Try asking one of these curious questions in your next letter to spark a meaningful conversation with your sponsored child.

In any relationship, learning something new about the other person can deepen your connection and sense of solidarity. Asking questions that are intentional and thought-provoking is an effective way to strengthen your relationship and help you discover new things about a person.

When we communicate with our sponsored children, questions can help close the physical distance by creating more depth in our relationship. Lost for ideas? Go beyond the typical talking points about favourite foods and colours with these seven inspiring and creative questions:

1. How do you or your family make your meals?

7 Curious Questions to Ask Your Sponsored Child

As a variation to the commonly asked question, ‘What’s your favourite food?’, this one allows you to step into your sponsored child’s life during mealtime. Food unites people across borders so share your own meal prep too!

Our favourite answer to this question is from 13-year-old Cris in Indonesia who writes,"my favourite food is soto. We make the broth of chicken or beef and put it with chicken or beef, onion, and serve it with rice. You can add chilli or soya sauce to make it more delicious. It is served hot."

2. What are your dreams and goals?

Sharing your goals and asking your sponsored child about their dreams is a great way to develop a deeper friendship. Their answers can open up a whole new topic of discussion and give you plenty of prayer points.

Furthermore, your letters could create an opportunity for children living in poverty to believe in a future beyond their circumstances.

When asked by her sponsor, 15-year-old Zaina from Uganda says, ‘My goals are to do well in my studies in my senior year and start a business at home. I want to be more perfect in making sweaters this year. This year I want to be a helpful person. I want to be a hardworking person in this new year!’

3. What are some qualities you love about your best friend?

Learning about your sponsored child’s friends is a great way to understand what makes them happy and comfortable. Often, the qualities we admire in our friends are an extension of the values we hold and care about.

Don’t forget: Tell your sponsored child about your best friend too and what you love about them! You could even include a photo of you and your bestie!

4. What would you do if you were given the opportunity to invent a new law for your country?

7 Curious Questions to Ask Your Sponsored Child

Poverty is complex and is intertwined with broader issues such as corruption, drug and alcohol abuse and more. This is a challenging question to ask older children as it reveals a lot about the societal issues they are exposed to.

Hearing their answers could be encouraging or heartbreaking, such as 10-year-old Chokchai’s response that reads, ‘If I could write the law, I will help people in Thailand to not use drugs.’

Try this: Steer the conversation towards hope and encouragement by sharing Bible verses of God’s righteousness and justice.

5. What have you done recently at your Compassion centre?

Each child development centre around the world looks different. The activities, meals, events and games can vary depending on the needs of the children and community.

Step inside a day-in-the-life of your sponsored child and learn what it’s like inside the doors of the local child development centre.

Ten-year-old Caua from Brazil described a recent activity at the local child development centre ‘We had a beautiful celebration for Father’s Day and I gave my dad a beautiful wallet.’

7. How can I pray for you?

7 Curious Questions to Ask Your Sponsored Child

Questions are a great reminder that someone out there is available to listen and respond to our needs.

Many sponsors are eager to remind their sponsored children they are praying, but asking a sponsored child exactly what to pray for is a loving way to express your support and care.

Don’t forget: Prayer is an ongoing journey so consider writing down your prayers in a future letter to a sponsored child, asking follow up questions and sending them related Bible verses too!

Engaging in a meaningful relationship with our sponsored children is a blessing, but building depth and intimacy requires time and intention.

Asking curious questions is just the beginning to a breadth of conversation topics and laughter. Share your favourite questions and responses with us by tagging @compassionau!

Words by Shona Yang

Photos by Daniel Robson, Ben Adams and Compassion International