"If we do this God will smile"


ECD Project

Unlocking a Legacy & Igniting Hope

 Transforming Church Sites into Vibrant Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD)

Step into a world with us where education dances with possibility, and the echoes of history harmonize with the future. Since the mid-1800s, Anglican Diocesan & Mission schools haven woven themselves into the very fabric of education in Southern Africa —their roots run deep, nourishing generations.

But this isn’t just about the past. It’s about now. The complex tapestry of colonialism, apartheid, and today’s challenges beckons us anew. And we answer with a resounding “Yes!”
ABESA’s Vision: The Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa (ABESA) stands at the crossroads of transformation. Together with ECD champions across our 25 Dioceses & Partners, we’re embarking on a ground-breaking journey—one that turns underutilized church sites into vibrant ECD centres fostering growth, education, and community empowerment.
Fresh Expressions: Imagine vibrant centres nestled within church grounds. Children’s laughter weaving through sun-dappled playgrounds. Educators with hearts wide open, guiding little hands toward a brighter tomorrow.
Hope in Community: It’s more than bricks and mortar. It’s about weaving community threads together. Specialist partners, neighbours, families, congregations—all converging to ignite hope in the lives of children. Because when we share spaces, we share dreams.
800 Sparks of Possibility: In the next five to eight years, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa aims to birth 800 new ECDs—each one a beacon of hope. As Archbishop Thabo Makgoba himself has said, “This would make God smile!”
Are you passionate about nurturing the next generation? Do you believe that every child deserves a strong foundation for lifelong learning? Look no further! Join us. Let’s turn church sites into sanctuaries of possibility. Let’s make God smile, one ECD centre at a time. For more information please read & respond to the call for support in the attached brochure.

Unlocking a Legacy & Igniting Hope

a new phase of Angelican Church Schooling in Southern Africa

The landscape of education has been a site of mission for the Anglican Church in Southern Africa since the mid 1800’s – with the founding of Mission & Diocesan Schools. The complex legacy of colonialism & apartheid, together with current challenges, sound the call again to a life-giving response. The Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa (ABESA), together with Early Childhood Development (ECD) champions in each of our 25 Dioceses, is identifying suitable underutilized infrastructure on church sites, which could house new Early Childhood Development Centres, as fresh expressions of Anglican Church Schooling. In the next five to eight years the Anglican Church of Southern Africa could enable the establishment of around 800 new ECDs – as Anglican Church Schools. To quote Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, “This would make God smile!

Schools are associated with 18 Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA).

Are Independent non-subsidised schools

Are Independent state-subsidised schools

state-funded schools on church land

Why ECD’s

The National Development Plan envisions every child in South Africa having access to high-quality early childhood education by 2030.

ECD centres make a significant difference in bringing quality education to those previously excluded

Quality early learning programs prepare children for adulthood by providing the necessary opportunities for social, cognitive, spiritual, physical and emotional development.

These programs assist in laying the foundation for holistic development, whilst cultivating a  love for lifelong learning.