Costa Foundation store manager Clare Peacock has recently returned from a whirlwind one-week trip to Uganda to see Hibiscus and Pioneer High Schools, funded by the Costa Foundation, and opened in February 2011.
Voted Costa Foundation Fundraiser of the Year 2010 by her fellow store managers, Clare’s trip was a reward from Costa to thank her for her fundraising efforts over the year. She was accompanied by Costa Foundation manager Piers Blake, and managed to not only fit in visits to three PEAS schools, but also got to see the exciting new sites on which PEAS expect to build two new future schools to open February 2012.
Clare told us that one of her favourite parts of the trip was talking to the students at the schools, emphasising how overwhelmed she was by their focus. “When I asked what they did after school, they simply said 'revise'. And I believe them....most of them have only begun to learn English since they arrived at the school, yet were already able to communicate with us very well”. At Pioneer High School, Clare was particularly “impressed by how highly they rate education. They definitely prioritise things differently to kids in the UK, though maybe that’s because they don’t have the distractions of TV and mobile phones”!
The trip was also a great chance for the manager of a Teesside Costa store to visit some coffee farms. After travelling high into the hills of the Rwenzori Mountains, Clare was able to meet some of the coffee farmers in Bwesumbu, a sub-district with 8 primary schools, but currently no secondary school to speak of. Bwesumbu is the future site of a PEAS secondary school to be opened in February 2012.
Clare tells us that her trip to Uganda has ‘left her in awe of the impact the Foundation has made’ and ‘determined to ensure more money than ever is raised this year.’
‘Seeing the results made me so proud that we have made that difference. Everything we’ve done has been so worthwhile, and it’s made me more determined than ever to make sure that we raise a record amount this year. Because, believe me, they really do deserve it!”
For more information on how PEAS is supported by companies such as Costa, and how your company could get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3117 2497.