History Timeline

  • 2001

    Dr. Phil Renicks and Dr. Alan McIlhenny correspond and discover a shared vision for the education of marginalised children.

  • April 2002

    Dr. Renicks organises a Children-at-Risk Task Force in Johannesburg with Alan as facilitator.

    April 2002

  • September 2002

    Alan resigns from Tearfund and joins ACSI to develop the “Children-at-Risk” project.

  • 2003

    Alan and Phil develop a plan, meet like-minded people, drink lots of coffee, identify curriculum writers, and raise funds.


  • 2004

    Writing and field-testing new curriculum with street children in Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa produce results: the curriculum is inadequate, so it’s discarded and the process starts over again. (Still drinking lots of coffee.)

  • August 2005

    The first project is launched with new curriculum at The Kings Court Christian School in the Limpopo province.

    August 2005

  • 2006

    Vivian Subramoney becomes Director of the team in South Africa; new projects are started in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo provinces.

  • 2007

    The ACSI Children-at-Risk Project develops a partnership with TWR (formerly Trans World Radio) and Kerus Global Education to serve children in Swaziland through local tutorial groups supported by radio broadcasts.


  • 2008

    The possibility of expanding into Uganda, the Philippines, and Botswana is explored.

  • July 2010

    TWR and ACSI establish Open Schools Worldwide as an independent mission to carry on the work.

    July 2010

  • 2010-2018

    Open Schools serves children in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Zambia—in  addition to the ongoing projects in South Africa. Open Schools explores helping Beyond Borders, a ministry of TeachBeyond serving refugee children on the Greek island of Lesbos.

  • 2019

    Open Schools joins the TeachBeyond family.