International Day of Families
As it is the International Day of Families on May 15th, we want to share the inspirational stories of a mother and daughter, Grace Chilabila and Carol Kasongo. When a PEAS school is opened, it’s not just the students who benefit; the broader community can as well. This is a story about a family whose lives were transformed by the opening of PEAS George Secondary School - one of PEAS’ schools in the Copperbelt Province in Zambia.
Grace is the cook at PEAS George Secondary School. Her daughter Carol helped to build the school in 2012.
Grace remembers hearing about PEAS George before the construction started; she was helping spread information about the school across the community in order to spark an interest and get community members involved and engaged. Once the school opened in 2012, Grace applied for a job at the school, and got the job.
In Zambia, only 53% of students complete secondary education. Grace is thankful to PEAS that her salary has enabled her children to join and complete secondary school at George.
As Grace explains, she is happy with the opportunities that George Secondary School has brought.
“Back in my day, our parents could not afford to support us through secondary school, so I only went to school up to 7th grade and then got married. But now a lot of children, both girls and boys, are able to receive secondary education because the fees are affordable and the school is located close to our homes.”
Completing, or even starting, secondary school is still a challenge for children in Zambia, with only 66.2% of students progressing from primary to secondary school, and of those less than half complete their secondary education.
Carol Kasongo, Grace’s daughter, was able to receive training as a bricklayer during the construction of PEAS George. Carol now works on commission and helps her father when he gets a tender, which means more money for the family.
“George Secondary School has been very helpful to my family. No words can describe how grateful I am, and people are coming from far to attend this secondary school. May you continue building such schools so that more and more people will have access to secondary education”.