Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba – an extraordinary teacher
We discovered the wonderful Emmanuel Ivorgba on the Project Happiness trip to India in 2007. All we really knew of Emmanuel during the months of preparation for our journey was that he was a spirited and gifted teacher in a school in Jos, Nigeria and he was bringing two students to join our trip to India to interview the Dalai Lama. He was an important yet very distant part of our year-long project of creating a student curriculum for the Dalai Lama’s book, “Ethics for the new Millennium.”
When we finally met Emmanuel in Delhi in March of 2007 we discovered to our delight much more than a gifted teacher. Everyone took and instant liking to Emmanuel. His kindness, good spirits, story telling skills and irrepressible intelligence and dedication to the cause were instantly obvious to everyone. In short we saw Emmanuel as a visionary willing to sacrifice for the sake of bringing needed change to the lives of the children of his area. It is well recorded in the news that Nigeria and its people have suffered a lot in recent years. Nigeria is an oil rich country, but many of its people exist in poverty and parts of Nigeria are dominated by illicit groups taking advantage of the poor conditions and lack of cohesive civil authority. In the midst of that is Emmanuel who has dedicated his life to restoring through education the human values that are a deep part of Nigerian culture.