Beatrice Likando, PEAS’ new Country Director for Zambia, who is based in our central office in Lusaka, Zambia, describes what she excited about, what she hopes to achieve in her role at PEAS, and why she believes education is important
What is your role at PEAS?
To lead PEAS Zambia to deliver on its ambitious 5-year strategy – including strengthening the girls’ education programming, growing the PEAS school network, and sharing PEAS’ approaches with government to positive impact all secondary schools in Zambia.
Can you share some highlights of your work before PEAS?
I have worked in the NGO sector in Zambia for over 20 years, with 15 years being at senior management level. This includes a period acting as Chief of Party for the Zambia Family Activity at Expanded Church Response and most recently as Director of Programmes at Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia, where I provided leadership and oversight to numerous large programmes focusing on education, health, and maternal, child & adolescent health funded by agencies such as FCDO, USAID, Global Fund for HIV/TB/Malaria, Global Affairs of Canada.
I have been part of various national technical working groups and Task Forces addressing issues that affect young people in Zambia.
What are you most looking forward to in joining PEAS?
To be part of a dynamic team that works to ensure access to quality education in Zambia for children, particularly in rural areas who face numerous socio-economic and cultural barriers to get an education. Children in rural areas walk long distances to school, do not have enough food to remain in school, the girls are married off early or fall pregnant due to high levels of poverty.
What do you hope to achieve in your role over the next year?
I will lead the team to expand two of our existing schools by constructing additional facilities (sanitary blocks, classrooms) namely PEAS Kampinda and PEAS Kabuta in Northern Province. We are extending our school strengthening programme to over 20 secondary schools. This is in addition to the 10 primary schools currently being supported. We are growing our school network from the current 5 schools to 7. The additional schools will be constructed in Copperbelt and Lusaka Provinces.
Why is education important?
Education has many benefits: it creates career opportunities and opens new doors, creates equal opportunities for everyone (equality), provides financial sustainability, improves one’s confidence to speak on issues around them, leads to better health choices and outcomes, helps to make the world a safer place because people become aware of what is right and wrong and avoid risky situations.
What is the greatest influence on your career?
My family and religion remain a great influence on my career and almost everything about my life.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Every day is an opportunity to become the best version of yourself.