Celebrating 20 Years of Life Changing Learning


Open Schools Worldwide endeavors to reflect God’s true light shining into places that need the hope of the gospel and basic education – Angie Pape

Dear Friends,  

The bible tells us in 1 John 1:5 tells us that God is light! This report demonstrates the incredible faithfulness of God and the light he has shone on our ministry. God placed a dream in the hearts of two men 20 years ago, and now it is a beacon of light and hope to more than 8000 children who would otherwise not have access to foundational literacy and numeracy. I’m very thankful for this simple, affordable, and powerful model that allows a small team to identify, teach, and support our partners and tutors to work in their local communities.

Our tutors bring Christ and his light to the world through education, displaying His love for those they tutor! 

We have been part of the TeachBeyond family since 2019, and since then, we can see the tremendous impact this relationship has had. One of the highlights of 2022 was standing together on the stage at FarBeyond, the TeachBeyond all-member conference, celebrating our 20th birthday. As the word went out at this conference and others learned of the model of Open Schools Worldwide to equip like-minded partners, many were asking if they could start projects in their contexts. Ghana, Uganda, and Liberia embraced our program in 2022 for their numerous projects. On the other side of the world, Raphael Haueser from Brazil translated our curriculum into Portuguese and piloted the first project on the Latin American continent. I was privileged to train his team in Gramado despite language barriers, but one thing that did not need translating was the joy and interaction that the Open Schools Worldwide teaching framework encapsulates. Cesar Valdez, who works with TeachBeyond in the Dominican Republic, also attended the training and saw the potential for his country’s needs. His translation group are now working on a Spanish version. Open Schools Worldwide follows the biblical example of “entrusting to faithful men and women who will be qualified to teach others.”Considering the ways in which God shines His light on so many opportunities was motivation for this year’s theme.

Open Schools Milestone Newsletter #1 – March 2022

The official Open Schools Newsletter – Quarterly Newsletter #1

inside this issue:

  1. Where it all began
  2. Uganda doors of opportunity.
  3. Praise and prayer.

This year we celebrate a milestone birthday at Open Schools Worldwide and what a beautiful journey it has been. As we celebrate this milestone, we will use our newsletters to take a walk down memory lane, to remember some of the shaping moments along the way and to dream about the future and what it might hold.

This month we are going back to where it all began.

It was an unlikely friendship formed by two men on opposite sides of the world that sparked the initiative that now delivers life-changing learning and brings hope to marginalized children in developing countries worldwide.

Dr. Alan McIlhenny and Dr. Phillip Renicks first crossed paths at an ACSI Conference in Kenya, where Dr. Renicks was the organizer of the event and Dr. McIlhenny was presenting a paper. At this point in time, they were both on different paths, unaware that God was already planting the seeds of what He would grow in the future.

Starting his career teaching Mathematics in one of the top schools in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dr. McIlhenny eventually moved to the Seychelles and later Nepal where he saw varying levels of poverty and the need for a different kind of education for those who couldn’t attend school. While he was working for the Tearfund organization, he spent time in multiple countries, and this opened his eyes to the educational needs of multitudes of marginalized children around the world.


In this newsletter we invite you to take a stroll with us down memory lane as we share how Open Schools began many years ago.

Open Schools News – May 2023

Rejoicing in 2 key positions filled

‘May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’. [Romans 15:13 (ESV)]


  • Thanksgiving for our 21st year
  • Breaking new ground in the Dominican Republic
  • A family legacy continues in South Africa
  • ‘Kilometers for Kids’ – our annual fundraiser
  • Partner with us through prayer
  • Splashes of praise

Thanksgiving as we step into our 21st year

This year we celebrate delivering life-changing learning to more than 50 000 marginalized children in developing countries worldwide.

We thank God for each tutor, friend, sponsor, prayer partner, supporter, learner and team member that is on this journey to fulfil our mission.

Children are learning to grasp the word hope!

The Year at a glance 2022

God’s providence and faithfulness characterized an amazing year at Open Schools. ‘For the word of the Lord is upright, and all His work is done in faithfulness” (Psalm 33:4).

A special thank you to our supporters, who have consistently given to the work of our ministry, enabling us to deliver our program and do what we love to do best – educate and inspire children who have no access to traditional schooling.

