With a basket of samosas balanced on her head, every morning Agnes accompanies her grand-daughter Barbara on the 30 minute walk from their village of Rwentuha to Peas Kigarama School.

Each night, the 58-year-old widow cooks 360 samosas ready for delivery to the school canteen – a tuck shop where students can buy snacks at break-times. It’s part of an arrangement Agnes has with the school to pay some of Barbara’s fees in kind.

She also grows some crops to supply to the school – mostly beans, as by her own admission, she has little luck with millet. “When the season comes out nicely, you clap your hands,” she says.

Flexibility of payment has been a godsend for Agnes, as Barbara and her older sister were orphaned after the death of their father last year. Agnes also cares for her ailing octagenarian mother, a responsibility that falls entirely on her shoulders as her own eight siblings have all passed away. “It’s a tug of war,” she says, “but whenever I get some capital I remove it and pay the school.

“How happy I was when a PEAS school appeared in our district."

"I talked with the administration here and together we worked out a way for me to pay. They softened things for me.”

Education is clearly of great value to Agnes; she made it a priority for her children, just as she is now doing for her grandchildren. Her youngest child is studying Statistics and Programming at Uganda’s prestigious Makerere University, while another is taking an IT course at another institute. Two more are working as a journalist and a teacher – and help contribute to the university fees for their siblings.

Despite the juggling act that all this brings, Agnes is determined to keep Barbara at secondary school and to put her older sister through the nursing diploma she hopes to do. “These days you can’t keep a girl at home,” she comments. “It is a struggle but they have to learn.”

Barbara, who is 18 and in S3, is of the same mind. She is aiming to become an engineer. “Girls need to be something in the future,” she adds. “We learn at the same rates as the boys here and do our level best to do as well or even better than them.

“I ask Peas to build more schools in Uganda so that everyone has a chance like me.”