How to Communicate with your Sponsored Child
One of the best parts of sponsoring a child with GO is getting to know him or her through letters and gifts. GO will send you a letter from your sponsored child twice a year. You can help them get to know you by sending them letters and small gifts. Twice a year, GO will collect these from our sponsors and send them to the children. Communicating with your child should be done with great care for cultural and socioeconomic differences. Please download and follow the mailing and letter writing guidelines below for your child’s country. Communication between sponsors and children can be the key to making a huge difference in both your and your child’s lives.
GO’s Tips for Travel
Maybe you are a seasoned traveler or maybe this is your first time leaving your home country. Either way, here are some tips for travel that can help you prepare for your trip.
- Do you have all of your require travel documents? Passport, copy of your passport notarized trip forms, etc? Make sure to have all of these important documents accounted for before your travel day.
- Pack smart! Do you have a packing list? You’ll typically need to pack much less than you think you do. Carry a minimum amount of valuables and have a place to conceal them. For example, if you are bringing a camera, make sure you have a bag to put it in, as sometimes it is unsafe to be walking around with it in plain view.
- Prepare to handle money. Check and understand the exchange rate before you travel so you know how much spending money you’ll need to bring. Before you leave, notify your bank if you will be using your bank/credit card. Do not carry around or flash large amounts of money. Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket. Make sure your purse/backpack/fanny pack zips shut and is not easy to get in to.
- Are you taking prescription medications? Pack enough to last your whole trip including a few extras in case you are delayed. Carry your medications in their original, labeled containers and pack them in your carry on. It is wise to consult with your doctor about travel if you are currently taking medications as the time difference and climate change may affect your dosage.
- Do you have all of you needed immunizations? While travelling to Mexico does not usually require any special immunizations, travel to Senegal does. GO recommends that you check the current CDC recommendations and consult with your doctor before traveling to West Africa. It is best to make this appointment as soon as you know you will be travelling, as some of the vaccines require a two step process over a couple of weeks.
- Learn about your destination! Spend time reading about the place and culture you are going to visit. This will help you to better understand your surroundings and be more sensitive to the people you are serving.
Information about our Partner Nations:
Packing can change depending on where you are going and when and for how long! For example, depending on if you are traveling to Mazatlan in January or July, the weather will be very different. Your trip leader will provide you with a country specific packing list but here are a few examples for you:
Passport – this is the most important thing you need to bring!
Clothing – this is more country specific and what you want to bring will depend upon the culture you are traveling to and what time of year you are traveling. Your team leader will be able to provide you with a detailed packing list before your trip. Keep in mind that you will be able to do laundry and you usually do not need to pack as much as you feel like you do. If you will be traveling for 10 days, there’s really no need to bring 10 shirts. Bring 3-4 and save room and weight in your bag. It is always important to bring closed toe shoes. No matter what country you are traveling to with GO, just bringing sandals will not do.
Toiletries – you can bring your typical travel toiletries but keep in mind that in Mexico it’s very easy to purchase these things in country. Especially when you are traveling on a One Month Team, it may be easier to wait until you arrive and just buy a bottle of shampoo/soap/toothpaste/etc when you arrive.
Bible, Journal, Pen – You are going to experience incredible things that you will definitely want to remember. It’s great to read back through your journal and be able to remember how God moved in your life during your trip.
Water Bottle – this is also a very important item to bring. Whether you pack it in your bag or bring money to purchase one, remember that you will need a water bottle. Most of the places GO partners get extremely hot and humid and it is very easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration can often lead to hospitalization, which will detract from your trip experience and sometimes the experience of your team members. If you become dehydrated your team leader and host will have to pause the day and transport you to the hospital and wait with you until you are rehydrated. This isn’t fun for anyone involved.
Sunscreen – this is another very important thing to bring. You will want to pack this rather than purchase it in country, as it can be very expensive. It is important to wear sunscreen for some of the same reasons it is important to drink water and stay hydrated. We have had team members miss the majority of their trip because they became so sunburned in the first days of the trip that they had to stay inside until it was almost time to go home. Don’t let something so easily avoidable ruin your trip experience!