Partners on the ground in Piggs Peak - Sam Mncina

Partners on the ground in Piggs Peak - Sam Mncina

Sam Mncina is the new principal at Peak Central High School, one of two high schools where the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership pays school fees for approximately 80 students, allowing them to attend school where they would otherwise be unable to do so. Lisa and I were introduced to Sam on our recent trip to Piggs Peak. In fact, he was one of the first people we met in Swaziland when he came to the South Africa border with John Lovett to help us through customs with our many suitcases full of medical supplies, soccer balls, and uniforms. We were impressed that he would take time from his busy day to ensure the stress-free arrival of two travel-weary visitors from Hampton.

Our favourable first impression of Sam was consistently reinforced over the course of our trip. During our many visits to Peak Central we saw that he is clearly a respected figure held in high esteem by students and teachers alike. Sam invited me to speak at one morning assembly where I talked briefly about the important relationship between Hampton High School and Peak Central High School and the spirit of “ubuntu” that connects us and compels us to care for our neighbours… no matter how far away they may be.

Sam’s true character shone through in his dealing with one particular student at Peak Central whose fees are being paid by Hampton. The student is an orphan who lives with his Gogo (grandmother) in Macembeni, the poorest area of Piggs Peak. While he is deserving of our support on the basis of need and ability, Sam told us he has been skipping classes and exams and failing in school.

Karen Mandy (the student’s pastor), Lisa and I decided to meet with this young man at his home to discuss our concerns. It would be very easy for a school principal to just wash his hands of a student like this and allow him to squander his only chance for an education. But Sam, as a caring partner, insisted on joining us on our visit. Between us we explained that, through its sponsorship, the Partnership is offering him a lifeline… but that he has to grab hold of it. We will give him another chance but he will be required to meet certain standards in order for our sponsorship to continue. Sam will continue to keep an eye his performance.

We can only hope and pray that our message got through and that we will see the change in attitude and effort that will make our support worthwhile. I am optimistic that, with the oversight of a good man like Sam Mncina, we will. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated people like this working in Piggs Peak as our partners.

You can be a partner by visiting our website www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca  and making a donation or signing up to be a Starfish sponsor. Our neighbours need your help.

Partners on the ground in Piggs Peak - Sam Mncina