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GRACELAND AFRICA MISSION is in the process of gaining accreditation with Imagine Canada.  It is a voluntary process by which we can strengthen our organization and plan for the future.

IMAGINE CANADA  – Charities and nonprofits join the Standards program to bolster trust in their organization, showcase the Accreditation Trustmark to supporters, and to be seen as leaders. Accredited organizations also tell us that the Standards Program has identified and reduced organization risk, improved board governance practises, and fostered a strong work force.



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We have installed six 10,000 litre water tanks in 3 villages and purchased a Mitsubishi truck to deliver 10,000 litres of water to communities and businesses.  Profits will be used to support ongoing community projects.

WH Report Brief – June 2017




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GAM Strategic Plan 2017

Graceland Africa Mission began work in Kenya in 2005. The founding directors were motivated to bring change and hope to Kenyans who were suffering under the relentless oppression of poverty. We believed that it was possible to affect change through strong respectful partnerships. Our goal was to provide not only financial support, but more importantly to provide leadership, training and education.

Graceland Africa Mission’s goals and objectives have been developed and modified over the course of the last twelve years. Extensive experience on the ground has helped us to increase our understanding of life in Kenya in urban and rural locations; from Mwingi on the edge of the eastern corridor to Amagoro on the western boarder with Uganda.

Our desire then is our desire now. We want to help Kenyans help themselves. We are not in Kenya to implement our programs, but rather we are there to help Kenyans implement their own solutions to the problems that they face.IMG_5235

We still believe in respectful partnerships that are based on transparency, trust, reliability and accountability. With the right partners, we can and have indeed achieved great change.





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Several years ago we worked at a primary school in a large slum in Nairobi. One day as we travelled to the school in a beat up matatu (minivan), a well-dresseed man struck up a conversation. Before we got off, he admonished us saying, “When you leave don’t just go home and forget these children. Your coming has given them great hope. Stay in touch or it will be too discouraging for them.” His emphatic plea indeed left a mark.

Over the last several years, I’ve watched the cautious optimism of the parents and children we support in our One for One Program, give way to confidence, pride, and excitement. They stand taller. They speak louder. They know that they have gained momentum and it is driving them forward. Our ongoing involvement has shaped and propelled their dreams.IMG_6451

Providing financial and technical support makes this possible. Requiring contribution and partnership produces accountability. Our role however goes beyond these things. The relationship itself matters. By forming a personal connection, by continuing to visit them, encourage them, meet with them, year after year we communicate value. Our financial support and operational methods are part of the equation, but as that man knew, the ongoing relationship itself is essential.

Our vision, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2016, is to empower Kenyans. In 2016, we launched Right to Be, a scholarship program for bright girls without financial support to continue their studies. In a few years we will see them graduate, obtain good jobs, and make an important contribution in their society. Without our help, they would still be sitting in the village, watching their futures vanish. An important part of this program is a mentorship component to connect the girls with role models in Canada and Kenya. We know that relationship empowers in a tangible way that goes beyond finances.

We are sincerely grateful for your continued investment in Kenyans, through Graceland Africa Mission. On the pages of this annual report you will see the impact that your funds have made and the many lives that have benefited. May you be encouraged to continue building relationships and empowering people.

Thank you for partnering with us. Diane Laakso






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One for One – 2016 Report 

One for One children and parents are a community on the move. The children no longer bear the shame of wearing faded, old, ripped school uniforms. They no longer have to worry about being sent home for lack of school fees. They are confident and happy; able to concentrate on their studies. They are good!

In just 3 years, our investment in these families has made a substantial difference. Like the children, our parents have gained confidence and hope. They are striving to elevate their families standard of living. Some have been able to get a better job. Many have improved their farming practices. Some have gone to school to study farming or bookkeeping or early childhood education. Together they are moving forward. We thank God for the significant impact One for One is having on this community.


Girls Scholarship Program

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Graceland Africa Mission – GIRLS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM 

In 2016 Graceland Africa Mission launched Right to be, a program assisting girls continue their education beyond primary school. We assisted four girls entering high school.  The girls did well in their studies and are so grateful to have this opportunity.

Right to be – Report 2016

This year we have added 3 more girls to the program.  We currently need assistance to support these new girls.  School fees for one year is approximately $700.  Graceland Africa Mission takes only $20 per student per year to cover operating costs.  The rest of your donation goes directly to helping the girls in Kenya.


We are grateful for the generous support of four successful women in Canada who have provided these girls with academic scholarships in 2016.  Please consider joining the movement.  Education is an important component in achieving gender equality.




Right to be – Girls’ Secondary School Fund

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RIGHT TO BE – Girls’ Scholarship Fund


We are so thankful to be able to empower these girls through education.  Girls who are given the opportunity to pursue an education marry at a later age, have fewer children, and are better equipped to raise healthy families by providing better nutrition and health care.  They bring their knowledge and income to help their communities thereby impacting many people’s lives.

We currently have 6 girls enrolled in Right to be.  Secondary school in Kenya is expensive. We are in need of funding in order to pay their tuition.





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GAM 2015 Annual Report


When I think of hope I think of dancing. I remember bring- ing goats to the remote village of Mulango. As we arrived with a dozen of these animals, people spontaneously started dancing. They fell into a swaying motion, clapping and singing. Their faces showed it all: hope.

I have seen it time and time again. I saw it while visiting the Masai people far out on the savannah plains with my daughter, Holly. I saw it in the face of a young boy with HIV whom we fund for school. I saw it in the face of a grandmother as I helped her plan a future business for ladies in her village.

I’ve seen that sometimes hope is solemn. It’s solemn in the
tall, proud stance of the school children as they receive their
school shoes and books for the upcoming school year. It’s solemn because they know it’s now up to them. Up to them to work hard. To dream. To succeed.

We ourselves don’t change peoples lives. No charity, no amount of money can do that. It’s up to the people themselves. We only give them the chance. We partner with them and give them the opportunity to reach towards attaining their goals. We encourage people. We support their dreams.

Our sincere thanks goes out to you our faithful supporters. You have been a part of this transforma- tion. You haven’t just given money to a charity. You have invested in people. You have financed hope.

My goal is that in the following pages of our Annual Report, you would be encouraged as you see the tremendous good to which you have contributed. I want you to see what I have seen: hope.

Diane Laakso, Founder and President


GAM – One for One Highlights 2015

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One for One – Child Scholarship and Community Grant program has just completed its second year!  We are pleased to announce that we now have 25 students receiving scholarships.  The parents and guardians have organized themselves into a co-operative group with a sewing initiative and 25 kid goats to breed.

Read the  One for One 2015 Update for more information and lots of photos!

Sponsored children, Parents and Guardians (1)



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We have been awarded a $7000 grant to develop the water systems at Mama Malia Mixed Elementary and Girls Secondary Boarding Schools, Eastern Province, Kenya.

The grant was awarded to Graceland Africa Mission by World Emergency Relief and A Child’s Hope Fund.   Funds will be used to develop the water delivery systems at the school.  This will include the installation of two manual water pumps that will be used to pump water from the Tana River.  Also we will install gutters and three 10,000 litre water tanks to harvest rain water at the school and teachers housing.

News Release WH Mama Malia