Guidance on Sponsorship with ACO
Thank you for becoming the Sponsor of ACO child. We’re sure the bonds that you are about to start building will be good for you, for the child you sponsor, for the family and community involved and for ACO. To help you get the most out of the relationship we’ve put together the following guidelines. We hope you’ll find them informative and useful. It is impossible to be fully comprehensive, to cover every point and answer every possible question in advance, so if there is anything that you would like to know that isn’t included in what follows, please get in touch and let us know. We’ll get back to you.
Getting a sponsor is a major step for the children here and, for those able to communicate either on their own or via ACO’s translators; this is almost always reflected in their initial, often effusive, communications. You will be very new in their lives and we know from experience you can be very good for their lives too.
Contact – How does it work?
When a sponsorship is established for all except the very youngest of the children, one of the first things we do is to provide the sponsored child with an email address of their own, which we provide to you. Your contact will be through ACO’s team of dedicated translators. It is their task to help the children who are able to communicate write their emails and put them into English for you and into Khmer for them when necessary. Some of the children are sufficiently competent in English to be able to communicate directly and in that case they usually write their own material and send it to you through the team.
Contact – How often?
It’s best to set expectations in your first email. If you are unable to write more than one or two times a month, it is fine to say so. Disappointment only occurs when an expectation is not met and our children understand if you have a busy schedule, travel or other priorities. Whatever the arrangement is, once made with the child, it is important to do your best to keep to it. Your child will likely respond to your email within a week (though sometimes it can be a bit longer if our translators have a backlog or there is a major vacation period) and may occasionally just write to say hello. You set the pace.
Our children are very forthright in expressing their feelings. They love to love and be loved and they are very excited to have a sponsor. If your sponsored child says “I love you” in his/her first email, don’t be shocked and don’t be wary. It’s spontaneous and our translators simply translate what is given to them. Some sponsors feel that the child is coached or led and we sometimes hear that a child so young would use such a complex word. Remember that our translators write the English version. For example, if your 7-year-old child writes that: “My friends play sports but I don’t participate because it’s too hot”, then that may be the translators version of “My friends play sports but I don’t like to be part of it as I get too hot”. The emails you receive are from the child and if you have any doubts, please feel free to contact us at your convenient time. Read more in File PDF