Many students like Catherine* face having to leave school because their families are struggling financially and can't afford to pay for the school fees. Thanks to her local PEAS school, which was funded by the Costa Foundation, she completed her education to become a nurse and is now working in another PEAS school.

Catherine always wanted to be in the medical field so, after High School, she attended nursing school for two and a half years before working at a PEAS High School as a nurse for a year. She hopes to advance her studies further as her dream is to be a gynaecologist, helping women in the community.

Catherine says the school has improved the lives of many through education: “What I mostly enjoyed at my PEAS school, as a student and later as staff, is the child protection policy in place. The gender equality measures protect us from sexual harassment. Unlike government schools, corporal punishment is forbidden and there is no beating of students. The school’s advocacy for gender equality means that girls in these remote rural areas have the same opportunity to be educated.”

Providing a safe and secure place to study benefits entire families in the wider community. Catherine is a perfect example of this – her family was supported to allow her to go to school and she can now work to further provide for her family in return.

*Names have been changed to protect identities.

The communities are lifted wherever a PEAS school is built. So, when there are many more students learning, the communities will get better in a few years.