Teaching mathematics in East Africa

23 June 2022

Teaching mathematics in East Africa

During our recent Hallam Fund telephone campaign, our team of student callers had lots of interesting conversations with alumni about their time at university and their experience since graduating.

One call stood out to us and we wanted to share it with you. One of our callers had the pleasure of speaking with Kevin Morley who studied secondary mathematics education at Sheffield Hallam. Kevin talked about his time in Eritrea, a small country in East Africa, where he taught mathematics, his account of life as a teacher in Ethiopia and what he’s achieved since and it is truly inspirational.

Kevin had thought about helping children in Africa after reading an article about famine as a young boy and this was later fuelled by publicity surrounding Live Aid. After raising his three children and training to become a teacher – he did it – he applied for a teaching post overseas and was posted to a village in Eritrea.

Following the birth of his fourth child in 2012, Kevin returned to the UK with his wife Rebka who he met while teaching in Eritrea. The reality of living and working in a developing country was difficult but raising a child there was something else, so he returned to give his daughter a safe and secure environment in which to grow up. The story doesn’t end there - he will always have ‘one foot in the UK and one foot in East Africa’.

Since returning to the UK, Kevin has founded a small children’s home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s largest city, for 109 children (to date) which he describes as ‘a tiny place but it provides a base, food and shelter for a few kids’. For these ‘few kids’ Kevin has helped transform their lives and their experience will help shape the lives of future generations. Kevin said:

“Every year in Ethiopia hundreds of children are abandoned or orphaned. When this happens the prospects are bleak. With no welfare support thousands of children live on the streets and rely on begging to survive. One such child, abandoned at a few hours old, faced an uncertain future until Dr Emebet desperate to find a home for the baby called us - please help.' and Saltergate Children's Home, Ethiopia was up and running. We called the baby Amanuel and last September he walked through the school gates for the first time - proudest boy in the classroom.”

Kevin remains busy fundraising to provide food, housing, healthcare and education for the children and he continues to develop relationships in Addis Ababa with doctors, teachers and government officials.

To find out more about Saltergate Children’s Home, Ethiopia and Kevin’s fascinating account of life in Eritrea, please read his book Inside Eritrea – A Volunteer in East Africa. All proceeds from book sales go to support the children’s home – it takes just £20 a month to feed, educate and clothe a child in Ethiopia. To find out more contact Kevin: kevinjosephmorley@yahoo.co.uk

Thank you to all our alumni who took the time to speak to our student callers during the Hallam Fund telephone campaign.

We love hearing how our alumni are making an impact around the world, and we know there are many more stories we haven’t heard yet. If you would like to share your story with us, please get in touch.