Starfish Program underway

Starfish Program underway

I am happy to report we recently heard from Bev Harrison, who has arrived safely in Swaziland. Bev hit the ground running and, at the time of this writing, has already been speaking with John Lovett and set up meetings with the head teachers at Fundukuwela and Peak Central schools. High school students don’t return to classes until January 26 after their summer break (yes, you read it right… summer!). So Bev will be busy spending his last few days in Piggs Peak meeting with, and gathering information about, students for whom we will be paying school fees. Before then, Bev’s meetings with the teachers should allow them to put a process in place for getting regular status updates on students’ progress throughout the upcoming school year. Our intention is that much of this information will be provided to “Starfish” sponsors in Hampton – those people who have committed to paying school fees for needy children.

The “Starfish Program” connects individuals in Hampton with students in Piggs Peak. Although high school fees vary, depending on the school year, a payment of $25 per month for 12 months will be enough to allow one child to attend high school for the year. By making this commitment through our Starfish Program, a sponsor will establish his or her own relationship with a student we are supporting.

If you are interested in becoming a Starfish Sponsor, the “donate now” function on our website (www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca) will allow you to set up an account and select the option of having a monthly payment of $25 deducted from your credit card. In the “message/instructions” section, just make reference to “Starfish Program”. Donations are tax deductible and processed through CanadaHelps, an organization that is serious about protecting donors and charities and makes your online security a priority. Alternately, if you want to pay by cheque, an upfront annual payment of $300 would be appreciated. By signing up now, you will be helping our Partnership budget funds for the upcoming year and allow even more children attend school.

The Partnership is receiving tremendous support from individuals in Hampton. In addition, we have recently been the beneficiary of a number of donations from Hampton organizations. Over the past couple weeks we have received significant contributions from Hampton High School Student Representative Council; the Hampton Legion; and the Hampton River Runners. It’s very gratifying to know that these groups support the work we are doing in Swaziland to alleviate the impact of HIV/AIDS. Our thanks go out to each of them for their generosity.

For further information regarding the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership or to make a donation, please visit our website at www.hamptonpiggspeak.ca or contact Mark Bettle at 832-0003. For any questions related to the Starfish Program, contact Mark or Carl MacKenzie, Starfish Program Coordinator, at 832-2704.

Starfish Program underway