When you sponsor a child or aging friend, you open the door to another culture — your new friend’s culture. By writing to their friends, sponsors deepen this connection across cultural, geographic and economic divides.
These letter-writing ideas can help you on your journey to greater cultural awareness:
- Find some news headlines from your sponsored friend’s country.
These can make great conversation starters. As you search for headlines, pay attention to the news article’s tone as well as the information. Is it lighthearted or somber? Does it focus on institutional matters or social concerns? See who is quoted — politicians, celebrities, government officials, etc.
Practical tip for your next letter: Set aside a few minutes each day for a week to scan some headlines from your sponsored friend’s country. Mention one or two of them and ask your friend for some context. What makes this news? Is it unusual or typical of the challenges the country may be facing?
- Watch the weather and how you react to it.
If you come from a cold climate, you’re probably used to wearing gloves, scarves and winter coats. If your sponsored friend is from a tropical country, she or he may have a hard time relating to descriptions of winter and cold. Read more