In 2015, the Partnership is supporting school fees for 118 high school students at Peak Central and at Fundukuwela High School. A study, “What is driving the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Swaziland” has shown that in-school youth have low levels of sexual activity - 70% are not sexually active; the converse is true for out-of-school youth - more than 70% are sexually active.
In 2011, we constructed girls latrines at Piggs Peak Central High School. Almost 300 school girls had just two very unsanitary pit toilets for which they lined up to use at break time. Also, there was no facilities for washing their hands after using the toilet, so they would go to lunch or home economics with a very good chance of spreading disease.
In a country where females are considered second class citizens, these facilities will perhaps be another way to empower them. Gender inequality has been recognized as one of the key reasons for the proliferation of HIV in Swaziland and other African countries.
From the Stephen Lewis Foundation, " African grandmothers are central to the life of their communities. With almost no support, they have stepped forward to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS, sometimes as many as ten to fifteen in one household. They display astonishing reserves of love, courage and emotional resilience, even while grieving the loss of their own children.
Purpose- to establish a partnership between grandmothers (and grand others) of Piggs Peak and Hampton, that is mutually supportive fostering the concept that we are one global community.
Fundamental concepts of this partnership:
Acknowledgement of grandmothers as agents of change
- Working Together
- Mutual Respect
- Reduce Poverty and Alleviate Suffering
There are two project underway:
1. Garden Project - is a collaborative effort between three players: Ginny Kummer of Swaziland who generously donated 10 acres of land, Karen and Stuart Mandy of Swaziland who oversee the project, and the Grandmother-Grandmother Hampton Committee who are striving to raise money for start up costs. It is the intention that this project will be self sustaining within three years. Every fourth row will be donated to help feed the hungry, and all other rows will be cash crops. In Oct 2013 the first crop of lettuce was harvested and sold. Spinach has been distributed to the community several times. This project is a huge undertaking and will continue to need financial assistance over the short term.
2. Help Raise Funds for the purchase of an electric corn mill grinder for a group rural Grandmothers who committee member, Maureen Robichaud, met in May 2013 under a Mango tree.
Tyler Henderson Swaziland Scholarship of Hope
The proceeds of the annual Coffee House for Swaziland go toward the Tyler Henderson Swaziland Scholarship of Hope, an annual university scholarship awarded to students at Fundukuwela High School who best embody and inspire the spirit of hope that will lead the students and the community out from under the cloud of AIDS.
One of the major areas in which our Partnership is focusing is the development of gardent projects in Piggs Peak. We provided funds for irrigation equipment, fencing, fertilizer, and even a rototiller to be shared within the community. Many families are now enjoying the results of their labour in the form of tomatoes, spinach, butternuts, onions and other fresh vegetables. Even the banana tress that were planted just a year ago are bearing fruit.
We also provide help to the needy people in Piggs Peak by providing food, clothing, shoes, and school bags. “Sometimes it’s the little things that are most appreciated”, John says. “With the rainy season under way, cheap plastic raincoats are another item which is always welcome for those students who must walk a long distance to school.