Tag: letter writing

Jun 25 2009

Serious fun

Schoolís out for summer! Kids are lost in a lazy haze of swimming, camps and vacations. But, as the excitement of having no homework fades, it is often replaced with, ìMom! Iím booooooored!î

What a great time to encourage solidarity with their sponsored friend. Have them do a little research about the country, culture and history of their friend. The library has wonderful books for all ages about different countries. This will make letter writing easier, too, because the research may stir up good questions they can ask of their friend.

Over the next four weeks, we will offer some ideas and activities that you can do with your children or grandchildren that will teach them about other cultures.

Global play
The most global, common element about childhood is play. Children play. Even when faced with inhumane conditions and hardship, it is part of a childís nature to engage in some kind of play. There are many games that are manifested in areas all around the planet in various forms (hide and seek, tag, jump rope games, etc.) but there are many games that seem to be organic, having grown out of the imaginations of a nationís children. The following is a game that children play in Chile.

Mar, Luna, Sol (Ocean, Moon, Sun)
You need a couple of steps where the children can stand side by side. This can be the front porch or the steps of a pool.

The bottom step (or the ground) is Mar (ocean). The next one up is Luna (moon) and the top step is Sol (sun). One person is the caller. The caller says either, ìMar, Luna or Solî and everyone has to jump to that step. The caller keeps choosing different levels and everyone must jump to that step. If a players jumps to the wrong step, they are out. The last one left standing wins and gets to be the caller.

There are many great Web sites where you can find games that are played by children in your friendís country. Research the games together with your own children or grandchildren. Then, let the games (and the learning) begin!

You can also look at our 2008 edition of Sacred Ground for more games around the world (look at page 15 of the pdf).

Related links
Serious fun, part 2
Serious fun: Creative play

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Apr 6 2009

Writing topics

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I donít know what to write to my friend. Could you offer any suggestions?

A. We are happy that you will be writing to your friend. Children, youth and aging friends eagerly anticipate receiving letters and photos from their sponsors. For both you and your friend, writing letters and sharing photos is the best way to build a strong relationship. But we know that itís sometimes difficult to get that first letter started.

Here are some topic suggestions:
Your story ñ age, children, family
Holiday traditions special to your family
Your favorite color, food, memory, sports/games
Interests, profession or hobbies
Weather where you live
The landscape in your geographic area
Cultural activities ñ art, music, dance, theater
Why you chose your sponsored friend
Ask questions about your friendís life and dreams
Offer words of encouragement and support

If you donít have time to write a letter, postcards and pre-printed greeting cards are an easy and quick way to stay in touch with your friend.

Remember: Itís a good rule of thumb to avoid talking about material possessions, money and other topics that could serve to highlight the differences between your circumstances. Please keep these same considerations in mind when sending photographs.

For the privacy and protection of sponsors and sponsored friends, please do not share or ask your friend for personal contact information, including e-mail or home addresses and phone numbers.

Please visit the CFCA writing page for more writing tips, including up-to-date information about mailing costs and how to request more pre-printed labels.

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Feb 10 2009

‘I’m going to miss your letters’

ìI truly hope, with all my heart that you are well because you deserve all blessings from this world.î

So begins the final letter from Karol to her sponsor of 10 years, Joseph Presper. Karol has finished her studies and is now working as a nurseís assistant at a hospital near her home. Because she has finished her university studies, it was time for Karol to be retired from the CFCA program. CFCA does not retire a person at a certain age. Instead, we walk with them until they have reached their educational goals.

Finishing her studies and graduating from the program was a bittersweet time for Karol. She writes, ìAt this moment there is also this great sadness in my heart Ö not only for your help but because I love you so very much and I am going to miss your letters, your news, knowing about your life and your family.î

Mr. Presper, a retired accountant,†says he used his letters to encourage Karol in her studies. He began to sponsor because he came to a point in his life when he realized he did not need more material possessions. There are so many others in the world who need so much, he said.

While he did not get the chance to visit Karol they both feel they grew close through their letters. Karol continues, ìI remember every single detail, all your letters, everything that youíve gone through, everything youíve shared with me, your support. Just imagine! I have your picture taped in my bedroom and anybody that comes in always asks me, whoís he? And I proudly answer, ëMy Godfather!íî

Karol had one last request of her Godfather: please sponsor another child. ìI would feel very happy to know that your beautiful light will light up the life of another child Ö there are many children of this world that need support, love and help to continue on, to bloom and change their own future.î

In this Valentine season where we can get lost in a sea of cards, chocolate, flowers and sentiment, we want to recognize the deep love that exists between a CFCA sponsor and sponsored friend. Karol closes her letter by saying, ìYou can be sure that there is someone that will always carry you in heart and mind. I will pray to God, everyday, to fill you with blessings, to keep you healthy. My life has been marked since I met you. Please, pray to God for me too, this is how we will continue to be united for eternity.î

Mr. Presper honored Karolís request and chose to sponsor another child.

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