The Meaning of Your Message

So, you’ve seen us encouraging our sponsors to write to their sponsees through our online messaging portal. You’re wondering, “Does my message make a difference?” “What’s the big deal?”

We’re here to tell you yes. And we’re here to tell you why.

When your sponsee receives a message from you, here’s what it means:

It means that someone across the ocean thought of them and cares for them. It means they have a cheerleader, a confidante, and a consistent form of support when much of their personal life may feel out of control and volatile. It means someone loves them enough to sacrifice not just money but the ultimate currency – time – to be sure they feel a sense of hope, security, and belonging.

When your sponsee reads your words, they feel thankful, curious, and encouraged. Not only this, but one very sweet gift you give (AND receive) in communicating regularly with your sponsee is a cross-cultural connection that can broaden one’s understanding of the world and deepen one’s empathy for those who live within different cultural norms as well as experience and overcome different sorts of trials and triumphs.

Struggling with what to write about? Here are some ideas:

– share about your family and friends
– talk about your job – what you do for work, why you picked it, etc.
– share a prayer request
– encourage your sponsee with some wisdom, a lesson you’re learning, an inspirational quote, a Bible verse, etc.
– keep it positive and appropriately personal; try to avoid writing about political topics, writing about material possessions, or other potentially sensitive topics
– ask your sponsee lots of questions about their favorite things, what they’re learning, what ROWAN means to them, what their family/friends are like, etc.

We definitely encourage you to attach a photo (or several!) in your message to your sponsee. Here are examples of photos that the orphans and widows love to see:

– photos of you – attaching a face to a name increases the rate and ability to form a connection
– photos of your family or other people you’ve told them about in a message
– photos of your pet(s)
– photos from places you’ve traveled or places that are important to you

What to expect in a reply from your sponsee:

– Most messages will be translated to English by a local staff member in Uganda
– We do our best to ensure that each sponsor receives a message back from his or her sponsee in a timely manner. In general, we strive to get responses back within three weeks. Of course, depending on other factors, it may take longer; for example, if one of our higher education students is at a boarding school or trade school in a village that is far away, speedy replies become more difficult
– You will likely be showered with words of gratitude and encouragement. Although much of the phrasing may sound different, keep in mind that English is their second language and never doubt the sincerity of their kind words

How to contact your sponsee:

  1. Got to
  2. Login with your username and password – if you need help, email for help
  3. You will see “My Profile” – from there, you can view your inbox, info, and sponsorships, and write to your sponsee!

Are you interested in taking a trip to Uganda to meet (or return to visit) your sponsee? If so, go ahead and shoot an email to and we’ll talk about what that might look like! We are beginning to plan a trip that will head over in May 2019. Stay tuned!

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