This week, we’re celebrating #InternationalDayofEducation. Patricia, our Safeguarding Officer at PEAS Zambia, has spent some time reflecting on this year’s theme “learning for lasting peace”.

Why are you proud to work in the education sector?

“I have always had the innate desire to work with children. I have always believed in contributing positively to their growth and development for their seamless assimilation as functional members of society. My belief stems from the desire to strongly pursue a career in something I am truly passionate about. Hence, working in the education sector – and ultimately for PEAS – has granted me this humbling opportunity.

It’s safe to say I am doing what I love and enjoy. I am honoured to impact young lives by guiding and counselling them toward stability and prosperity. It gives me so much pride to be able to contribute to the growth and development of society by influencing the leaders and game changers of tomorrow.

How does a PEAS education shape a generation of learners that are skilled, confident and committed to create a more peaceful, more sustainable world?

PEAS offers a holistic education; that not only looks at a child as a student, but also a young person connected to the world, the environment, and their communities. We want young people to see that they matter and that they are part of the larger picture, the world. We support our students to develop the right mindsets and attitudes to become active members in their communities and stewards of their environment. By teaching locally relevant issues such as climate change and sustainable practices in agriculture (to name a few) we create a sense of responsibility in our students, and the knowledge of how to safeguard their environment. At PEAS we believe that supporting adolescents to become leaders and decision-makers starts with creating a school environment that prioritises students’ well-being, safety and security.

How does PEAS promote gender equity?

We recognise that girls face additional barriers at school and our targeted interventions help to break down gender norms and build a greater sense of equity in our schools and communities. With funding from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) we’ve delivered a range of interventions that provide targeted support to girls in PEAS schools, including Girls’ Clubs. These clubs are powered by themes such us pregnancy, menstrual health, and gendered roles within the home. Girls learn life skills, including self-esteem, responsible living, financial and entrepreneurship sills, which give them the confidence to make informed decisions. Our Boys for Change Clubs offer a similar program to build strong characters in our male pupils to be agents of change in the schools as well as their respective communities.

I believe we can only achieve all this by being effective educators. Three qualities are key. As educators we must be adaptable, patient and possess an unmatched sense of humility.

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