704. Matthew Norton
Matthew Norton, from Huddersfield, began his mission to transform young lives in east Africa with the modest ambition of simply supplying pencils to a couple of schools.
Eleven years on he runs the Memusi Foundation charity, educating over 1000 children across four exceptionally high performing schools in Kenya and Tanzania. His main school in Magadi, Kenya is now the best performing non-private school in the whole region, with almost every pupil moving from their primary school into secondary school.
The foundation also works to promote the health and wellbeing of each child and their community, with each pupil being provided with a malaria net and health education.
Their community farming programme in Tanzania grows maize and beans across 24 acres between the schools, creating a harvest for the schools to ensure that the pupils are guaranteed good meals each day. Excess produce is sold at a profit and then re-invested in the school to support outgoing costs.
In a personal letter to Matthew, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through the Memusi Foundation, you are providing high quality education for students in East Africa. You should be enormously proud of the way the impact of your work has grown to support the health, wellbeing and prosperity of whole communities.”
“I believe passionately that every child deserves the right to the very best education as a foundation for a route out of poverty. I am truly humbled that the Prime Minister has recognised this work in a ‘Point of Light’ award”
The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.Volunteer now