Education in the South African rural and urban townships is formulaic teaching by rote. Even if children move through the system, they don’t gain critical thinking skills required for them to become partners in their community’s development.

My Arms Wide Open supports children to become lifelong learners with the aim of creating a new generation of educated citizens who make a meaningful contribution to their community.

The initial focus of My First Steps, My Path is Early Childhood Development. My Arms Wide Open is working to create programs that support 1,000 daycares, crèches and after school centres across South Africa. We adapt learning to indigenous culture, critical thinking and problem solving. This type of education builds communications skills and drives imagination so that learners leverage the information and resources available to them to make informed choices.


Over the longer term, My Arms Wide Open will engage with community leaders and the government at municipal, provincial and national levels to access funding and develop meaningful curricula that meet the community needs while also meeting National School System and government requirements. By improving access to and quality of learning, we will help more students pursue higher education, which leads to greater opportunity for individuals, families.

Program Focus

Curriculums considerations and direction include:

  • Indigenous cultural learning
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Respect for self and others
  • Providing students an environment allowing for control over their learning
  • Collaboration and networking
  • Adaptability
  • Concentration – allowing children time and space to follow their own interests and passions
  • Initiative
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Self-monitoring skills for individual growth
  • Self-discipline and independence
  • Analytical skills
  • Curiosity and Imagination – through real life experiences

Partnerships & Collaborations

  • Manzimvula Ventures, Inc.
  • The Sustainability Institute
  • Vital Edge Consulting

Over the past few months we have been working hard to come to an agreement with Engineers Without Borders, in the United States as we had notedin earlier communications. We are very happy to report that we have completed the projectplanning paperwork and submissions. Our next step is to break the overall project, which is sizeable, down into three projects that will each be implemented in 2014 and 2015.The chapter supporting the project is getting everything ready to present to Engineers Without Borders, USA for approval.

Together, we can do this and support a highly disadvantaged community to sustain itself in the long term. Thank you for your ongoing support

next >