Rejoice over our 2022 highlights:

  • We have celebrated 20 years of bringing ‘hope through life-changing learning’ in 9 countries.
  • The number of children participating in our program have grown from 3670 children in 2021 to 8525 children in 2022!
  • We have trained 215 new tutors this year and started 69 new projects.
  • We expanded our reach to two new African countries – Ghana and Uganda.
  • Our team in Brazil has translated our curriculum into Portuguese and piloted their first project.
  • The curriculum development team has been hard at work writing the ‘What’s Next’ level 2 Literacy and Numeracy curriculum. The tutors piloting the new curriculum will be trained in March 2023.

Building a Hope Filled Future 2021

‘Hope’ has been central to two very difficult years for the children of the Open Schools Worldwide programs in Africa. Many of the communities that Open Schools Worldwide serves have suffered increased hardship because of prolonged droughts, devastating storms, and political insecurity increasing already fragile situations. Their tenacity to rise from these heart- breaking circumstances points to the hope they have in God and that He will restore their joy in the morning. Hebrews 6:19 speaks into that hope: ‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.’ Though the storms of life continue, the anchor, our hope, will steady our course if tied by faith to eternal life in Christ. Open Schools Worldwide exists to bring hope in God to educationally marginalized children and to realize their desire to learn. This dream, delivered by the volunteer tutors, our ‘superheroes,’ has enabled us to reach 3670 children in 74 projects during 2021.

To serve the children better, we have initiated the “What’s Next” project which will add additional lessons to our Literacy and Numeracy program. A core curriculum development team has written a scope and sequence for both the Literacy and Numeracy programs. With a holistic view the new lessons will fill a much- needed gap that will enable the children to transition into formal education or work towards gainful employment.

Our small, passionate, hardworking team have been a lifeline to so many during the periods of harsh lockdown. Our deepest desire is to serve the marginalized and those that are forgotten – it is the very heartbeat of all we do. Thank you to our team, to the Open Schools Worldwide Board members and to the greater TeachBeyond family for keeping the flame of hope burning and for your unselfish commitment to see these precious ones served.

Our most profound and sincerest thank you to our faithful and generous supporters. We receive every donation with gratitude as we know it comes from the hand of God. We especially appreciate your kindness as the last few months have been challenging for most households. As a testament to the generous Open Schools Worldwide family in what has been a difficult financial year, our annual global fundraiser ‘Kilometer’s for Kids’ raised double the funds given in 2020.

This dream that God put in the hearts of two men has flourished and will celebrate a milestone of 20 years of ‘bringing hope through life-long learning‘’ in 2022. With God’s help, our territory will be extended so that we may touch the lives of children for Christ on new continents and in numerous new communities. Let that be our corporate prayer. Blessings.
Angie Pape
Executive Director

Breaking the Chains 2020

“I am blessed to serve in the role as the Director of Open Schools Worldwide and to run with the vision of the co- founders who, from different continents and backgrounds, lived the words from Isaiah 58:6, “to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free”. This was the starting point eighteen years ago for Open Schools Worldwide that helps marginalized children and trains local Christian partners to provide basic education while sharing Christ’s love. What a simple, powerful formula with the potential to change and transform lives here and for eternity. “

-Angie Pape

Read the full report here!

A Journey Back to God through the Pandemic

Martha teaching

Martha was among the thousands in South Africa who had lost their jobs last year due to the pandemic. As the eldest child in a family of 6, the pressure to support the family rested on her shoulders.  In many cultures in Africa, it is common practice that the oldest child works and provides the financial means for the parents.


“I had lost my job during lockdown and had no source of income to assist my family.  My father did not realize that I would no longer be able to support him. I felt that God wasn’t there for me and I stopped socializing with people. It was tough,” said Martha in tears, as she recollected the trauma of it all.

It was at that time that she volunteered for the Open Schools Worldwide training through her church, Community Ministries, in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg.

“The training changed me. It touched me on a personal level, particularly during the ‘Route 86:11’ board game. I couldn’t finish the game. It became very personal and challenged me. It helped me find myself by understanding that there is a reason why we go through trials in life. It was a gift from God that ended with me wanting to be part of the program,” she shared.

The Route 86:11 game is based on Psalm 86:11. ‘Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name’.

