“Girls need to have an education so that they can have a better life,” says Evelyne, the mother of eight children.

“When you are uneducated, life is not easy and you have to toil a lot."

“I want my children to become important people in society and to be able to support themselves and their families.”

Home for Evelyne is the village of Nyamiko, in a rural part of western Uganda. The family live in a four-roomed house made of mud bricks with a corrugated iron roof and an earthen floor. Cooking is done on a papyrus fire, water is carried from the borehole in the village and there is no electricity.

Evelyne and her husband – who work on the local plantations for a few shillings a day - were not able to send their first four children to secondary school. But five years ago when PEAS opened Hibiscus School a short distance away from their home, it opened the door to education for daughter Meraline.

“Peas favours all classes of people,” says Meraline, 19, “especially those from humble families like mine. My parents have so little money for fees but with the support of Peas I was able to join the school from the beginning and am now in S5 taking History, Economics and Geography.

“My parents didn’t even finish primary school. Their work is hard, physical labour in the fields. Every time my mother makes a few shillings, she doesn’t buy sugar or soap, she uses it to pay my fees or buy a book for my studies.”

Meraline’s appreciation of the sacrifices her parents have made has given her a determination to succeed, despite the challenges of her background. “My dream is to become a lawyer,” she explains. “I’d like to work to promote peace. I know my path may be limited, but I have got this far so I may just do it.

“It is also harder for women to cross that bridge but I know I have the capacity so maybe I can do it.

“Peas, Hibiscus School and this lady – my mum – have all helped me to succeed where so many have failed.”