From a family of uneducated, but supportive parents, and despite experiencing the difficulties of living in a home with no proper sources of sufficient income, Geofrey worked consistently hard in school and, in his final year, achieved national success in the JETS Senior Physics Olympiad. This, in addition to exceptional performance in examinations, led to his nomination for the Pestalozzi scholarship by a group of regional JETS organisers in Zambia. The rest, as they say, is history. After graduating from Pestalozzi, Geofrey was supported by a Mastercard Foundation scholarship to attend the University of Edinburgh. He graduated in 2022 with a First class degree in Chemistry.
“To me, this is a dream come true because, frankly, 6 years ago, I had no idea I would have the opportunity of a globally-recognised education from a world-class institution. I am indebted to the Pestalozzi International Foundation for their belief and trust, and for seeing potential in me and providing a community conducive for growth and dreams. My successful completion of university after 4 years of unique challenges is an attestation to the strong values I learnt from the Pestalozzi Village. I am grateful.”
To continue furthering his interests in inorganic and materials chemistry, Geofrey has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study towards a PhD at the University of Oxford from October 2023.
“My plan in the next five years is to build a strong identity in Chemistry. Fortunately for me, the Rhodes Scholarship award will enable me to do this from the University of Oxford. I am deeply interested in Chemistry applications to the energy sector. I am interested in the problem of increasing the scale and reducing the cost of renewable energy in Zambia. I plan, further down the line, to commercialise some of my research to create solutions to pressing problems in my community.
By giving me the opportunity to see the world beyond my community and country, the Pestalozzi scholarship permanently broadened my imagination of what is possible. One of the ways I am paying it forward is actively using my experience to guide others to identify and apply for similar opportunities. I also strive to be a consistent example to other young people of the good that arises when we fully apply ourselves to what we do – whatever that may be.”
“To the donors and supporters, without having to, you sacrifice your resources and time to help Pestalozzi realise its goal of empowering young people to make a difference in the world. Your support is profound – you are planting trees that will last for generations and provide oxygen and shed for many people for many years to come. Through your kindness and generosity, you are creating ripples that are contributing positively to the destiny of the world. For me, education has, and continues to build my capacity to do meaningful things in my community. It has emboldened me to be ambitious and go after dreams I never thought possible. Thank you immensely for the big part you have played in this.”