Africa Classroom Connection: Building Schools. Building Futures.

Africa Classroom Connection News


Fall 2014


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Graduation Party Dec. 8!
Learning Tour Visits
Collegiate Churches of NY
Cheers to WOSA!
Power of the Match


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 “If you have an education, you have a freedom that can’t be taken away by anyone,”
says Lungile Zikhali, the classroom project coordinator in Eshowe, South Africa.  
Mcakwini Lungile edit
Beyond reading and writing, she explained, students learn skills that will serve them “a lifetime”, like how to budget, eat healthfully, and prevent pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.


Wonder how many more children can thrive and grow if they only get a chance for a good education? That's what we want to make possible. We still have 125 schools on the waiting list; they've paid their deposit and are waiting for us.

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ACC is a member of Aid for Africa.
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Africa Classroom Connection participates in the Combined Federal Campaign 

Ian dancing with kids, 2013 Learning Tour

Umphezeni School children waving a greeting to the US


Graduation Party December 8!

Come shop beautiful hand-crafted items in our African marketplace.

Come shop beautiful hand-crafted items in our African marketplace.

A graduation party in December? That’s right!  In South Africa, December wraps up the school year. Graduations are held and two months of summer break begins for the country’s millions of students.  Many of those kids wouldn’t be celebrating if you hadn’t helped them finish school by giving them a warm dry place to learn. To share their accomplishment, join ACC at the Jungle Theatre for wine, hors d’oeuvres, and an African marketplace full of one-of-a-kind jewelry and crafts from South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania. 

WHEN: Monday, December 8 – 6:00-9:00pm
WHERE: Jungle Theater, Minneapolis
WHY: Graduation heralds a better future!

Learning Tour Visits Our Schools

Our travelers visit a classroom at Kukhoba Primary School funded by the KOPP Family Foundation.

Our travelers visit a classroom at Kukhoba Primary School funded by the KOPP Family Foundation.

In August/September, 11 people joined ACC board members Henry Bromelkamp and Mary Jo Stangl on a trip to South Africa and Malawi to visit school-building sites and Books for Africa recipients. It was a multi-faceted trip designed to learn about apartheid history, tour beautiful Cape Town with wine and scenery, see lions and elephants on safari, and spend almost a week in schools we've built and schools that need our help. Imagine the power of better grades at Gezahlale Primary School, where there used to be 90 learners in one room, and even class in a lean-to made from scrap lumber; now there are proper classrooms and the learners are busy learning. Think about how much easier it is for Jevu Secondary School learners to study indoors warm and dry during the cool rainy time of year of high school graduation exams -- they do better thanks to you! 

Please consider joining our next Learning Tour, tentatively planned for a couple weeks in January/February 2016 (Midwesterners - it's summer in the Southern Hemisphere!). We have two trips in mind: an introductory trip like this year to learn about Africa and visit our schools, and a reunion trip for past Learning Tour travelers to have a more intensive experience in the schools with less tourism. If you're interested let us know and we'll contact you when plans are more developed. Click here to see more pictures from the Tour!


 Travelers at a Jevu Secondary School classroom given by Collegiate Churches of New York.

Travelers  pose with kids at a Jevu Secondary School classroom given by Collegiate Churches of New York.

Donor Spotlight: Collegiate Churches of New York

In this space we like to introduce you to a donor who shares their passion for our work and their reasons for supporting our schools. Today we're proud to highlight our partnership with Collegiate Churches of New York, which has sponsored eight classrooms over the last few years. That's about 400 kids indoors warm and dry for school, not just this year but next year and every year from now on. Seven of this year's 13 Learning Tour travelers came from Collegiate Churches. One of them, Rev. Shari Brink, Minister for Strategic Advancement at Marble Collegiate Church, wrote about her impressions of the journey and how it impacted her understanding of what's needed and how powerful our personal actions can be in resolving injustice and ending poverty: Read Shari's blog here.
Collegiate Churches share goals of peace, justice, and reconciliation, and see Africa Classroom Connection as a partner in their efforts.
"In a region where 23 people depend on each income-earner’s wages, our investment in educating a child pays an almost unbelievable long-term dividend!" said Shari. "Education doesn’t simply expand knowledge, but empowers people in ways that strengthen community and reduce violence and oppression." We agree. Siyabonga! We thank you for your confidence in us!

Shari Brink  and fellow-traveler Jordan Banks  celebrate with kids at Matamzama Dube High School where the Collegiate Churches have built three classrooms.

Shari Brink  and fellow-traveler Jordan Banks celebrate with kids at Matamzama Dube High School where the Collegiate Churches have built three classrooms.

Cheers to Wines of South Africa!Wines of South Africa

A big thanks to Wines of South Africa(WOSA) and you for helping ACC build another classroom!   On July 27, more than 330 wine lovers gathered at the Minneapolis Depot for a festive outdoor wine tasting and South African braa’i (BBQ) by famous chef Hugo Uys.  ACC was the charity partner for this nationally touring WOSA event, which raised more than $11,000 – or nearly enough for another classroom!  It introduced a lot of new people to the need and accomplishments of our Zulu learners. Thank you, WOSA, and all the ACC volunteers who made the day a huge success.

Famous South African chef and grill master Hugo Uys grills up a full South African BBQ (“Braai”) menu

Famous South African chef and grill master Hugo Uys grilled up a full South African BBQ (“Braai”) menu at our July 27th event.

Don’t Forget the Power of the Match

A matching gift from your employee giving program can double the impact of your gift to ACC. ACC had two recent corporate matches -- one from Thomson Reuters as a match for an ACC volunteer’s hours, the other from Bank of America matching a donor’s contribution. Thank you to all the companies that so generously support their employees’ philanthropic interests – this helps ACC build more classrooms!

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Africa Classroom Connection holds a vision that every child in KwaZulu-Natal has the opportunity for an
excellent education. Our mission is providing resources to help build and improve schools in KwaZulu-Natal. We work to get buildings built, help kids stay in school, and facilitate cultural exchanges/overseas travel.


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2018 Learning Tour:


Travel with us to Africa on our next Learning Tour:

Jan. 15 - Feb. 4, 2018

"I quickly saw that this trip could be a trip of a lifetime. In what other trip would I experience a wedding in Malawi as an invited guest? Interact with hundreds of children in their schools? Visit museums documenting apartheid with tour guides who lived through it? Meet people engaged in the mission to educate children - principals, teachers, Rotarians, concerned, community-minded citizens?

- Marla Kapperud, 2016 Learning Tour participant

Read more of Marla’s story here


Get Involved!
 iDid you know that ACC is a 100% volunteer-run organization?

We're always looking for new volunteers to join our team--a variety of opportunities are availble.

Click here to learn more.











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