After the training, Martha reached out to others for help. “I had been in a deep trench. To regain my self-confidence, I started interacting more with people from church and received counselling from a lady pastor. My spiritual life improved, changing everything for me. I felt like Christ was back with me and I was back with Him. The relationship was better.”

God was at work in her life, healing her relationship with her father. “My father, who was born in Malawi, had never been happy with me wanting to become a teacher, because those who teach in Malawi are not paid much. His plan was that I should get an education, go to university, work, earn lots of money and assist him financially. However, all his efforts to get me a job failed.

When Open Schools started their community ministry, I told him that I was going to go to church every Saturday to serve in this program. Every weekend was a struggle, but he finally began to see the reality of the situation. He started to accept my hopes and dreams and even began sponsoring food for the Open Schools program that we started in the community!”

Martha’s dream is to give back to the community. As someone who narrowly missed being married off as a child, she wants to open her own non-profit organization where she can help children who are marginalized and vulnerable, the orphans and the victims of child marriage.

“Last year, I blamed God for everything, without realizing that He gives and He takes away. He opened my eyes and put me on a new path where I can engage with more people. He changed my life for the better,” Martha said emotionally.

Remembering A Spiritual Giant

With deep sorrow we learned that Dr Vivian Subramoney, the chairperson of Open Schools Worldwide, passed away on New Year’s Day 2021. Vivian, or Viv as he was affectionately known suffered from complications caused by the COVID-19 virus. In a great outpouring of grief, many friends and acquaintances expressed their sorrow at having lost such a spiritual giant.

Dr Phil Renicks, co-founder of Open Schools, distinctly remembers the first time he met Viv. “We met for a meal at a restaurant, but before Vivian took a bite of his meal he asked the server for a take-away box putting half of his meal in it.  When we left the restaurant, he gave it to a homeless person sitting outside on the street. This was the Viv that we knew,” he said.

Vivian loved his family and this was apparent in his life. “His favorite thing to do was to spend time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He loved them dearly and would see them every day. On weekends, he would visit them and they would make tents using sheets and blankets. Tata, which is what they called him, would soon have the children in fits of giggles as they camped out on the floor,” said Angie Pape, Director of Open Schools Worldwide, who worked very closely with Vivian.

Vivian was born on 16 December 1960 in Northdene, Durban. After 2 years of Bible College, he served with the Apostolic Faith Mission, before pastoring a church in Johannesburg. He moved to Durban where he met his wife Dru. A few years later, they moved back to Johannesburg where Vivian started working at Emseni Hospital, a shelter for the destitute, homeless, and orphaned. He served as a director of Scripture Gift Mission and was actively involved in the development of the Pavement Project, a ministry counselling program to help marginalized children who have experienced trauma.

He later joined Open Schools Worldwide and was instrumental in developing the tutor’s training materials and the Route 86:11 Board game. His strong leadership skills were indispensable during a difficult period in the life of the organisation.

He was a critical thinker and loved God’s Word. He received his doctorate in December 2019 for his thesis on ‘Pastoral Psychology, The Recovery Factor’, the focus being on the Transformational Healing Ministry of the Church in addressing the needs of people exposed to severe trauma. He also studied Industrial Psychology, Human Resources Management, and Labour Law, and served as a Labour Consultant in South Africa.

During his lifetime, he helped establish two hospitals, shelters for destitute people, training centers for unemployed people, a home for abused and abandoned children, two street children’s shelters and numerous church plants.

In addition to all this, he volunteered with the South African police force. “We were in his car once and a call came on the police radio. Vivian suddenly set off at a high speed. He pulled his blue light out from the glove box and put it on the car roof. I asked Vivian if we could slow down. But Viv said, ‘people might be getting hurt, I need to get there’. That was his concern, always for people,” said Dr. Alan McIlhenny, co-founder of Open Schools Worldwide.

He was passionate about marginalized children and those who were educationally deprived. His actions and life work reflected Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ He was very relational, larger than life, and would make you feel special and valued.  When visiting the Open Schools projects, each tutor and learner felt his compassion and love. Vivian also had a very close personal relationship with Jesus and helped the tutors create opportunities to support the children’s spiritual development.

“We are so blessed to be able to carry on Vivian’s legacy, and, in fact, double the work that he co-started. We will make him proud and miss him every day,” added Angie.

Open Schools Worldwide in 2020

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6