Laura Myers and Chris Rendell return from Piggs Peak

Laura Myers and Chris Rendell return from Piggs Peak

Laura Myers and Chris Rendell have returned from their two-week working trip to Piggs Peak, Swaziland. Their days were packed with too many activities and experiences to describe but our partner there, John Lovett, provides a good summary in his message sent just after their departure: “All in all, I think it was a most successful visit and I am sure they are returning to Canada with many treasured memories and stories, both happy and some sad, to relate to the schools and the people of Hampton.  Although their time here was way too short, they managed to fill every moment to enhance the relationship between Hampton and those you help in and around Piggs Peak.  The Partnership is stronger today because of the work they accomplished here in their two short weeks.”

 

One potential project the couple explored was a safe-house. Laura tells a disturbing tale of the need for such a sanctuary in Piggs Peak. “There are many girls who are in abusive situations but they have nowhere to go...  One girl is 12 years old and she lives with her grandmother because her mother's new boyfriend doesn’t want to take care of her child from another man.  Her grandmother is quite frail and she can't really supervise her.  This girl is often left alone and this puts her at risk because some men believe that if they have sex with a virgin it will cure them of AIDS. There have been many rapes of young girls, even as young as 6 years old.  The other girl is 15 years old.  She already has a small baby and she may be pregnant again.  She is in an abusive relationship and the boy sneaks into the house and takes her away without her grandparents’ knowledge.”

 

On the bright side, Chris and Laura visited an orphanage where nuns provide a home to a group of girls that they say can best be described as a family. “They have 28 girls who have come from abused situations ranging from age 3 to 18 and up. When school is over the children come to the house and sit down at a long table and do their homework.  The first two to arrive were 5 years old and they were so sweet.  They were working on counting and when they were done they put a sticker on their book and they were very proud to show me all of their stars (and count them).  After I gave them both a soccer ball and took their pictures.”

 

Laura and Chris saw both the tragedy experienced by vulnerable children, and the joy of those who have found a protective and loving environment. With the help of the people in Hampton, we can turn the tragedy into joy. As John says in closing “You have so many kind people in Hampton and we in Swaziland are truly blessed to have friends like you. May God bless you all.”

Laura Myers and Chris Rendell return from Piggs Peak