Naivasha Project

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The Orphanage

Crops

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The Orphanage

Crops

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The Orphanage

Crops

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The Orphanage

Foundation

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The Orphanage

Foundation

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The Orphanage

Irrigation

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The Orphanage

The successful drilling of a well for the school.

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The Orphanage

The successful drilling of a well for the school.

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The Orphanage

Materials for the new fence are delivered.

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The Orphanage

The Grace team working with local parishioners to plant fence posts.

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The Orphanage

A completed fence identifies orphanage location.

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The Orphanage

A completed fence identifies orphanage location.

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The Orphanage

A completed fence identifies orphanage location.

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The Orphanage

A completed fence identifies orphanage location.

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The Orphanage

A completed fence identifies orphanage location.

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The Orphanage

A completed fence identifies orphanage location.

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How Are We Doing ...

gracerace_img.jpg Grace Race Fund
The orphanage and school building construction is done, thanks to your support!
The orphanage and school building construction is done, and the One27 Academy is now open as of January 2013, thanks to your generous support. We still need your assistance. Please help us raise $5K by July 1st 2017 to fund construction of a new kitchen at the Academy to feed a growing student population. Every dollar counts! We appreciate your partnership and support!

The Mission

The Grace Race Fund Inc.

Vision

The Grace Race Fund is a unique non-profit and all-volunteer organization fueled by the desire to greatly improve the lives of Kenyan AIDS orphans. Through partnerships with committed individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations, we seek to enable orphaned children to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to grow and develop physically, emotionally, professionally, and spiritually.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Grace Race Fund is to direct annual fund-raising campaigns to benefit Kenyan orphans. These campaigns involve team participation in established local community road races and walks, as well as organization and hosting of our own events in various venues. All proceeds of these campaigns flow directly to ongoing building construction and capital investment projects at the One27 Academy in the town of Naivasha, Kenya. Under the direction of a caring and trained staff of Kenyan adults, the children living in this boarding school receive proper nourishment, education, encouragement, and practical life-sustaining vocational skills to support their growth into independent and successful adults.

The Need is Great

The country of Kenya has over 1,100,000 orphans (source: World Health Organization) whose parents have died of AIDS and in 2010 the total orphan count accounting for all causes of death (AIDS, malaria, unclean water, etc.) is estimated to reach 1,900,000 (source: UNAIDS “Children on the Brink 2004” report). The needs of these children are overwhelming; many of them live in extreme poverty. This facility, when completed, will provide children with the care, resources, and instruction they need to live productive lives as adults. To give you some perspective of what is happening on the ground in Naivasha Kenya, we will post messages (letters) from some of the orphans and caretakers.

The One27 Academy and town of Naivasha 

The One27 Academy was originally designed and built with capacity to provide room and board, education, and vocational training for 100 children (50 boys and 50 girls) ranging in age from 5 to 18. The doors for the school opened in January 2013. By July 2013, approximately 30 orphans were living there, and 40 students living with families in the community were attending secondary school classes and paying tuition as a source of revenue to keep the Academy operating. As of August 2017, the school had expanded in size and enrollment to house 180 students attending the four grades of secondary school, with a mix or orphans and students from the community. Our friend and partner Bishop Kimemia, the main visionary behind this project who oversees the board of directors for the One27 Academy, has a goal to broaden the curriculum to include more vocational training classes. Helping to finance construction and equipment for these classrooms will be a primary focus for the Grace Race Fund in years ahead as it partners with Grace Community Church’s Outreach arm  and its ONEChild Kenya orphan sponsorship program. Naivasha has a population of about 50,000 and is located in the Rift Valley about 90 minutes northwest of the capital city of Nairobi (See map of Kenya). The town is rich in agricultural and geothermal energy resources, is a popular spot for tourists, and has a growing economy. At the One27 Academy, students who are not able to attend college after secondary school will learn skills that match the needs of businesses and service sectors developing in this vibrant area of East Africa. These include carpentry, computers/IT, tailoring, auto mechanics, welding, agriculture, and cosmetology.

What we have accomplished 

Through an annual 5-mile community road race and walk, The Grace Race, we raised over $242,000 in the 11 years that we held the event. For financial details of how we achieved this great success, please contact Treasurer Kenny Mitchell at kenny@gracerace.org). During this time the Grace Race Fund raised funds to pay for:

  • A 5-acre plot of land in Naivasha for the buildings and farmland that will comprise the facility.
  • Borehole drilling for a well on the land and the installation of a well pump.
  • Fencing material. (In 2007 a team of men and women from Grace Community Church in Chelmsford visited Naivasha to construct a fence around the perimeter of the land, working alongside men and women from Naivasha.)
  • Irrigation equipment for the farmland and its installation.
  • Electrical infrastructure work on the site including a diesel generator to meet temporary electrical power needs.
  • Construction of the administrative wing (containing staff offices, dining hall, kitchen, and clinic) both boys and girls dormitories (housing up to 100 orphans in total), and multi-purpose room (serving as larger dining area, gym, and fellowship/worship hall)
  • Construction of 8 secondary school classrooms and bathrooms for the school
  • Landscaping work, parking lot
  • Some furnishings (other furniture funds provided by Naivasha KAG church, Grace Community Church, and One27 Global Inc.)
  • Completion of all essential construction tasks allowing the One27 Academy to open its doors in January 2013!
  • Construction of rainwater collection and reservoir system to provide water for showers, bathrooms, irrigation.
  • Purchase of laboratory equipment to equip the science classrooms used by secondary school students at the Academy

Since 2015, we have sent team of runners and walkers representing the Grace Race Fund to other Boston/Lowell area community run/walk events instead of hosting our own race. Team members get family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors to sponsor them in the event. With no overhead costs to support all of the race logistics, we can send every dollar raised through the team directly to Naivasha! We have used GoFundMe to focus the fundraising energy and attract other donors – see our fundraiser sites from 2016 and 2017. While we miss the fun and excitement of hosting our own race, and may in the future bring back the Grace Race run/walk, we can still raise a good amount of money from individuals and their generous sponsors.. We have through those teams raised $24,500 for the following projects at the One27 Academy:

  • Expansion of the classroom wings including a second floor for the classrooms at the far ends of the “U-shaped” building
  • Construction of a new and much larger kitchen and dining area to accommodate the large increase in student and staff population
  • Please see our GoFundMe fund-raising pages from 2016 and 2017 for more details

These group run/walk events will continue as more needs arise at the One27 Academy. If you would like to join a team, please contact John Feehrer – john@gracerace.org. We typically get a team together for a spring event, but are not restricted by the calendar if you have a favorite race you like do and want to run in it to benefit the kids in Kenya. Just let us know when/where you are running and we’ll see about getting others to join you to form a team and will provide information about the fundraising target for your sponsors.

Who is involved
The Grace Race success comes about from the enthusiasm and compassion of individuals and corporations in our community. Over 100 individuals from the Chelmsford and surrounding communities have volunteered their time with the Grace Race. Many, many individuals and local companies have also donated money to the project. Corporations and individuals alike can receive a tax benefit from donating to Grace Race Fund fundraising events, as we are registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

The Grace Race Fund is a partner of Grace Community Church and the ONEChild Kenya orphan sponsorship program, from whom we receive our primary strategic direction. Our leadership team works closely with the Outreach staff and volunteers at Grace Community Church.