The Story

Africa Classroom Connection was founded in 2006 after a visit by Founder Henry Bromelkamp and Board Officer Jeff Nelson, who returned from this area and wanted to make change. Our organization exists to provide much needed funds to build classrooms in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 

Thanks to many conscientious and generous donors, we’ve helped more than 49,000 kids by building 135+ classrooms!

The lasting effects of apartheid

During apartheid, it was illegal to teach Blacks – 79% of South African population – anything not related to necessary employment skills. When apartheid was abolished in 1994, the South African government found itself saddled with decades worth of unmet needs. While education was a high priority, building classrooms in rural areas such as those near Eshowe, was not. Thus, the effects of apartheid are still apparent in the lack of infrastructure facilities and an unemployment rate listed as high as 80% during the global pandemic.

Africa Classroom Connection Isulomphakathi
Africa Classroom Connection Jevu High School

Eshowe Community Action Group

The Eshowe Christian Action Group (now Eshowe Community Action Group) was formed in 1977 when concerned Rotary members concluded the obvious answer was to bring classrooms to rural, poverty- stricken communities. The organization has, to date, achieved the building of nearly 4,000 classrooms and laboratories at 800 locations.

Lasting successful partnerships

ACC was created to provide others a way to contribute to these projects with the assurance that their support will be carefully monitored. This partnership allows for open communication, construction supervision, cultural understanding, long-term quality control, and reflective analysis of project success.

Africa Classroom Connection Construction
Africa Classroom Connection Siyavuna construction

The standard plan ensures that common materials and readily-available skills are used in construction of each school.

Local communities raised a portion of project funds significant to them, thus ensuring local investment. ECAG in turn found organizations or individuals to contribute the rest. They found engineers to develop a simple standard classroom design, easily duplicated, so that every school would be easy to build and safe for the students. The arrangement has worked! The local community’s investment means the people respect and care for their school.