Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

G.R.A.C.E. USA

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: AIDS, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Health, International, International Relief

Mission: G.R.A.C.E.builds the capacity of community based organisations to implement self-determined, high impact and sustainable initiatives for better health and development.

Programs: The primary programs of G.R.A.C.E. include (1) support and capacity building with a network of 105 grassroots organizations; (2) training and support to community health workers and families helping with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) (3) educating a cohort of 200 OVC up to and including university, (4) training youth peer educators; and (5) development and training in sustainable agriculture, dairy goat rearing, marketable computer skills, home-based care and peer education for youth through our Research and Resource Centre. In Kenya, the community reach and effectiveness of home based care workers, youth peer educators, trained traditional healers, birth attendants and others, suggest that our program is built to provide a ripple effect. G.R.A.C.E. provides the impetus for this ripple effect by relying on relationships within and across communities for success. These connections include mentoring relationships with motivation, self-esteem and efficiency are some of the byproducts. Increased knowledge, access to care, counselling and testing, safer childbirth etc. are among the outcomes. G.R.A.C.E. USA supports the work of G.R.A.C.E. Africa, an international NGO registered in Kenya in 2001 and governed by a board based in Nairobi. The founder and executive director, who volunteers her time, is headquartered in the US, and the organization is staffed and managed in Kenya.

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with GRACE USA for three years. I am an international funder of grassroots organizations and I can say that GRACE is by far and away one of the most effective non profits I have ever seen. I visited their demonstration farm in Nanyuki, Kenya and was highly impressed by the deep knowledge and skills they were passing on to other farmers in the area such as bee farming, construction of ponds for fish as a food source, alternative crops, and goat farming. I visited with a self formed group of HIV patients that had been given a goat by GRACE. Following the instruction given to them by GRACE, this group turned one goat into 6 goats and were generating enough income for everyone to maintain or improve their health. What I found to be fascinating was that the people in the community that had once ostracized this group, due to their HIV status, were now seeking advice on how to acquire and manage their own goats. I have also visited one of the Early Childhood Development Centers supported by GRACE and not only saw orphaned and vulnerable children being cared for both physically and psychologically but their caretakers also being cared for and taught income generating skills. I can't speak highly enough of the dedication, commitment and compassion that GRACE has for grassroots development.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with G.R.A.C.E. for over 10 years now, and have had the pleasure of watching several of the young children I've supported over the years transform into vibrant young college graduates committed to making a difference in the lives of their fellow orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Kenya. This program is self-fulfilling in the best possible sense, and I am proud to be both a donor and a board member.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been working with GRACE USA for over 10 years as a donor, fund-raiser and, later, as a board member. I have seen first-hand the work that GRACE does in tiny, remote villages in Kenya where local people have organized (with GRACE's help) to combat and prevent the scourge of HIV-AIDS. I have also met a number of students that have been able to go to school as a result of GRACE's scholarships and whose world's have been changed. When I learned the impact that a dollar given to GRACE has, I decided to focus nearly all of my non-profit giving to this organization and to do what I could to help it succeed.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I came to learn about G.R.A.C.E. seven years ago and life has never been the same again. I joined G.R.A.C.E. in 2004 and in that time I have grown leaps and bounds. Natasha Martin the CEO and founder has been a beacon of hope to the women of Africa. Not only has she empowered women to be independent but she has come all the way to Africa to give hope to orphans who never thought that they would have another
shot at education.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Last year I volunteered as an early childhood development intern for six months in Nairobi. I had only met Natasha Martin a few times before i left but I felt completely assured and the more I heard of the work she was doing the more excited I became. I was able to work as part of a the team that oversees the ECD centers that were opened in partnership with CBOs around the country. While i was there I was able to visit the centers and see first hand what GRACEs support was able to provide. All the children in the schools were OVCs (orphans and vulnerable children) and were able to receive two hot meals a day, the teachers assistants were able to go to school, and the people who worked at the CBOs were given trainings ranging from data entry to psychosocial support. When talking to the teachers I heard story after story of how children who were once withdrawn and sickly were able to blossom as they enrolled and their community of caretakers expanded. Everyone who worked at GRACE were very hard working and I really enjoyed my time there and I was able to see how powerful it is to have some advocating for children who don't have a voice of their own yet.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with GRACE as a donor for many years now. This started because I knew Natasha Martin, a founder of the organization and I was completely confident in her integrity, dedication and ability to organize. My confidence has certainly been proven to be well founded. After a few years, I started sponsoring a student who had just graduated from High School in Kenya (thanks to GRACE) and undertook to put him through University. He has just graduated in journalism and I couldn't be prouder than if he was my own son. Indeed I do consider him as a son. He has written his own review here. We exchange e-mails frequently and he has met my family when he came here on a visit. What I want to convey is the enormous satisfaction it has given me to think that I have had the privilege of helping to make this happen; that in just a few short years since he was a herd boy for his uncle and forced to drop out of school at 13, he has graduated from University and become a young man with a future to look forward to. GRACE is an extraordinary organization and the outcome for so many of the AIDS orphans that have been on the program is truly miraculous. I should mention here that "putting a student through University" in Kenya is not the same huge outlay as putting a student through college in the U.S. would be. Not by a long shot. The amount I gave every year covered not only his fees but also his board and lodging, books and transportation. I wont put an amount in here since it may not be completely accurate for this year but it is a tiny fraction of what it would cost here. I have just now started sponsoring another student. I feel this has been one of the best investments I have made. For all of these children, the only way out of poverty and the stigma of AIDS is education. Nothing else comes close in terms of hope for the future.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4


