Thursday, March 20, 2014

New Sponsor Handbook - More on Letters, Relationships and Boundaries

Letter writing provides a personal link and sets up a relationship unique to you and the child or family. We have seen that secondary students write more frequently, as they are more knowledgeable of English and have more access to writing materials. They may give you a school address or an e-mail address, either of which makes your communication move more quickly. It is absolutely your decision whether or not to share your e-mail or home address.
If you are sponsoring a younger child who cannot yet write, you may be able to establish a relationship with their parent or guardian. If you don’t know the name of the parent, please contact Josephine Mburugu or Karen Lau. Unfortunately, with some children, letter writing just doesn’t occur. It may be very hard for them to obtain writing materials and their parent may not be able to write in English. This may seem discouraging to you as a sponsor, but know that the HOPE guardians are making sure your contribution is used to enhance this young life and enable the child to stay in school without interruption.
When you write, it is helpful to ask specific questions about their life, how they spend their time out of school, and about their family. Sending greetings to their family and caretakers is also encouraged. Feel free to share about your family, your work, your interests, but avoid talking about your possessions. There is more information on letter writing on the CHERISH blog.


If you wish to add to your letter, please only send what can fit in an envelope. Photos of you or your family are treasured. Bookmarks, postcards, drawings or stickers can also be included with your letter. DO NOT SEND CASH. Due to high import fees, please do not send packages. Keep in mind that if you send a larger flat envelope, you will need to take it to the counter to have your postage calculated. If you need further information, contact the postal office or usps.org.
You will be given an opportunity to make an extra donation as a Christmas or graduation gift. These can be including in your November donation.  Please specify the student's name and the amount you are including for this gift.  You will also have an opportunity to send a "encouragement card" as the students prepare for their Standard 8 and Form 4 examinations. 

You may receive requests for a particular gift, or for some type of assistance beyond that of your donation. If this occurs, please feel free to contact Karen or Josephine, who will help you in your response. If you receive information from your student regarding a serious need or issue, it is very important to let Karen or Josephine know, so that the HOPE guardian can be contacted.

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