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Promoting Literacy—An Access to JOY!

Ensuring the City of Hampton and Pietermaritzburg's shared goal of promoting social and emotional learning amongst children locally and abroad is our desire.

Pietermaritzburg is the capital and second largest city of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The city has just under 250,000 residents, but the metropolitan area is home to over 500,000. Mahatma Ghandi developed his nonviolent resistance policy in Pietermaritzburg after being thrown off a train for refusing to give up his first-class seat.

In support of our Sister City and Sister Cities International’s (SCI) Libraries and Literacy Project our board sponsored our first book drive. All the selected books were written by Black authors or were deemed culturally appropriate for Black children. They went to elementary aged students in conjunction with the SCI Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

Book Drive Success

Black Child Development Institute of Hampton Roads recently partnered with Sister Cities of Hampton and the Hampton Chapter of Links, Inc. to promote literacy by collecting nearly 1,000 books through a local book drive.

As a result, hundreds of children now have access to the joys of reading and the world of endless possibilities that books can create. It was community supporters that helped get these much-needed books delivered to elementary schools in Cape Town Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Dianne Peterson, Sister Cities of Hampton's President and SCH member Treva Russ personally delivered a number of the collected books to a few of the elementary schools.

Reading to them and seeing the awe in their eyes was a wonderful experience. Peterson said, "the children were absolutely thrilled to receive our wonderful gift of love." Helping to promote social and emotional learning provided SCH and our partners an enormous opportunity to spread the joy of reading amongst our international community.

Photo Gallery Visit

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An Invitation from
Chairperson Brittany Foster

Planning activities to celebrate the culture of a sister city, hosting visitors from a sister city, or taking a trip to visit a sister city has truly been an honor. All of these activities require a huge effort from several dedicated volunteers. And that's why we need YOU!

If you have an interest in the culture, history or people of South Africa, join Sister Cities of Hampton and volunteer to serve on the Pietermaritzburg Coordinating Committee. I can assure you that it will be a very rewarding experience.

Resources & Facts

  • Hampton and Pietermaritzburg have been sister cities since 1997. A major conference room in Pietermaritzburg’s city hall was named for the City of Hampton.


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