Javans Wanga


I give my gratitude to GRACE Africa for her hand of generosity and goodwill to vulnerable lives. This found me one of the saved lives to save other lives because I am now passionately pursuing B.A. Social Work at Moi University in Kenya. From nowhere I now know I am heading somewhere. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to attend the university.

In Gratitude,
Javans Wanga,
Naisula Beneficiary.


Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I am David Omare, the Project Coordinator MEDRA in Borabu District Kenya, which is in Partnership with GRACE AFRICA that has been very useful to our orphans and people living with HIV AIDS since 2001.

MEDRA is a Community Based Organization whose mission to reduce and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS throughout the catchment area in the community. Among its specific objectives is to sensitize and mobilize the community for materials support such as food, clothes, school fees, seeds, fertilizers to support the OVC and people living with HIV/AIDS. We also work hand in hand with caregivers who take care of the OVCs and old aged people who are responsible for the orphans.

GRACE under the leadership of Natasha Martin has changed the life of our people especially OVCs, infected and affected by HIV AIDS.

GRACE AFRICA is currently supporting MEDRA to take care of over 150 OVCs at ECD Centres. Their support has created a high prosperous impact in Matutu Community. These Orphans were not attending school but through GRACE’s support they are now in school. Provision of meals to OVCs at the ECD centres has reduced cases of absenteeism and ensured high concentration on studies resulting into better performances.

The Management is greatly appreciating GRACE AFRICA for its noble support on humanitarian aid to help improve life of the people in Matutu. Above all, we extend our sincere thanks to the people of America for working with GRACE USA to help the needy in our community.

We wish you all A Happy and Prosperous Year 2011

Yours in God`s Vineyard



DAVID OMARE

PROJECT COORDINATOR

MEDRA


Client Served

Rating: 4

Nancy Aor
I am Aor Nancy a student engineer at the University of Nairobi in Kenya under BSC Electrical and Information engineering. GRACE through it Naisula education project changed the course of my life. Out of a young innocent house girl at my aunt’s house waiting for the right age ( 14-15 yrs) to be married off and become a child bearing machine GRACE has modeled an engineer ready to take on the world, raw material? EDUCATION.
With its slogan KEEP HOPE ALIVE GRACE did not only keep my hope alive but my dream too. Out of school my dream of one day serving my dear country as an Engineer had vanished. However, when Natasha visited my rusty village in western Kenya and resolved to help 200 orphans pursue their “rightful dreams” my life took a totally different course, one that I was fully in charge.
Today in my 5th year of my engineering degree, I can only thank God and GRACE & her Partners for helping me achieve a dream that at one point seemed unachievable.
Long live GRACE long live NAISULA

