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Saint Basil Coffee, St. Agnes Academy Support School in Kenya

Our Lady of Grace School, a school for orphans and at-risk children in Kenya, once only had dirt floors and little resources for textbooks. Proceeds from the sale of Saint Basil coffee made it possible for Our Lady of Grace School to purchase textbooks for all students and to install tile flooring, making a real impact for students.

Our Lady of Grace is a Dominican-founded K-8 school serving more than 300 children. It also gets support from a fellow Dominican-founded school, St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas. Each year since 2013, students from St. Agnes Academy, a girls’ college preparatory school, travel to Kisumu, Kenya, to visit Our Lady of Grace School.

Head of School Sister Jane Meyer, O.P., said St. Agnes Academy wants students to join the trip to experience a different culture and way of life. She sees the journey as a commitment to social justice and to helping others.

“All of the visits to Our Lady of Grace have been wonderful,” Sister Jane said.

In 2014 the community of St. Agnes Academy began a fundraising initiative, Partners in Mission, to support Our Lady of Grace School’s mission of providing an excellent education in the Catholic tradition for at-risk Kenyan children.

Chloe Alff with Our Lady of Grace students
St. Agnes Academy student Chloe Alff, right, instructs Our Lady of Grace School students on a STEM solar robotics lesson.

Sister Jane is most excited to see how the school has expanded since her first solo visit in 2010. Every year, the school has been able to extend its outreach thanks to the donations from St. Agnes Academy, friends and charitable organizations like Saint Basil Coffee.

Our Lady of Grace School Students Pursue Higher Education

The school takes in only the most disenfranchised children of the area. But still, Our Lady of Grace is ranked the No. 2 school in the region. According to its website, 90% of Our Lady of Grace graduates go on to high school and higher education—an extraordinary percentage in Kenya, particularly for children coming from very adverse circumstances. 

“Some students come for a free meal; it may be their only meal,” Sister Jane said.  

Molly Miggins with Our Lady of Grace students
St. Agnes Academy student Hannah Weber serves a meal to Our Lady of Grace School students.

On her first visit to Our Lady of Grace in 2010, she noticed there was no water source or electricity. Sister Jane was determined to get water wells installed.

“Now that they have water, they’re able to grow their own products and produce,” she said.

The school requested and received a cow for fresh dairy and now also raises pigs, which is popular for the region. The pigs provide a source of food but are also a product that can be sold in the market, along with chickens the school also raises and their eggs.  

Our Lady of Grace School students with new books
Our Lady of Grace School students celebrate the new textbooks received with support from Saint Basil Coffee.

Sister Jane said the contributions from Saint Basil Coffee have not only funded textbooks and new classroom floors but have made it possible to purchase other items for the students as well. Purchases include shoes, scout uniforms for the boy scout initiative and a new sink for the kitchen, which the school hopes to remodel soon.

Our Lady of Grace School students with new shoes
Saint Basil Coffee also helped provide new shoes to Our Lady of Grace School students.

The St. Agnes community supports Saint Basil Coffee through orders three times a year. She hopes the relationship between Our Lady of Grace and Saint Basil Coffee will continue and that she and St. Agnes Academy will continue to do their part in raising awareness for Saint Basil Coffee in their community.

Order your Saint Basil coffee today, and make a difference for students in Kenya.

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