In 2013 we decided to go to Africa to volunteer at Grace Orphan Care. This was during our gap year out of high school and, being two young idealistic students, we booked our flights and off we went, not knowing what we were getting ourselves into. Looking back, we realize what a huge impact the experience of volunteering with Grace had on us.
We were very impressed with the impact that such a small, locally run organization could have in the surrounding community. Not only do they support the vulnerable youth, but they are able to go out into the villages and make a difference with extremely limited resources. Exactly how limited is evident in the wages of the staff who earn less than $25.00 per month (CAN). It is barely enough for them to eke out a living. Some of them previously held higher paying jobs but came to Grace for the cause.
This is the type of attitude that exemplifies Grace Orphan Care. A true non-profit, created solely because of the extreme need. While it is the international charities that make the news, there are many unrecognized local charities that are working around the clock to reach communities on a different level. A personal, meaningful level where each member of the community is as important as the next.
It is for these reasons that, when we came back, we decided to find a way to help with a sustainability strategy for Grace and have formed the Friends of Grace Orphan Care Society.