Frequently Asked Questions are being updated regularly. There are also topics covered in other pages, such as leadership, teams etc. This questions page is not intended to repeat information on all these other pages but to provide a little more detail about a specific question asked of us.
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Letters to sponsored children (7)
Sending a parcel to your child can be difficult. It incurs a cost that Heart for Kids is not able to bear unless someone from our office or a volunteer is able to carry while traveling. This of course is dependent on weight restrictions and when someone is next traveling.
Everything we send to our country offices is declared to customs as a document. If custom officials find anything in a box of letters that isn’t a document, we will be assessed and may face hefty fine and the box will be held for weeks, possibly months.
If you’re sending some cards or photos please make sure they reflect the everyday lifestyle of your home area. Sending photos of luxury stores and palatial homes would not be encouraging for the children we support. Please only send a few. Two or three are great for a child, 10 or 15 are overwhelming.
On top of that, there is a high incidence of theft when sending packages to the developing world, and shipping items overseas can be quite costly.
Instead, we encourage you to send a monetary gift. Our local staff will purchase what they need most. This also benefits the local economy of your sponsored child by supporting local businesses.
While it may seem easier to speak with your child directly through social media (Facebook etc), and we know that writing letters the “old-fashioned” way may not be what you prefer, we appreciate your willingness to respect our communication policies which are written in the best interests of all concerned.
You can write a letter to your child electronically. We have an online form you can access here.
To write your letter please have your sponsor child’s name, child number and your sponsor number ready.
Heart For Kids encourages sponsors to participate in the life of their child.
How can this happen:
- Pray regularly for your child and their family
- Sponsors are encouraged to write occasional letters to their child with update from your life and pictures. These letters allow your child to share in your life and relationships are built. Letters will be forwarded to your child as and when our team are visiting them. Sponsors are provided with guidelines for letter writing. Please note that we have limited resources to manage letters between sponsors and children. Every letter to a child must be processed by our translation team, then sent to our in-country team and finally given to your child. It’s not a simple task but we value the impact of letters greatly. We ask that you write to your sponsored child a maximum of once in four months.
- Provide gifts for your child’s birthday or Christmas. We’re not able to send actual gifts to your child so a gift of money is the best method. This will then be used locally to bless your child in the most appropriate way.
- Commit to a long term relationship with your child.
- You can write a letter to your child by clicking here
- All communications between sponsors and their children or in-country offices go through our international office and translation team to protect the security of each child we serve.
- Letters need to be translated and we have a wonderful team who perform this task. So they are not overloaded though we ask that you limit your letters to 250 words.
- Please keep your letters simple as this makes it easier to both translate and for the children to understand
- Your letters should include little pieces of news about you or your family and words of encouragement for your child
- As you encourage your child to do well in school (for instance) please don’t labour the point so the child does not feel additional pressure. Many are under enough pressure from family, friends and society in this area already.
- It’s OK to let your child know you are praying for their health (for instance) but sometimes we may need to edit letters which may be to explicit in this area.
- Please limit your letters to one every four months maximum so our translation team are able to keep up.
Experience has shown that routing letters through the Heart For Kids system is the most efficient and safest way to handle correspondence.
- It allows us to translate letters in the most appropriate manner for both you and your child
- It helps us coordinate the process so letters travel in both directions as quickly as possible. Letters to children often have to be hand delivered.
- It allows us to protect your privacy.
- It allows us to protect the children.
If you do write to your child in their native language we will still forward this to our translation team so that we can be aware of the letter’s content.
Please limit your letters to each child to one every four months. More than this becomes overwhelming for our translation team.
We take information security very seriously. For this reason, we handle all child letters directly and ask that you not share your personal contact information with your child.
Your letters are sent to the Australian office and then to your child’s country. Sharing your personal contact information can put you and your child at risk.
Some sponsors in other organisations 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 the developing world.
We cannot protect you or your child unless we are able to monitor the correspondence process.