Wondering what to write in your very first letter?
We’ve got some tips and guidelines to help you out!
- Tell the child your first name such as “I am Swee Ling, and my friends call me Diana.”
- Tell them how old you are and where you live. You don’t have to describe in great detail, but something like “I live near a park with lots of trees” or “I live on the 15th floor high up in the sky” will help the child have a better idea of where you live.
- Tell them about your family and pets. You can include them in the mentor photograph if you like!
- Tell them a little about your job. Write about what you do on a regular day.
- Tell them your favorite hobbies. Our kids don’t read in English or see films, so look for shared interests that they can understand in Cambodia, such as cooking, football, going for long walks, or sewing.
- From the introduction letter we sent you about your child, share something you have in common such as “I used to be naughty in class too when I was little too“. This is the first step to building a friendship.
- Say something warm about their lives. Sometimes, things are very bleak, but pick out one good point like a beloved baby sister or taking part in choir, and encourage them.
- Keep your language simple! Your letter will be translated into Khmer, so nuances might be lost. Use more action words and keep to simple adjectives.
- For toddlers and little ones, your letter will be read to them. It’s better to send them several bright postcards and pictures with simple messages on the back that can be translated. Themed sets like pictures of other children, or of cats, or dinosaurs for example are lots of fun for them.
Your letters should be no more than two pages long of text. Remember we need to translate them, so long letters will be delayed.