approximately every 4 weeks.

Sponsors can encourage students through letter writing

Happy Ugandan students with letters from their sponsors.

The smiles on students’ faces when they receive mail, and knowing how much sponsors enjoy the children’s letters make all of the efforts worthwhile.  Letters from sponsors and the knowledge that sponsors pay their school fees motivate students to stay in school and perform their best, and remind them that someone cares a great deal about them.

Our goal is for sponsors to receive letters from their sponsored children at least three times per year.  For sponsors, we encourage you to write letters or send a card or postcard if possible.  However, we realize (and so do the children!), that a sponsor’s biggest contribution is the paying of their school fees.  So we fully understand that some sponsors do not have time for letter writing!  If you are short on time or don’t like to correspond, please let us know if you would like one of our volunteers to send your sponsored child a card or postcard on your behalf a couple of times per year. We’d be happy to do this.

Child Sponsorship Program Makes a Difference

Above all, we want to thank all our sponsors for showing their care and concern, and making a difference in the life of a child through their sponsorship! If you are not yet a sponsor, but would like to join us in this very special and worthwhile effort, please take a look at these children who still need sponsors.
Happy to have a sponsor and be going to school.

Lanyero is happy that she has a sponsor. She knows she’s able to continue in school.

Girls and older children especially need sponsors to be able to continue into secondary school where students board and therefore school costs are higher. To help make sponsorship of these older students more affordable, we offer the option of having two sponsors for a secondary or vocational sponsored child.
The smiles on students’ faces when they receive mail, and knowing how much sponsors enjoy the children’s letters make all of the efforts worthwhile.  Other paper items, such as photos, postcards, stickers and coloring pages, can also be included in letters to sponsored students. Letters from sponsors and the knowledge that sponsors pay their school fees motivate students to stay in school and perform their best, and remind them that someone cares a great deal about them.

 

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