Kenya’s Rift Valley is not an easy place to grow up. The region is often torched by drought, and instability in the local economy has led to famine, violence, and drug use. When survival is an immediate need, it’s hard to invest in a long-term endeavor like your education.
The high schoolers in Pwani Village, Kenya, have someone looking out for them, though — their math and physics instructor, Peter Tabichi, goes the extra mile for them. Literally. He walks four miles to the nearest internet cafe to download curricula for coursework.
Tabichi is a Franciscan brother who has dedicated his whole life to service. So not only does he teach students in the classroom, but he also is investing in their lives outside of school. In addition to developing several after-school clubs (including a peace club that brings together students from seven different ethnicities), he donates 80 percent of his salary to help families in need.
And now that he’s been honored with the Global Teacher Prize — which he received from among 10,000 nominees — he’ll have more resources to help his school. The award comes with a $1 million prize.
On this Teachers’ Day, Brother Tabichi’s work stands as a great example of the special role teachers play in our lives — they help us grow to fuller, richer, brighter people. And the best teachers — like Brother Tabichi — help us grow to become people committed to others, especially those who live on the margins of society.
Check out this video of him receiving the Global Teacher Prize — you can see his commitment to the students at Pwani Village. What he says about good teachers — they “do more and talk less” — holds true for all of us who want to make this a better world.