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World Vision eLetter program

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday May 17, 2006 )

A little off topic, but it always heartens me to see online technology being put to *really* good use instead of things that whirr and spin and go “bing”!

Our family has been involved with World Vision for around 3 years now; oddly enough it was the war in Iraq that spurred it on (long story). We sponsor 3 African children, and it’s been great for us to watch “our” girls grow and thrive. The measly $1 a day per child, I assure you, *does* make a huge difference in not only their lives but also of the whole village. These kids now have some sort of positive future to look forward to.

Many people would like to sponsor a child but are hesitant because of stories they’ve heard about some programs. If you’re interested in child sponsorship, I published a review a couple of years ago you may be interested in. By the way, if you do end up sponsoring a child, I’d love to hear from you!

Anyway, I received a note from World Vision today about their new eLetter program. eLetter is a free service provided by World Vision Australia to help us communicate with our sponsored children. I’m assuming that they have rolled this out in the USA or will be soon.

To use the service, we enter in our sponsored child’s ID number and tap out an email which is then sent to the World Vision office in the African region where the children are located. The office then print it off, translate it and deliver it to the child.

This is fantastic. It takes so long for our letters to get to the kids and we do want them to know that we care about them as people – our sponsorship is much more than a tax writeoff to us or a token gesture. There’s been a couple of times when we’ve received letters and photos back from them that it has brought us to tears – not of sadness, but of joy. It’s a very moving experience.

The other great thing about this service is that it’s really well suited to people like me. I have spent so much time in front of a computer, my handwriting skills have degraded. I type much faster than I write, so I find that when I pick up a pen these days what I write is very sloppy and full of mistakes – my brain is working way too fast for my hand to keep up :). Consequently, and ashamedly, I have never personally written to either of the children. Thankfully my partner has been looking after that side of things and includes messages from me, but with this new service, there will be no excuses for me not to write to them myself.

Good one World Vision!


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