It was late afternoon and the sun was low in the sky, the heat was making the air heavy and the towers of plantain seemed to be never ending. The ground was dry and cracked, creating large dust clouds as the jeep swerved to avoid giant potholes. We were miles from anywhere and it felt like we’d travelled back in time. If someone had told me that there was a school at the end of the track, I would have never believed them. And if I had believed them, I’d imagine that there would be only a handful of students and a few classrooms.

I could not have been more wrong. As soon as the gates opened, masses of smartly uniformed children appeared, waving and smiling. I was shocked at how many students there were.

My first thought was, what would all these children be doing if PEAS had not built a secondary school in this community? If Frontiers High School had not been built, hundreds of children would be denied an access to education. They would be stuck in the rural poverty cycle. Without a school, an education, the children would most likely be working as child labourers on farms, following in the footsteps of their parents. There would be no escape. Without access to a school, they would be the poor children of today and raise the poor children of tomorrow.


Despite the fact Frontiers has only been opened for six months, it felt like it had been open for years. I felt like I’d stepped into someone’s home. You could tell how much everyone valued the school because the grounds were beautifully kept, every uniform was in perfect condition and each child and teacher seemed so proud to welcome us into their school. I had an instant gut feeling that Frontiers is going to be very successful.

This time I got to speak to a group of both girls and boys. Previously I’d only spoken to girls so it was great to hear from some boys. I firstly learnt that there were students at Frontiers from three different countries: Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Frontiers High School is right by the borders of Rwanda and Tanzania, hence the name. I spoke to some boys who told me how they’d just played a football match, Uganda vs. Rwanda (of course, Uganda won).


I spoke to a boy called Benson. Benson is 15 years old and he’s in his first year of secondary education. He dreams of becoming a politician. Up to now, he spent his days as a child labourer and looking after his 2 younger brothers.

Benson told me that he’s so happy and grateful to be at a school because he can now learn but also have time for fun and rest, which are two basic child rights and necessities for child development and growth. Before he was at school, Benson tells me that he had little time to play as he was constantly working and caring for his brothers. Having 2 younger brothers myself, I know how important it is for boys particularly to have time for play.

Whether it’s playing football or just joking about with friends, boys need to be using up their energy and letting off steam, especially during their teen years. Until speaking to Benson I had never considered the importance of play. Playing, socialising, hanging out; these are just simple things which every teenager should have the right to and are things I take for granted.


Kate attends Fortismere School in Haringey and visited schools in Uganda with the Costa Foundation