Global mindset – this is one of Amani Institute’s five core values and stems from the concept of catalyzing impact across both perceived and actual boundaries.
Earlier this month on 5th July 2019, Amani Institute was privileged to host someone who personifies global mindset in action. Peter Tabichi Mokaya – winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize from Kenya – visited the Amani Institute office in São Paulo, Brazil. The visit, organised in collaboration with Varkey Foundation – was the example of global cross-pollination for impact. A teacher from a small village in Kenya traversing over 6,000 miles to share insights with changemakers in one of the biggest cities in the world. Quite the story, huh?
Peter, 36, a Maths and Physics teacher at Keriko Mixed Secondary School in Nakuru County, Kenya had beaten thousands of teachers from all over the world to win the Global Teacher Prize award. The session at Amani Institute was a chance for Peter to share nuggets of information on his unique journey as well as his inspirations. Several Amani Alumni and our network partners in Brazil including Sitawi, Credit Suisse, Fundação Williams, Suzano,É Bom de Ver Cidade, Aporé and Favela da Paz also joined the session to share their viewpoints on education and youth development. A special live stream of Amani Stand ff and Alumni also tuned in live from Kenya to experience Peter’s session with their Brazilian counterparts.
Working in Keriko Secondary School which is in a remote part of Kenya is not easy. Overcrowding, lack of books and teachers, water shortages are just some of the problems that teachers at the school have to endure. Drug abuse, teen pregnancies, drop-outs among students due to poverty are also persistent challenges. However, despite the trying circumstances, Peter’s determination to leave an indelible mark in the lives of his students drives him on. The saying that constantly uplifts his spirits and endeavor to give his all in spite of trying circumstances is “Everyone has the potential to change the world by doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.”
Peter attributes his success to his background as a Francisian Friar and the values of sharing, respect and honesty taught to him by his father. Other role models who inspire Peter are Wangari Maathai, Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela.
“As a teacher, I focus on developing soft skills like sharing, respect and honesty in my students. These will greatly complement the academic information we give them in the long term. I also really value collaboration with fellow teachers as no one works alone. The final component is to integrate technology as this helps simplify learning for students.”
As we often say at Amani Institute – Trust the Process. Peter’s story is certainly a perfect illustration for that saying and shows the impact that one person can have in society. In addition to teaching, Peter also leads the science club and the Young Christians Fellowship at the school. In his spare time, Peter teaches villagers from the areas surrounding the school on how to practice conservation agriculture for their subsistence.
His humility, sacrifice and persistence have now seen Peter get global recognition and a cash prize of 1,000,000 USD that he can use as he pleases. With regards to how the million dollar prize will impact him, Peter is adamant about humility.
“I still intend to live a normal life as was before winning the Prize. The money will go towards helping my students and the needy in society,” says Peter who contributes 80% of his monthly salary with the needy.
Congratulations Peter from us at Amani Institute. Keep on doing the amazing job you do to transform not only the lives of needy students but also the society at large.