By Mark Bettle, Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership
The Hampton-Piggs Peak Partnership Starfish Program provides a unique opportunity for individuals to connect with someone in the African Kingdom of Swaziland. This special connection is revealed in Anne Scott’s new book, “Making a Difference: The Story of the Starfish Program”. Anne says, “This is the story of two communities on opposite sides of the world, making a difference in the lives of children. Friendships between Swazi and Canadian students are formed – empowering both communities.”
The book revolves around the true story of a girl from Hampton, Emma Pelham, and a Swazi girl from Piggs Peak, Nelsiwe Magagula. It blends in stories from both Swazis and Hamptonians, including Lewis Maseko, Linda Mathunjwa, Nontokozo Dlamini and Tyler Henderson. Anne uncovers a special relationship that has 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”. (From “Making a Difference”).
A book launce for Making A Difference will be held in the theatre at Hampton Middle School on Tuesday, September 17th, 9:25 am – 10:20 am. The presentation will be for Grade 7 students. The book launch ties in with Bev Harrison’s trip to Swaziland the next morning. He will be taking 75 copies of the book with him to be distributed among the schools in the Piggs Peak area. Thanks to the John Peters Humphrey Foundation for funding the books going to Swaziland. Thanks to Hampton Pharmasave for buying 20 copies for each of three schools in Hampton – Hampton Middle, Hampton Elementary, and Hampton High.
Bev’s annual trip to Swaziland on behalf of the Partnership provides an opportunity for us to connect with school administrators and students who are currently being sponsored. It also allows Bev and our partner in Piggs Peak, Linda Mathunjwa, to interview potential student candidates to join our program next year.
These yearly interviews are a stressful experience for everyone involved. The students are desperate to make a good impression; it is not an overstatement to say their future depends on it. Although they are told that an interview does not necessarily mean they will be selected, they can’t help but build expectations. But our ability to add students to our Starfish program depends entirely on how much funds are available. And that depends on you! By becoming a Starfish sponsor for $360 per year, you can ensure that on more student’s dream of an education comes true.