A Special Surprise

The Piggs Peak Garden Party, hosted by Hooper Studios, was a great success, raising almost $2000 for school fees. It was a warm, sunny Sunday and visitors of all ages enjoyed the flowers, art, and music provided by Magnus LaBiillois and the duo, Hardly There (Amanda Weir and Sebastian Doucet). Guests very invited to get in touch with their inner artist and, as an expression of Hampton’s love for its partner community, added their own heart creation to a giant collage. We will make sure that it somehow makes its way to Piggs Peak. A huge thank you to Sue, Kathy, and Thandi Hooper and all the volunteers who made it such a wonderful event.

A special surprise at the garden party was Anne Scott’s unveiling of her new children’s book, “Making a Difference: The Story of the Starfish Program”. The book will be published in late August and takes the reader on an inspirational journey, framed by the true story of a Starfish sponsor, Emma Pelham, and her Starfish student in Piggs Peak, Nelsiwe Magagula. In her introduction to the book, Anne says she “discovered that a special relationship had blossomed between the two communities of Hampton and Piggs Peak. During the past decade people of Piggs Peak have learned to trust and appreciate Hampton people, most of whom they have never met. The citizens of Hampton have learned to admire the resilience of the Piggs Peak people who have suffered and endured hardships with a spirit of love and a smile of hope.”

As an 11-year old, Emma Pelham from Hampton was inspired by the starfish story to ask for money instead of gifts for her 12th birthday and used that money to pay school fees for a student in Piggs Peak. Anne’s book takes us from that time 7 years ago to now when the 19-year-old Emma miraculously connected with Nelsiwe, her Starfish student, and developed a special friendship. Anne interweaves other heartwarming stories, including those of Ross and Tyler Henderson from Hampton, and Linda, Lewis and Nontokozo from Piggs Peak, all connected by ubuntu – the spirit that compels us to care for our neighbours and reminds us that our neighbourhood is the world.

Anne says, “For Swazi students, Ubuntu is discovering that their Hampton partners care about them. It creates a huge uplift to the spirit of Swazi community like Piggs Peak where their hope for the future is challenged every day. For Hampton students, Ubuntu is developing friendships with students in Piggs Peak. That interconnected feeling is Ubuntu for everyone.”

For more information about the Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership or our Starfish Program, contact me, Mark Bettle, at markbettle1@gmail.com .

Posted in Feature Story, Piggs Peak.