Italian cuisine takes former Grantham schoolgirl to Africa

Costanza Pearce.
Costanza Pearce.
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An 18-year-old has produced and published an authentic Italian recipe book to enable her to take part in a project tackling poverty in Rwanda.

With the help of her half-Italian family, Costanza Pearce created the book ahead of spending ten weeks in Rwanda to work on a development programme.

Constanza explained: “Since my mother is Italian and my sister a keen photographer and we all love both cooking and eating, producing a recipe book seemed a perfect fund-raising activity.”

A former KGGS student, Constanza is now on a gap year and received a place on the government funded International Citizen Service (ICS), which enables 18-25 year olds to contribute to development projects abroad.

She is volunteering with one of ICS’ partner organisations Tearfund, a Christian relief and development agency which aims to improve access to healthcare and education, and promotes income-generating activities.

“I’m really excited to be part of this scheme, making a lasting difference in disadvantaged and impoverished communities and bringing what I’ve learnt home – it’s a life-changing experience,” she added.

When back in the UK, ICS volunteers undertake an Action at Home Project, so that they can use their new skills to benefit the local community.

The recipe book is not the only way in which Constanza has been raising funds for the project.

“I also held a fundraising Valentine’s Ceilidh, and did some bag-packing in Sainsbury’s. Many thanks to the generous shoppers on Sunday February 23 who helped us raise £346 and a special thank you also to all the staff including Jess and Tom who were very patient with us on the day.”

Copies of Constanza’s recipe book are for sale at Oblio’s Deli and Bistro in the George Centre and at Piccola Venezia Italian Restaurant on Wharf Road, or can be requested by emailing A minimum donation of £5 is asked for and all the profits go to Tearfund.

You can also sponsor Costanza at or by texting “CPRW95” followed by your donation to 70070.

To find out more about ICS, visit or call 0208 780 7400.