GRACE Cares is committed to the principle that funding recipients can and should determine and implement projects in their own communities. Communities seeking support must match in-kind what we provide, and be able and willing to take charge of their project. Through our network of international partners we identify motivated individuals and communities with great ideas for making a difference. We focus on projects that fall within Our Mission and that require only a small amount of funding, typically less than $5,000.
We believe personal involvement is important in developing a two-way learning relationship between donor and community; therefore we offer donors the opportunity to be involved, as well as informed, about the progress and impact of their donations. Where possible, we link volunteers with specific projects. Over 90% of funds received go directly to the projects.
Through their development work and travels Drs. Namaya and Kopp met a number of local heroes with the ideas and drive to improve the lives of those around them. Many of these projects require only a modest sum of money but could have significant impacts on people and the preservation of their culture.
Consider the hierarchy of needs. Without food, shelter, and basic health it is hard to imagine making an effort toward cultural preservation. What if your cultural traditions provided a manner of obtaining these necessities? There is the contradiction. Local pride, leadership, and teamwork can make a big impact. When a community is motivated and organized, with a little outside support they can make big improvements in their lives. We have seen this with education projects, health projects, and small scale economic enterprise. Small projects, with big impact.
The final piece of our in-kind system is the return to donors and supporters. Whenever possible and economically feasible we try and create opportunities to work directly with our partner communities. In addition, the lessons we learn on our projects contribute to a knowledge base that is useful for future projects and other organizations. A true partnership involves sharing the work and the rewards. Overtime, we plan to expand our knowledge sharing by publishing more detailed reports on our experiences, successes, and lessons learned. The first step was the expansion of our volunteer, internship, and fellowship program.
91 cents of every $1 donation goes directly to programs:
- $50 can educate a child for 3 months
- $100 can support health education for a whole community for 1 month
- $250 can provide water filters for 10 families
- $500 can save trees by supporting efficient stoves for 10 families