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Communication with your Sponsored Child

The culture in which we live in Canada is very different from that of your sponsored child and below we have listed some tips to help you with your communication.

Letter writing

Your sponsored child has likely never received a letter in their life! In fact, their parents probably have not either. Even simple things like a bookmark, greeting card, stickers or photos are gifts they will treasure. We encourage you to write regularly to your sponsored child. Many children have expressed great joy at receiving letters from their sponsors. In turn you will be provided with the opportunity to get to know your sponsored child better and to see and hear about the lasting impact of sponsorship.

In your sponsorship package you will receive a template for a letter, which you can use to write to your sponsored child. Additional pages can be found on the Resource page under Sponsorship Resources.

When writing to your sponsored child remember

Keep it simple!
Write about things they can relate to:
  • Your family
  • Your favourite season and what it’s like
  • The country where you live
  • Your job
  • Your hobbies and interests
  • A favourite Bible verse and sharing that you care for them and are praying for them.
Please avoid talking about subjects the child would not understand such as material possessions, money, or luxury vacations. Ask clear questions that will help your sponsored child write to you. Be sensitive about their customs and share some of yours.

To address your letter, use the child’s contact information found in your welcome package on the profile page. Your letter should include your name, as well as the child’s full name and their identification number. For your safety and privacy, please do not include any of your return address information, or e-mail addresses. Envelope size should be no larger than 6” x 9” and contain flat paper products ONLY.

Letters from your sponsored child

Children write their letters at scheduled times and are often assisted by their teachers or field workers. Many children are not familiar with letter writing, so this may be done as part of the school curriculum to learn reading and writing skills. In other cases where children are unable to write their own letters, they will draw pictures and possibly have a teacher or friend write on their behalf.

Please understand there may be a significant time delay in hearing back from your sponsored child. Postal delivery can be very different from the service we experience because roads can be difficult to navigate during rainy season, the children’s school year might be different from ours, and in some cases the letters will need to be translated into a local language.

Sending special gifts

We encourage you to tuck postcards, stickers, photos and cards in your letters. You may send a monetary gift, through our office, for special occasions such as your sponsored child’s birthday, Christmas or Easter. The teachers, pastors and leaders in your child’s community will select a gift that will help your sponsored child the most. If you would like to make arrangements for a recurring monetary gift for your child’s birthday or Christmas, please contact our office or fill in the recurring gift form HERE.

The reasons we prefer monetary gifts is to avoid high postage and custom fees and possible theft and loss. International Needs Canada can accept your cheque or credit card gift for the child and then securely transfer the funds to our partner office for the safe and efficient purchase of a gift. Please make cheque payable to International Needs Canada.

Due to high mailing costs, we are unable to return to you any items that are deemed too heavy for mailing. We will donate them to a local charity on your behalf.

Before sending your letter to the field, our office will review it to ensure the contents are in accordance with our child protection policies and those of our partnering countries.

Please mail correspondence to the International Needs office in Hamilton or e-mail letters to

Social media

You may NOT communicate with your sponsored child via social media like Facebook. All communication must be channeled through our Hamilton head office.

In order to protect the safety of the children we serve, and to comply with our Child Protection Policy, we are obligated to ensure that all communication is appropriate and culturally sensitive. In addition, we have to protect children from those who might prey on them. Click here to review our Child Protection Policy.

Should you receive a friend request, you should NOT respond but contact us at or 1.888.702.9805.

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