Peter Tabichi : A Franciscan brother who gives away 80% of his income

Peter Tabichi, 36, a maths and physics teacher at Keriko secondary school in Pwani Village, in a remote part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, won the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019.

At Keriko Secondary School in Central Kenya, host Arit Okpo meets Peter Tabichi, a science teacher who received the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for 2019. As well as the title of the world’s best teacher, Tabichi received a $1 million prize and secured meetings with top dignitaries including the President of the United States.

Tabichi is a member of the Franciscan religious order and he tells the programme how his religion helps his teaching career, “I am a Franciscan brother and our way of life is to give more. And as a Franciscan brother, I believe that it is in giving that you are able to receive.”

Tabichi’s conduct is an example to others in his religious community. Tony Dolan, the Franciscan Brothers Minister General, talks about Tabichi’s impact, “He’s very much what a Franciscan brother should be, what we all try to be. He’s a humble, very professional person, with a very strong commitment to the marginalized, a very good teacher and he’s a very good community person.”

In addition to teaching the children at school, Tabichi also supports students financially. He gives away 80% of his income to help the poorest students and to fund community projects. Tabichi speaks about his motivations behind this, “When I give through my teaching, through giving away my salary, it really deepens my belief, my faith, it gives me joy and it makes me feel connected to everyone that I meet.”

Tabichi gives away 80% of his income to help the poorest students at the poorly-equipped and overcrowded school who could not otherwise not afford uniforms and books.

As word about the success of the school spread throughout the community, demand increased, and school officials say the number of students has doubled. Tabichi describes the teaching style that has made his classes so popular,

“You have to demonstrate to the students, not only lecturing or just give them theory, you have to show them what you are really talking about. I believe that you have to use practicals, you have to really let the students visualize what you are talking about.”

With Tibachi’s inspiration, the next generation of changemakers are growing in Kenya. His vision for the future is a hopeful one, “Africa is a continent bursting with great promise. If we were just to realize that and if especially the young generation were to be given the right support through education, quality education, once that is done, I’m sure the African continent is going to shine.”

This week’s programme also meets Luis Munana, the creator of educational cartoon Waka Waka Moo. Muana explains his motivation behind the project,

“My nieces and nephews knew all the words to the cartoons they are watching. They knew all the lyrics. They knew word for word. what was being said on TVs and I was like why isn’t there anything on TV in Namibia that’s talking about the rivers in the Kavango region.”

Munana became the first Namibian to feature on the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 list in the Creative category. Now he’s taking his show to schools around the country to make sure that as many children as possible see it. He talks about taking the programme on the road, “I actually love the roadshows because you get to interact with the kids one on one.”

Through education and entertainment, both of these changemakers are improving children’s lives across their communities.

‘African Voices Changemakers’ airs on Friday 15th November at 0930 SAST on CNN International

The show also airs at the following times:

Saturday 16th November at 0030 SAST,1230 SAST and 1630 SAST

Sunday 17th November at 0500 SAST, 0930 SAST and 2000 SAST

Monday 18th November at 0530 SAST


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