Students are so encouraged when they receive letters from their sponsors! You are welcome to write up to four times a year. Not sure what to write about? Get suggestions and guidance from our writing tips for sponsors!
Please note that due to the impact of COVID-19, we expect delivery delays for letters to students and sponsors. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this season.
There are two simple ways to send a letter to your sponsored student:
1. WRITE ONLINE
Write a letter to your sponsored student using our Online Letter Writing feature. You will need to log into your Africa New Life account to use this feature. Please note: If you sponsor a student, you already have an Africa New Life account, even if you’ve never accessed it before. If you need login assistance, email email@example.com or call 503.906.1590.
2. MAIL A LETTER
Write a letter to your sponsored student and mail it through the postal system. You will send your letters directly to Rwanda. Please use this exact format when addressing your envelope:
|STUDENT NAME, REFERENCE CODE||(e.g. SHYAKA FRED, KGL02090)|
|AFRICA NEW LIFE MINISTRIES|
|PO BOX 3351|
|RWANDA||(must be capitalized and on separate line)|
Please use our Africa New Life office address (7405 SW Tech Center Dr #144, Portland, OR 97223), NOT your home address.
Whichever method above you choose, your letters will be enthusiastically received in Rwanda by your sponsored student! Take a look at the infographic below to better understand the process.
Students and sponsors are not allowed to communicate outside of letter writing through Africa New Life. Please review our full Communication Policy for Sponsors and Students here.
Sending gifts to your sponsored Student
The Online Store is the best way to send a gift to the student you sponsor. It is cost-effective, the orders are tracked, and delivery is guaranteed. The Online Store also bolsters the Rwandan economy since all gifts are purchased locally. These items are carefully selected by our colleagues in Rwanda to help meet the needs of students and their families in our program. Gift distribution typically happens within four weeks from the time an order is placed through our Online Store. We will electronically send a photo of your sponsored student with the gift within 12 weeks. For students who attend boarding schools, gifts may be delivered to their families while they’re at school. In this case, the photo would be of the student’s relative with the gift. Boarding students may enjoy nonperishable gift items once they return home during their next school break.
For guidance in choosing a gift, please review our gift ideas. If you prefer to process a gift order over the phone, please call 503.906.1590 (Monday-Thursday, 8:30am-5pm; Friday, 8:30am-12pm PST) for assistance.
In the past, sponsors were able to mail packages directly to Rwanda for their sponsored students. However, problems have occurred during the intake process in Rwanda when our colleagues had to pay heavy tariffs on overvalued packages and when items, such as candy and money, had to be removed from packages. For these reasons, we encourage all sponsors to utilize our Online Store when ordering gifts for their sponsored students.
Do not send money to your sponsored student. Africa New Life does not give money directly to your sponsored student’s family, nor can we exchange money sent in letters to your student in Rwanda. This is due to a Rwandan government request and logistical challenges. Donations sent to the U.S. office for a gift for a sponsored student will be designated to items available online that best correspond with the amount given (unless an order form is included). Checks or cash sent in letters to Rwanda will be returned to the sponsor.
Click on a question below to see its answer:
Students are not allowed to communicate with their sponsors outside of letter writing through Africa New Life. Social media, phone, and email communication are strictly prohibited to protect both students and sponsors. Do not connect with your sponsored student or their relatives through phone, email, or social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. This helps us protect both sponsors and students from inappropriate or confusing situations.
Students sign a communication agreement upon registration and can be removed from our program for violating this policy. Please read our communication policy for more guidance.
That depends on its size and weight. You can check online using the USPS Postal Price Calculator or by visiting your local post office. You can also use a Global Forever® stamp to mail postcards or 1 oz letters, but you’ll need to ensure that your letter doesn’t exceed the maximum length, height, or thickness. Click here for additional information on the dimensions and weight for First-Class Mail International Letters.
We encourage you to write letters to your sponsored student and ask questions of them. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored student, please review our writing tips.
We are not able to provide information on your sponsored student’s clothing size, specific needs, or information about their family. Additional information regarding your student’s family will be found in the first letter they send you, and we encourage you to ask follow up questions about their family in your reply letter(s).
Sponsored students write letters at Center Days, which take place once a month in each community. You can expect to receive an annual update letter from your sponsored student at the end of every summer. If you write to your sponsored student more, you will hear from them more often. You are welcome to write up to four times a year, and you will receive reply letters within 8-12 weeks electronically. For guidance in communicating with your sponsored student, please review our writing tips.
Once your letter is received in Rwanda, you can expect a reply letter to be sent to you electronically in 8-12 weeks. Letters written online are printed weekly in Rwanda. Letters mailed through the postal system may take up to eight weeks to reach Rwanda.
The items available through our Online Store are carefully selected by Rwandan staff to help meet tangible needs of students and their families in our program. Food is always a significant need and is our top gift recommendation. For more guidance in choosing a gift, please review our gift ideas. For more specific information, we recommend proposing two to three options to your sponsored student when you write to them. Click here to visit our Online Store.
Gift distribution typically happens within four weeks from the time the order is placed. We will electronically send a photo of your sponsored student with the gift within 12 weeks. For students who attend boarding schools, gifts may be delivered to their families while they’re at school. In this case, the photo would be of the student’s relative with their gift. Boarding students may enjoy nonperishable gift items once they return home during their next school break.*
*If you would like to place an order in hopes that it would be delivered while the student is at home on break, you can strategically do so in November, March, and July. However, we cannot guarantee the gift(s) will be delivered when the student is home.
Yes. Depending on availability, you can join one of the many team trips to Rwanda throughout the year. Trips to Rwanda cost $1,350 plus airfare per person for an 8-day, 8-night stay with Africa New Life. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in going to Rwanda, or click here to visit our Team Trip page.