Executive Director: Phil Peters earned a science degree at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, before leading and developing an experiential and outdoor youth program in central Europe for four years. After acquiring a graduate degree in educational ministries at Wheaton Graduate School in Chicago, he was Principal at Tauernhof, an international Christian training and retreat center in the Austrian alps for 14 years. He was passionate about the value of experiential and non-conventional education in facilitating significant personal development. Phil spent the next seven years as part of the leadership of an innovative church project in southern Germany, where he applied these developmental principles with children, youth, adults, and couples. He was invited to become the Interim Director at Black Forest Academy, an international Christian school serving children who live in over 60 countries. Stemming out of this time he initiated and developed several joint service projects with Habitat for Humanity, leading groups of students as well as adults to Romania to provide housing for orphans and the homeless. These experiences increased his burden and desire to mobilize capabilities and resources to help address the extensive needs of the poor and marginalized. Equipped with this combination of experience, education, and passion, Phil Peters accepted the leadership of OSWW in 2013. He is Canadian, is married and has three children. Phil’s wife is also involved in educational development as a developer and consultant for international and multilingual school projects in various countries in Africa, Europe, and Eurasia.
Southern Africa Director: Dorian Slingers worked for the City of Cape Town: Sport and Recreation. He was involved in growing the city’s Community Participation program, “Greening the City”. He was later appointed Senior Recreation Officer for The Greater Germiston Council, Johannesburg. One of his main tasks was to provide recreational and intervention programs for disadvantage communities. He co-wrote two hand books for the National Department: Sport and Recreation. Dorian is registered with the South African Council of Educators (S.A.C.E). He was an educator at an Independent Christian School in Pietermaritzburg and was part of the school’s management team, headed up the Primary School and coordinated the OSWW program teaching street children. He then moved back to his home city of Cape Town and became the Area Manager there for Open Schools Worldwide. In January 2011 he took up the role of Southern Africa Director.
Founder and Director Emeritus: Dr Alan McIlhenny started his career as a high school mathematics teacher in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This was followed by six years as Head of Mathematics in a college in the Seychelles (Indian Ocean) and then four years as a professor of mathematics education in Tribhuvan University, Nepal. This time in the Seychelles and Nepal brought awareness to Dr McIlhenny that traditional schooling does not effectively meet the needs of all children in developing countries. With Nepali colleagues, he co-authored a book on the teaching of large classes and completed his Ph.D. at .the University of Surrey in UK researching alternative approaches to schooling with particular reference to the problems facing educators in developing countries. Dr McIlhenny was the Principal and Founder of the Kathmandu International Study Centre, a unique high school in Nepal catering for the needs of young people from many nationalities. After eleven years of service in Nepal, he returned to Northern Ireland and became the Director of Tearfund for Ireland. Tearfund is the largest UK and Ireland evangelical relief and development agency. His time with Tearfund gave Dr McIlhenny hands-on experience of work with street children and AIDS orphans in a number of countries around the world. This combination of development and educational experience uniquely prepared him to develop OSWW. Dr McIlhenny has been consulted on education/development problems in Nepal, India, Seychelles, Pakistan, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Thailand, the Philippines, Brazil and Bolivia