I have been fortunate that I grew up in a family where charity was ingrained in us from a very early age. I was also lucky that my parents were school teachers.
We were immigrants to a new country, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Even when my father earned a small amount, a large percentage was shared with the community we lived in, sometimes at the cost of our own comfort. To this day, our underlying philosophy remains that good giving ‘pinches’, meaning that the sacrifice you make, has to be felt, else, the act remains just another financial transaction in our lives.
They always placed a great emphasis on the value of education. While perhaps I didn’t live up to their expectations as a student, I saw the impact they had on people’s lives.
These two pillars of charity and education have always guided me, and out of them came the Varkey Foundation, to change lives through education around the world. We, particularly, focus on capacity building interventions for teachers and school leaders, and championing their work through initiatives such as the Global Teacher Prize. I believe everyone deserves a great teacher.