Mark and Lisa return from Piggs Peak

Mark and Lisa return from Piggs Peak

Lisa and are back from a very successful trip to Piggs Peak, Swaziland where we met with all our key partners. We got confirmation that the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership is doing many things well and found out there are a few things we can do better. Sometimes you actually have to “be there”… meet the people, hear the stories, and get the candid opinions that only come from personal sharing.

Overall there are far too many eye-opening stories to even begin to tell in this space. We met a primary school class who told us in unison they are “not afraid of AIDS!” and recited their ABC’s – Abstinence; Be Careful; and Condomize. We gave a drive to Sikelo Mahtuza, who leaves his home every morning at 4 am to walk 7 km to school. We visited the meager dwelling of Mzamo Makhanya, a very bright 15 year-old orphan that lives with his grandmother but can’t pay school fees to continue his education next year. And perhaps our most unforgettable encounters were with the children in the hunger- and poverty-stricken settlement of Macembeni who got so excited when we delivered soccer balls and jerseys from Hampton!

Since returning I have been asked by Hamptonians “can you see the difference we are making?” It’s a difficult question to answer because the indicators of a community besieged by HIV/AIDS are still prevalent. There is poverty, hunger, and disease on a level that is unknown here in Canada. But we met 80 happy and hopeful students at Fundukuwela and Peak Central High Schools who are there only because of Hampton’s support. And at Macembeni we were greeted by 20 or so extremely grateful elderly people for whom we are providing clean water.

 isa and I were blessed to experience first-hand the powerful presence that Hampton now has in Piggs Peak. It is through this presence that we making inroads in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Perhaps the most meaningful example of this came on the last day of our trip when we visited the homestead of Nontokozo Mazibuko, one of our sponsored students. It was because of our personal connection with Nontokozo through our Starfish program that we knew her family situation. It was through our connection with Karen Mandy’s church that we discovered her mother was unable to work and there was no food at the homestead. It was through the donation of a Partnership supporter that we were able to deliver food to the family. And it was because of our caring relationship with her that we were able to arrange testing and treatment for Nontokozo’s mother.

So, yes, we ARE making a difference… sometimes in roundabout ways but that’s often how things work in a neighbourhood. And Lisa and I saw that Hampton and Piggs Peak are close neighbours.

Please help now by visiting our website www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca  and making a donation or signing up to be a Starfish sponsor. Our neighbours need our help.

 

Mark and Lisa return from Piggs Peak