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Wed 18 Sep 2019 09:29 AM

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GEMS Education's Sunny Varkey meets Trump at the White House

Dubai-based education provider is part of a tour with Global Teacher Prize winner Peter Tabichi.

GEMS Education's Sunny Varkey meets Trump at the White House
"Global Teacher Prize Winner 2019 Peter Tabichi and Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation, meet President Trump at the Oval Office in the White House. (Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Sunny Varkey, founder and chairman of Dubai-based education provider GEMS Education, had a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House as part of an American tour with Global Teacher Prize winner Peter Tabichi.

Varkay was photographed with Trump in the Oval Office, alongside Tabichi, a Kenyan science teacher and winner of the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019. The award-winning teacher, who received his $1 million prize at a ceremony hosted in Dubai in March by actor Huge Jackman, is set to meet with a number of high profile business and political leaders in his tour of the US, in a bid to use his platform to highlight the challenges facing young people in Africa.

As well as meeting Trump at the Oval Office, Tabichi met will leaders of the World Bank, will be granted the honour of opening the United States Congress with a prayer, will speak at the United Nations in New York and will hold discussion with Silicon Valley technology giants such as Google and Facebook.

“Teachers hold the future of our world in their hands through the young minds they nurture. That’s why, through the Global Teacher Prize, we strive every day to shine a spotlight on teachers and their enormous power to transform lives,” Varkey said.

“The fates of America and Africa are entwined. The same global forces that have seen wildfires and extreme weather events ravage the US have brought droughts and crop failure to my own community, forcing my students to come to school hungry. Today’s African refugees from climate change, war and hardship will be tomorrow’s migrants on America’s doorstep. It is Africa that supplies the cobalt, mined at high human cost, that powers the smartphones that underpin US corporate connectivity,” Tabichi added.

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