Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum, together with businessman Sunny Varkey established the Varkey Foundation in 2015. The charity gives away an annual US$1 million prize called the “Global Teacher Prize.” This year’s winner is Kenyan science teacher and Franciscan friar Peter Tabichi.

Global Teacher Prize on Twitter

I mentor students to come up with projects … that really solve challenges the local communities are facing.” Our amazing Global Teacher Prize 2019 winner, @PeterTabichi, spoke to @BrookingsInst on how he innovates in the classroom to drive progress. 👏 https://t.co/wk9UotWqVa

Tabichi bested 10,000 applicants from 179 countries. Entries came in from all over the world and exceptional teachers from various continents made it into the final stages of the selection process. However, what made Tabichi stand out was the fact that his students have been showing stellar results in international science competitions. This was despite being in a small village in Africa where they often lack even the most basic things.

As it turns out, Tabichi had been donating 80% of his earnings in order to help sustain the school. To give a clearer picture of the desperate situation, Newsner reports that his entire class of 58 students share one computer. Many of the students are orphans and are so poor that Tabichi needs to spend his own money to provide their textbooks, supplies and uniforms.

“When I give through my teaching, through giving away my salary, it really deepens my beliefs, my faith and gives me joy,” he told CNN Africa.

Tabichi shared that most of the $1,000,000 winnings will also go back to the community. He already has plans to fund more computer science classes and facilities. He is also thinking about creating a science lab that will help the community find ways to develop and grow drought-resistant crops.

CNN Africa on Twitter

Through Peter Tabichi’s donations, the school in a rural part of Kenya has been able to build new classrooms. He also plans to bring water to the school, set up high-speed Wi-Fi, and a modern computer lab. https://t.co/TuOC0uzMFT

The money will be awarded to Tabichi in $100,000 increments for ten years as long as he stays in his profession. He will also act as a global ambassador for the Varkey Foundation. Through his experiences, he will be able to spread the good news about the foundations work and encourage more teachers around the world to go beyond the call of duty.

Global Teacher Prize 2019 Announced by Hugh Jackman

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Feature Photo Courtesy of Global Teacher Prize Twitter Account