A sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nia Diaby has already made an impact on the world, starting when she was in elementary school. Following a 2011 trip to her father’s native village in Senegal, West Africa, Nia and her sisters Mariam and Sirah raised $3,000 to build a well at the school so students wouldn’t need to walk across the village at lunchtime for water.
Through their family’s nonprofit, Share a Care for Africa, they’ve focused on a new project each year; adding electricity, replacing a straw roof with metal and building a new school. During a return visit in 2017, Nia and her sisters noted a lack of school supplies. So, Miriam contacted Target Corporation and secured enough supplies for all 375 students for the year.
Nia is also a basketball player and she asked the Edina Basketball Association to host a used uniform drive. She worked with an Edina High School athletic trainer to secure old high school uniforms and were able to ship 3,600 uniforms distributed to 52 schools throughout the region.
The Diaby sisters continued to set project goals and built a website in 2018 to highlight projects and collect donations. They are proud to have completed their largest project to date: funding a medical center on the border of Senegal and The Gambia. In 2021, they aim to install lighting and secure medical equipment. Nia won a Connecting with Kids Leadership Award in 2018 for her dedication to Share a Care for Africa. She is currently pursuing a degree in Human Development & Family Studies and French with a minor in nonprofit leadership.
Contributed by the Edina Community Foundation; edinacommunityfoundation.org