Illuminating the Path of Education Equity:The story of Sunny Varkey

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Sunny Varkey, an Indian-born entrepreneur and philanthropist, is renowned for his unwavering commitment to global education equality. The establishment of the Varkey Foundation is a pivotal chapter in his story, showcasing his struggle, dedication, and personal mission to help children worldwide pursue their dreams through the power of education.

Born in 1957 in Kerala, India, to a modest family with a deep tradition of valuing education, Sunny Varkey’s upbringing was shaped by his father, a small-town businessman who augmented the family income with a limited salary as a primary school teacher. Sunny’s parents enrolled him in a school known for its quality education, a journey that became a key factor in Sunny’s later success and ignited his passion for education.

When he was just nine years old , economic difficulties forced his family to leave India and seek a new life in Dubai, in the Middle East. His father started a small school with the hope of providing quality education to local children. The initial days were tough, with financial constraints and various difficulties making school operations challenging. Despite these hurdles, Sunny’s father persisted and eventually established a renowned school.This experience in Dubai profoundly influenced Sunny Varkey, laying the foundation for his future dedication to the field of education.

In 2010, Sunny Varkey founded the Varkey Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing global education equity. The core mission of the foundation is to ensure that every child has access to high-quality education, regardless of their geographical location. Varkey Foundation particularly focuses on children in conflict zones and impoverished areas. They believes that through education, we can break the cycle of poverty, promote economic development, and establish a more inclusive and equal society.

The foundation promotes various education initiatives globally, including providing educational resources, improving school infrastructure, and training educators. They engage in international collaborations with governments, businesses, and non-governmental organizations, collectively driving the global education agenda.

Sunny Varkey’s outstanding contributions to education equity have earned him numerous honors and awards. His story teaches us that an individual’s power and drive towards one’s own mission can indeed change the world. His spirit of dedication inspires each of us, urging us to pay attention to global education equity, ensuring that every child has equal opportunities for a bright and promising future.

About SDGs


Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal 4: Quality education – The Global Goals