An Act of Grace at a Time of Turmoil
Our Lady of Grace School was founded in 2008 in response to widespread political unrest and tribal violence in western Kenya. The turmoil in Kisumu – an area already plagued by a high rate of HIV/AIDS – made it unsafe for unescorted children to walk to their schools. Through the grace of God and intense effort, Fr. Martin Martiny O.P., established what was at first a residential school for these at-risk children. Dedicated to Our Lady of Grace, its mission was to afford abandoned and imperiled children a secure home and an education worthy of their dignity as children of God. This haven was and continues to be a great blessing.
The School initially served primary and high school students, but as the political situation stabilized and high school options proliferated, we focused our efforts on Pre-K through Eighth Grade. Our students continue to come from vulnerable circumstances, a great many orphaned, owing to AIDS, others from abusive situations and dysfunctional homes. We are no longer a residential school but draw students from local orphanages and impoverished homes. We serve two meals daily to the children in our care, and we offer rich intellectual fare for them. Our students consistently score in the top tier of their region. We now serve 335 children at PreK to 8. All of our graduates who wish to do so, go on to High School.
Today, Our Lady of Grace Primary School is recognized in western Kenya for the academic achievement of its students, its devoted faculty and staff, and its commitment to Catholic teachings and values. More importantly, the School continues to be the saving grace in the lives of hundreds of vulnerable and at-risk Kenyan children.
Though founded by a Dominican friar, and assisted by Dominicans on our Board, Our Lady of Grace School is an independent school run by the Our Lady of Grace Foundation. We maintain a warm and collegial relationship with the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in New York City, and are grateful for the life they gave to this life-saving school.
Why does Our Lady of Grace need your help?
From the beginning, funding for Our Lady of Grace School came not from a religious congregation, but from the generosity of private donors, deeply touched by the plight of imperiled children. Partners in Mission to Our Lady of Grace School was formed to assist in this major initiative. No school is run more efficiently. Our Head of School, Maria Oguom Casiraghi, monitors both expenses and enhancements. Thanks to her fine stewardship and that of the Board, our three hundred thirty-five member school body on two campuses (with 40 scholarships for high school) is sustained by $150,000 (USD) yearly. That’s amazing efficiency. Please help us raise these funds and raise our kids up as well.