The Day of the African Child this year falls on 16th June with the theme “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development”. For this occasion we wanted to share the story of Ivan, who would have been left behind if it wasn’t for a PEAS school in the Kabarole District, Western Uganda. 

One of eight children, Ivan grew up in a small village in Western Uganda. Like many families in Uganda from a low-income background, Ivan’s parents had to make a tough decision about which of their children to send to school as sending all eight children was not feasible. They decided to support their eldest daughter through to graduating from nursing school. When Ivan was completing primary school, it became apparent that there wouldn’t be enough money to send him to secondary school.

“The schools around my village offer poor quality education and are too expensive for my parents to afford, while the good schools are far away, but even if they were near, I could not have afforded the school fees.”

Ivan was in disbelief at all the benefits when he started at PEAS: the teachers were engaging, the learning environment safe and inclusive and the meals high quality and provided for all students (free of charge). Ivan was also impressed by the continuous improvement that PEAS brings to its schools:

“There is continuous development in this school all throughout the year. For example, since I started a computer lab was constructed and equipped with computers, and a new classroom block was constructed. We have solar power which helps us to revise in the evening.”

Now in his second year, Ivan is supported with his studies by a PEAS alum. The Head Teacher is also always available to help students who need extra support with their studies. Ivan feels that all students at PEAS are provided the support they need to strive.

Ivan has already told friends from his village about PEAS. He shares an inspiring proverb in his mother tongue (“Akakyo Karungi okora notwara harugo rwowanyu”), which he translates as:

“If you find a good flower, make sure you also take it and plant in your courtyard - so that other people can enjoy its beauty. Don’t hide it in a corner”.

He wishes everyone outside of PEAS schools could develop as he is, because no child should be left behind.