St Pauls Presbyterian lends a helping hand

St Pauls Presbyterian lends a helping hand

Over the past few weeks you have read stories about, and letters from, some of the “Starfish” students that are being supported by the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership. (Visit our website www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca and click on the starfish logo to read the Starfish story.)  The sincere expressions of gratitude we receive are heartwarming. They also provide confirmation for us that paying school fees for those who would otherwise be unable to do so is one of the most effective ways of breaking the cycle of poverty, disease, and despair that permeates Piggs Peak.

 

We are currently paying school and exam fees for almost 80 students at Fundukuwela and Piggs Peak Central high schools. In Swaziland, there are 5 “forms” or years of high school – the equivalent of grade 8–12 in Canada. Total costs vary from year to year based on the number of students we have in the different grades. For instance, Form 5, the final year, is significantly more expensive than other forms; the fees for standardized exams alone are approximately $300 per student! Since payments are required in local currency, the dollar/emalangeni exchange rate can also impact our costs. The current all-in cost of supporting students for 2011 is almost $40,000.

 

Those of you who are Starfish sponsors are paying a significant portion of the total costs. You are an integral part of our Partnership without whom we would be unable to do what we are doing. But, for the reasons above, we need additional funds to supplement these donations. As you can imagine, from time to time payments come due and our Partnership runs into cash flow challenges… something with which many of us can identify. We ran into such a situation in April; St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church responded to this predicament by designating May as “Piggs Peak Month” and setting a goal of raising $5,000 for the month. The congregation went into all-out fundraising mode by undertaking an Easter Breakfast; Poor Boy’s Dinner; Movie Night; Spring Tea/Bake Sale, Auction; Car Wash; and Special Offerings. Through the hard work of many… too many to mention in this space… St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church successfully raised $5,044 in May for the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership!

 

The mission of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church is to demonstrate God’s love by enhancing the lives of others within the local and global community. Thank you to everyone at St. Paul’s who have so clearly demonstrated brotherly love for their neighbours in Piggs Peak through their fundraising efforts. They should take great pleasure in knowing that this love is reciprocated by those they are helping.

 

If you would like to make a donation support any of our projects, help pay school fees or become  Starfish Sponsor, please visit our website or contact me, Mark Bettle, at 832-0003 or Carl MacKenzie (Starfish Coordinator) at 832-2704.

 

 

St Pauls Presbyterian lends a helping hand