Nelson Mandela:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The My Arms Wide Open team is curently working with partners in multiple countries,and in particular South Africa, to develop the curriculums and rause funds to begin our schools program for the new South African school year in 2013.

At My Arms Wide Open® we believe that Education, which takes place in different forms and forums, is the key in developing, growing and sustaining individuals, families and communities. Growth and development stem from many forms of education focused on the same outcomes. It is not necessarily formal education alone that creates the energy of change; we believe that foundational education systems are critical in creating awareness across the community at multiple levels. This awareness and
foundational education is what supports sustainable activity and environments into the future.

The My Arms Wide Open® Foundation provides support for mothers, children, and youth in South Africa to build sustainable communities and responsible businesses. My Arms Wide Open works directly with community members, who identify priorities for community development. We help them improve their skills and knowledge in areas such as entrepreneurship, leadership, mentoring, education and personal development.

By integrating and creating synergy between the five My Arms Wide Open causes, we create a program
that supports the overall vision and mission of My Arms Wide Open. Our program includes the development
of a business model for Private Low-Cost Schools that will exceed National school requirements. In this way, we lay the foundation and create opportunities for entrepreneurs to create successful
and sustainable social enterprises that support community development and infrastructure.


As we work with a community, we promise them that, “We will do nothing FOR your community. However,we will do everything we can to work WITH you as a community to create the changes you want”.

My Arms Wide Open’s commitment is to support and empower South African rural communities, working with mothers and children and other members of the community. Our focus is on the priorities identified from within the community. The actions we take and the programs we initiate help communities develop and grow stronger and sustainably by improving the skills and knowledge of individuals.

My Arms Wide Open focuses on five key causes and each has a place in the ‘Eduprenuers’ Program:

  • My Business, My Community – (e.g. Private Low Cost Schools) more >
  • My World, My Garden – (e.g. Food Security Program at each school) more >
  • My Family, My Community (e.g. Schools support Infrastructure) more >
  • My First Steps, My Path (e.g. Curriculum Development) more >
  • My Mentor, My Coach (e.g. Owner, Teacher, Volunteer Support) more >

In each cause and its related programs, we work directly with the community to help develop leaders who become the change agents in the community. They act as mentors for the children, young people and mothers who want to improve their circumstance and future. This is done in a number of ways including:

  • Supporting the development and operation of sustainable, community-focused enterprises, including schools;
  • Developing training curricula based on needs and priorities identified by community members;
  • My Family, My Community (e.g. Schools support Infrastructure) more >
  • Funding new businesses through an innovative small business-lending program that offers alternatives for
    repaying loans through cash or in kind (loan forgiveness),
    by supporting other new businesses and by coaching new business owners.

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