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4


Steven Ochieng’
“My dad my mum” that is what I call GRACE President Natasha martin all the way since elementary until now that I have completed my University Education. GRACE through the Naisula Education programme has done unbelievable, work among the orphans in Butula district in Western Kenya.
Before GRACE came to our lives our future was already known, with no education, all of us orphans were in one big luggage loaded in high speed train leading to nowhere.
I had to do work all day on some of my “able neighbors” farms all day only to be paid half a dollar at the end of each day. Though little, it was enough to buy a kilogramme of maize flour for a night’s meal for my sick mother and siblings who were now under my care after my dad succumbed to HIV and AIDS.
Today as I search for “a dissent” after my graduation I pass my sincere thanks to GRACE and all the friends of GRACE whom through their support the lives of more than 100 orphans in Kenya have changed for the better after being taken to school and getting dissent education.
As one of the first group of five in the Naisula education project to graduate I understand we have to set the record straight and help in the efforts to get more of our brothers and sisters to college.
We therefore have put measures in place to mobilize other Naisula students to come together and carry out a local fundraising initiative to supplement what GRACE USA is doing.

I am Ochieng’ Steven an orphan from A beneficiary of GRACE’s Naisula Education Programme I graduated this year with BA in Education a Kiswahili major, from Kenyatta University Kenya


Client Served

Rating: 5

In late October this year I attended the graduation ceremony of one Lazarus Nanzala a Naisula student. After the ceremony we had organized a reception at a guest house in town.
I was not dizzy but all the same I found myself dozing as we waited for the food to be served. Within the short time I had my eyes closed I did see two boys bare chest with torn pair of shirts playing with pellets of sand. They had not gone to school. A month ago they had been pushed because their guardians could not raise ksh.500 required in school. They could later go herding. It would be dark by the time they return home. That is what defined their lives. Two weeks ago their attempts to elope home had aborted they had considered eloping because life at their angle’s place was unbearable. They all longed for that day when they would be big enough to go for jobs in the city.
I wonder what job they would land with only class six education. When I woke up somebody was talking about Naisula. Yes! It was the Naisula programme that had transformed this village herds boy into University graduate. Naisula programme is one of the projects by GRACE Africa it is an education programme targeting children orphaned by AIDS. So far it has managed to take 200 orphans to school there 35 undertaking higher education and number who are through with their high school education and are waiting to join institutions of higher learning.
Okaya Charles- Naisula Student currently undertaking B. Tech. Electrical and Communications Engineering at Masinde Muliro University Kakamega Western Kenya

Review from Guidestar

Martin Okello

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Greetings



My name is Martin Okello one of the first beneficiaries of The Naisula Program in GRACE Africa. GRACE has paid for my education all the way from elementary to the University. As a result, I have graduated with B.A Communication Development from the University of Nairobi. I am currently working with GRACE as an intern and I represent Naisula students on GRACE-Africa’s Board of Directors.



The Naisula Program was started in 2000 by GRACE founder Natasha Martin, to support the education of orphans in Western Kenya most of whom, like myself, had lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and were left in abject poverty. Since then, 70 of us have completed high school, and about 30 of us have been able to go on to college and university. The remaining 40, however, are still in their villages, working in low-paying jobs because they are now the head of the household. They all still believe that GRACE can help them pursue their tertiary level of education, and we’re hoping you can make that become a reality.



As Naisula’s we believe that what dies within us while we leave is the greatest lose in life and not the death of those close to us. I extend my deepest gratitude to the management of GRACE and friends of GRACE who are working so hard to sustain this program. God Bless you all.


