UNC alum Terrence Brayboy is a founder and member of the Board of Directors for Amina's Gift.The local nonprofit buys and sells art from communities in Africa to raise money to support schoolchildren in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Staff writer Simrann Wadhwa talked with Brayboy about the organization.
Daily Tar Heel: How did you start your nonprofit?
Terrence Brayboy: Originally, I went to Zimbabwe just as a tourist, and while I was there I noticed a lot of kids in the village were not at school. So I asked one of the people in the village why so many kids were not attending school, and they told me that parents could not afford the $20 per term to send the kids to school. So I realized that was something we could help with, and decided to start paying school fees. And then a couple of years later I decided to start a non-profit that would pay for school fees for the kids to attend school, (to) make sure they have shoes and uniforms and they could get to clinic if need be. So it was a basically a concern that the kids were not attending school.
DTH: How do you guys operate?
TB: So we are a nonprofit. To raise funds, we buy art from the local community in Africa. We send it back to the United States and sell it. And then all of the money goes to support Amina’s Gift. We also take donations; people donate funds or sponsor kids. That’s typically how we operate.
DTH: Do you have a lot of people sponsoring the kids?
TB: A loitered amount. We have about 35 kids now, and about just over a third of those are sponsored by individuals. And the rest their fees are paid for by the sale of the art.
DTH: You mentioned that you buy art from local communities in Africa, is there a specific local community you buy them from or wherever you see the art?
TB: Pretty much wherever we see the art. A lot of the stone sculptures come from one community. And we in turn help a lot of those kids whenever we find really nice art that we think would be a match, we buy it and support that community. And then sell it to support whichever kids we find really need some assistance.
DTH: Do you only send money to Zimbabwe, or are there other countries as well?
TB: We’re doing work in Zimbabwe and South Africa right now. We are hoping to do work in West Africa as well. So hopefully, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali are on the horizon. We will also start supporting some of the kids in Malawi, which is in Southern Africa. So right now we are just supporting the two countries: Zimbabwe and South Africa.
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