A "lightbulb moment"

A "lightbulb moment"

The Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership will be presenting the seventh annual coffee house for Swaziland at 7 pm on Tuesday, December 20 at Hampton High School. Please join us for an evening of music featuring an assortment of local talent. Admission is only $5 and all proceeds will go toward the Tyler Henderson Swaziland Scholarship of Hope, an annual award to students at Fundukuwela High School who embody and inspire the spirit of hope that will lead the students and the community out from under the cloud of AIDS.

Very soon our committee will be making some big decisions regarding the financial support we will be able to provide in the upcoming year. This year we provided over $50,000 to finance a number of projects including a new latrine; supplying water and food; and providing medical attention in critical situations. Our main undertaking was the payment of school fees for approximately 80 students.

Lisa and I recently returned from Piggs Peak. Bev Harrison also just visited there. (These costs are paid from our own pockets; 100 percent of your donations go to projects we are supporting.) We can tell you that the needs are enormous but your donations are making a difference. For me, the difference was most evident in the contrast between the abject poverty and hopelessness evident in the settlement of Macembeni and the vibrancy and joy I saw amongst the girls in the home economics class at Peak Central High School. I also had a “light bulb moment” regarding the requirement for school uniforms; the additional cost seems exorbitant in such a poor country.  But when you realize these are often the only decent clothes the students have to wear and you see the immediate improvement in self esteem, you start to realize that this might be a small price to pay for the “glow” they bring.

Yes, the Hampton students in Piggs Peak are glowing! They are bright and hopeful and, through their education, possess perhaps the only opportunity they have to escape from the cycle of poverty, disease and despair brought by the AIDS pandemic. It is through your donations, particularly as Starfish sponsors, that we are creating these points of light. Thank you!

In 2012 we would like to at least maintain, and ideally increase, our number of students. But we need your help now. The best way is by becoming a Starfish sponsor. Please sign up on our website www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca or call me, Mark Bettle (832-0003), or Carl MacKenzie (832-2704). It’s only $25/month and, if you sign up in December, you will be able brighten a life in Piggs Peak next year.

A "lightbulb moment"