Lilian

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Lillian Adhiambo a Naisula student and below is a short preview of what GRACE has done to me and my other orphaned brothers and sisters through the Naisula Programme.
“Losing my dad to HIV and AIDS at a tender age was probably one of the least things I would have wished for in my young life. The worst was however yet to come when I lost my only remaining source of hope ‘my mother’. The world had just come to an end for me, there was “hope” however most my relatives were fighting for me. At such a young age and with a double loss I was ready to embrace any open arm. It was my grandmother however that saved me from all the relatives that had turned good to me just to exploit.”
As the Naisula slogan goes “ KEEP HOPE ALIVE” I kept mine through a lot of struggles with my grandmother and the patience paid off when the Naisula Programme was started in Butula district Western Kenya. Having been the among the first bunch of students of 5 the challenge was on us but with dedication hard work and a lot of support and guidance from Mama Natasha parental care from REEP staff we managed to sail through our studies today I am a proud graduate with BA Education Arts from Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya. Natasha through her dedicated fundraising efforts have seen us attain finish this journey. Being the first born though we recognize the task ahead because we still have our brothers and sisters who are yet to start their college education after completing high school.
GRACE is doing a great job to the lives of orphans like me whom at one time had lost hope in life and condemned by our very own society.
lilan

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Grace Africa has enormously created an unbelievable impact on lives. The impacts of this organization are on the ground to be seen. I have never seen such a giving heart; GRACE has actually converted what used to be assumed as” useless grass” to useful resource. The organization went to the grassroots where orphaned children whom some were out of school or couldn’t even afford to go to school because of their social and economical inadequacies, these children had been neglected by the society their future was already known and they were deemed to be failures, nobody thought their problems could one day change to be fortunes, some of them were even emaciated suffering from hunger and still they were the main bread winners of their families, most used to do menial jobs like digging for people to get food, worse still some had been “employed” as maids and herds boys by their own close relatives. They had tattered clothing and they had no future. They were probably waiting for only one stage of life on earth, death, but it was only the meals they were working for as menial workers that separated them from death. Then there came the revolution, I call it the GRACE REVOLUTION from elementary school to graduate level today, GRACE changed gloomy emaciated faces to gleaming hopeful faces, today the organization has its first graduates ranging from journalists to teachers and still more are almost completing their university education and lots more waiting to join college.
Today these {orphans} graduates are beacons of hope, they are Icons to be emulated, they speak fluently they are courageous and willing to take on life, they are really ready, it’s a miracle to some of us who saw them ten years ago. Thanks to GRACE Africa for changing poor orphans to heroes. I would like to award mama Natasha the award of Global woman of the decade because of the achievement of GRACE Africa in terms of supporting these children to date courtesy of her management.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

I am Kenyan female aged twenty one. My heart delights in and cherishes at the thought of “GRACE AFRICA” sister organization to “GRACE USA”. My extinct stint as a hopeless orphan that had become my brand came to a quick standstill the very moment “GRACE AFRICA” responded to my distress call. Life took a whole new meaning. I am now a proud college student striving hard to attain my lifetime goals after successfully completing my secondary school examinations by God’s grace. Without the intervention my school fees could not be met in time as well as my personal needs. All my sincere and heartfelt gratitude go to GRACE AFRICA. I now have a foothold to conquer my territories. I was lost but now am found, was weak but now strong. May you live longer to transact and witness the transformation of many more lives? I hold fond memories of the experience I have gone through. In one year’s time I will be a teacher by profession thanks to GRACE and her partners Mitchell Chakari- beneficiary Naisula education programme

Review from Guidestar

Lazarus

Client Served

Rating: 5

GRACE USA through its sister organization GRACE Africa is doing plausible job among the grassroots communities in Kenya. Through its Naisula Education programme GRACE has been able to take orphans like me who had lost hope back to school and help them pursue dream careers just like any other children with their parents.
Losing my father at a tender age threw my life in disarray. I dropped out of school worked for my own uncle as a herds boy before GRACE came to my rescue and took me back to elementary school. Throughout my high school the support from GRACE to my dear brothers and sisters with whom we had formed a big family gave us the strength to work extra hard to attain our dreams.
Today I am a proud graduate BA Journalism and Mass communication having graduated in October 2010 and many are following suit though the challenge is how to get our dear brothers and sisters that are yet to join college to do so.
The Naisula Education programme is just the perfect example of what a genuine heart can do to the ultimate redemption of hope in the society.
Walker Lazarus Nanzala – Naisula student