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Stories & News > Alumnus of the Year > 2019 Matthew Crowe (Class of 1997)

2019 Matthew Crowe (Class of 1997)

A self confessed 'tough student to teach', Matthew and his family are now educating some of the poorest and most disadvantaged children in the world in the city of Bogotá, Colombia.
Matt Crowe in Bogota, Columbia
Matt Crowe in Bogota, Columbia


Matthew was presented with the Alumnus of the Year award in 2019 for his passion to serve the people of Colombia.

We caught up with Matthew early in 2021 to see how things were going for him in light of the global pandemic and to share some of his memories from his time as a student at William Clarke College.

Matthew was a self-confessed ‘tough student to teach’. He recalled that during a Science class, the teacher put him in charge of cleaning up all the dissected sheep’s hearts after the lesson - the last period of the day. Instead of the sheep’s hearts making their way straight to the bin, Matthew confessed that somehow they ended up thrown around the playground with many students going home with sheep heart ruminants on their school shirts.

The one subject that was a standout for Matthew was Ancient History with Mrs Rolph. She brought the subject alive for Matthew and was able to connect with him.

After school, Matthew graduated with a degree in Primary Teaching and became drawn to helping kids whose behaviours made them difficult to connect with. Prior to going to Colombia in 2017, Matthew was Director of a Youth off the Streets school for teenagers from a background of abuse, drug and alcohol addictions, and violent behaviours.  


Matthew and his family are currently living and working in Bogotá, Colombia. They founded the i58 Movement with a mission to bring people face to face with the love of Jesus by demonstrating love towards individuals and communities experiencing extreme poverty and oppression. 

Matthew and his wife Paula run a school, Faith and Hope, which is located in one of Colombia’s most violent and impoverished neighbourhoods. This neighbourhood is full of families who have been displaced by Colombia’s internal war and violence, and whom have been abandoned by their government. There are no roads, no water, no hospitals and no security.  

The school is an epicentre of hope that journeys alongside children and families by providing academic, material and relational support specific to their needs. The goal is to remove all obstacles preventing these individuals and families from being all God created them to be. 

Recently, Matthew reflected on life in Colombia.  

“Right now, Colombia is in chaos as protesters peacefully demonstrating against a corrupt government have been killed, abducted and tortured in massive numbers. Despite these constant obstacles we have felt God remind us that ‘Love your neighbour’ doesn’t have any fine print. It didn’t for Jesus demonstrating love toward us, nor does it for our love demonstrated to others. Therefore, our school program has continually adapted to the Government legislations, COVID-19 protocols and social unrest. That has meant that our school has managed to remain open and provide a place of peace for our community during all this chaos.” 

As well as adapting their school program, Matthew took on board another project to provide food and hygiene to desperate families affected by the pandemic and on the brink of starvation. “We had an original goal to provide 20 bags but so far our ‘More than a Meal’ campaign has provided bags to over 800 families across five communities.” 

If you would like to join the journey with Matthew and support the work that he and his family are doing in Colombia, or if you want to find out more about i58 Movement please go to or search i58 Movement on Facebook and Instagram.  


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