Bookbags - A treasured gift has arrived

Bookbags - A treasured gift has arrived

Back in 2007 when John Murphy and Ross Henderson visited Fundukuwela High School, they noticed the students had no lockers. They had to carry all their school books back and forth to school every day, sometimes more than 5 kilometers each way. In Hampton we responded with “Operation Bookbag”. Spearheaded by Laura Myers and Jill Darrah, we collected about 330 backpacks and other supplies. Late last year we sent them with a Connors Bros shipment for delivery to Africa.

 

The bookbags have finally arrived! We first heard of their arrival from John Lovett: “The school bags arrived at Fundukuwela and although I missed seeing them being distributed, I later saw a lot of very happy students with colourful bags slung proudly over their shoulders. The people of Hampton would be proud to see the effect this has on these kids. While talking to Phillip (the principal) he asked me to thank you for the school bags. You know this may not seem like a big deal, but the boost to the student's morale has been tremendous.  Perhaps you may be able to imagine how a student feels to suddenly have a beautiful bag in which to carry and keep their books after struggling with plastic bags or no bags at all. Nontokozo's younger sister was one of the recipients and she could not wait to show me her new bag.  My camera has quit working but I am trying to borrow one so that I can get you some pictures.”

 

A short time later, we received a note from Phillip: “The schoolbags have already been distributed to Canadian sponsored students and also to some orphaned students and the remaining lot were given to the needy students. On behalf of the students and school board and the entire Nkomazi community, I want to convey our sincere gratitude to Mark and the Hampton High School and Hampton for such a kind gesture.  May the Lord Almighty bless you all.”

 

Gathering, shipping, and transporting the backpacks and supplies took a tremendous effort by everyone involved – from those who donated and collected them to those who orchestrated their delivery to Piggs Peak. At some point you wonder if it is worth the effort and expense. But when you hear about the happy children with their beautiful bookbags from Canada, you realize the gift we are giving is far greater than total value of all the supplies, work and expenses involved. The connection we make by sending the bookbags is priceless. It demonstrates to the people of Piggs Peak that they have a neighbour who cares about them and is working to help them. Thank you to everyone in Hampton who made this project a great success.

If you would like to learn more about the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership or make a donation, please visit our website at www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca or contact Mark Bettle at 832-0003.

 

Bookbags - A treasured gift has arrived