Tuesday, February 3, 2015

World Vision Issues

In late November, I had to place an inquiry because I hadn't heard from one of my World Vision kids, Alphonsine, in over 5 months.  This, of course, was after receiving a letter at least every other month during my entire sponsorship of her.  And, it was also after a big mix-up at her ADP, where there were apparently 2 Alphonsines and I was getting incorrect letters that clearly weren't from my Alphonsine (mentioning siblings and parents, of which my Alphonsine has neither).
Anyway, World Vision told me they were implementing a new letter system, and that it was causing a temporary slow down in receiving letters.  Ok, that seemed legit, and I knew other sponsors were hearing the same thing from WV.  They submitted my inquiry, and I received a long letter from Alphonsine about a month later.  So, it ended up being a 6 1/2 month gap of zero letters, but I assumed the system was improving.

Last week, I realized it has been 5 months since I heard from Marina, my WV child in the DR Congo.  The last letter she responded to was a letter I sent in May 2014, almost 9 months ago.  Since then, I've sent 5 letters to Marina, but received 0.
In fact, Marina has been my least prolific letter writer.  I received that last letter from her in late August 2014, and prior to that, I received a letter in the very beginning of May, so a nearly 4 month gap (1 week shy of 4 months).  I placed an inquiry to World Vision on Tuesday, 1/27.  I received the auto acknowledgement on Wednesday, 1/28.  I still have heard nothing from them, and it's the morning of Tuesday, 2/3/15.

I am aware that child sponsorship is not about the letters you receive, which is why I still have my World Vision kids.  However, A LOT of Compassion sponsors chose to sponsor with World Vision because they claimed a true reciprocal letter writing system--for each letter a child receives, they would write a response to their sponsor.  Last I checked, WV was still claiming that on their website. People also raved about their customer service.
To be completely honest, I don't even care if I receive a letter every month, but when I'm writing roughly every 6 weeks, I do expect a letter back every other month, or every 8-10 weeks.  And I'd probably write more often if I happened to be receiving regular letters from either of my girls with World Vision.  Interestingly enough, the World Vision letter system hasn't seemed to slow down the correspondence between Willy and me.  Willy is also in Rwanda, just like Alphonsine.  I received a letter every other month from Willy in 2014, and there were a couple months that I received 2 letters from him.

For whatever reason, it bothers me when companies promise one thing, and then don't deliver.  I have no problems with my Children International kids.  CI promises 2 letters/year, and I've received that amount plus extra letters from all of my kids.  They are delivering on their promise.  That being said, I am still in my first year of sponsorship with Children International, and I know that my first year of sponsorship with World Vision was great, letter-wise, as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Year!

I begin 2015 with 7 sponsored children.  Three through World Vision, three through Children International, and one through United With Hope.
I've developed a nice ongoing sponsorship routine with 7 kids.  I'm not planning on adding any new kids in 2015, as 7 seems to be a good number for me to keep up with long term.  I write every 5-6 weeks, sometimes online, sometimes a real paper letter with pictures, etc.  I am able to send extra financial gifts with only 7 children, as well, and that is a plus for me, because it's pretty important to me.
There have been several times during the past few months that I worried I'd need to drop some or all of my sponsored children, due to looming bills that seemed huge.  But everything always seemed to work out.  Either the bill was much smaller than anticipated, or we somehow had the money.
I think back to when I returned to sponsorship in August 2013.  I remember thinking I'd have time to write twice a month.  Ha!  The good news is, I don't even feel a bit guilty.  Sponsorships through World Vision and Children International don't have kids coming into a center each week, so to get a letter to the child, either the family has to come and pick it up, or center staff have to deliver it to the family.  Writing twice a month would create a lot more work!   I feel I've struck a nice balance with writing every 5-6 weeks.  The kids still get regular letters from me, but I'm not overwhelming the system.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Welcome Bhuvana!

I just realized I never posted a picture of Bhuvana, the little girl I sponsor through United with Hope.  When I received word that Jayaprakash was leaving the program, I chose to sponsor  Bhuvana.  Isn't she adorable?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Goodbye Jayaprakash

I received sad news yesterday, as my newest sponsored child, Jayaprakash, is leaving the program due to school and family commitments.  I sponsored Jayaprakash through United With Hope, which runs an after school tutoring program.  The children are helped with their school work (tutoring is a big thing in India), and given an evening meal.

The good news is, there are three girls who are waiting for a sponsor through this program.  I have asked to sponsor one of those girls now that Jayaprakash has left.  Once I get confirmation, I will share her picture here!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thank you from Barsha!

I received a response about the gift I sent to Barsha, my child in India sponsored through Children International!  
Here's what was purchased:
2 sets of clothing for Barsha, 2 sets of clothing for her siblings, 1 sari for her mother, 1 box of health drinks for Barsha, many grocery items for the family.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another letter from Willy!

Wow, I just mentioned how I was expecting another letter from Willy relatively soon, and one arrived in the mail today!
This makes 10 letters received from Willy in less than 14 months of sponsorship!  I am so impressed with how correspondence has been going with the Simbi ADP in Rwanda through World Vision.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Willy's 2014 Progress Report

This is sweet Willy, my very best writer, from Simbi ADP in Rwanda.  Willy is 4 years old, and apparently now has a younger brother, who he helps babysit.  Willy does not attend school yet, so his progress report did not have as much information in it.  When Willy grows up, he would like to be a driver.  His community grows lots of beans, and his favorite food is rice.  They eat meat on special days like Christmas day.  Willy helps at home by fetching water and babysitting, and his bedtime is 8:30pm.
My last letter from Willy arrived on August 13, so I am expecting another one any day now!