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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Review from Guidestar
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
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
“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