Message from our Founder

Sunny Varkey

A Message from Sunny Varkey

I have been fortunate that I grew up in a family where charity was ingrained in us from a very early age. 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.

I was also lucky that my parents were school-teachers. 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. I have always believed that education is key to fixing so many of the world’s greatest problems: violence, poverty and health. It all starts with education.

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. Everyone deserves a great teacher.


Sunny Varkey
Founder and Trustee
Varkey Foundation


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