The Pestalozzi International Village Trust is a charity based in East Sussex which has provided life-changing educational opportunities to young people from disadvantaged communities across the globe for over 50 years. The Pestalozzi principles of educating the ‘Head, Heart and Hands’ are applied with the aim of inspiring students to make a real difference in the world.
Each year approximately 20 students aged from 16 to 19 are granted scholarships. Pestalozzi works closely with partner organisations in countries such as Belize, Bhutan, Nepal, Uganda and Zambia to select academically talented candidates who would have difficulty continuing their education at home. Potential students’ financial and social circumstances are considered as well as their commitment to helping in their own communities.
The students spend two years living at Pestalozzi, studying at local colleges. They are encouraged to become involved in community activities in Sussex and to take part in voluntary placements in their own countries in the summer holidays.
Many Pestalozzi alumni continue their education and go on to have a positive impact on their own communities. One recent graduate has managed to establish a school in his native Nepal. Another is working to improve much needed library facilities in Zambia.
Sue Walton, Chief Executive of Pestalozzi since 2011, uses fundamental business principles to ensure that the charity’s funds are used effectively, keeping overheads to a minimum. She believes in adopting best practice when sourcing professional or other services. Kreston Reeves pitched and were appointed as auditors in 2012.
Sue explained “The value that they [Kreston Reeves] could add was going to benefit the whole organisation. They have invited us to round-tables and training sessions providing useful information for Trustees and staff. They keep us up to date and broaden our horizons.”
Sue added “Kreston Reeves are a dedicated practice specialising in charities of our size and complexity*. They understand how charities work – we are also an SME [Small and Medium Enterprise] with a significant turnover. Personalities are really important too – Sam [Rouse, Partner] and the team are a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend them highly enough.”
For further information on Pestalozzi please visit www.pestalozzi.org.uk
*Pestalozzi is an incorporated charity and has to comply with the Companies Act as well as legislation relating to charities.