Baylor Student Art Project Raises More Than $45K for Zambian Children

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    The students at Legacy Academy at the Tree of Life Children's Village added their fingerprints to the canvases to depict the leaves on the trees. The paintings raised more than $45,000 for the Tree of Life Children's Village.
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    Rachel Taylor, a junior studying studio art, helped to paint the canvases that were auctioned to raise money for the Legacy Academy students to go on field trips.
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    Veronica Campbell, also a junior studying studio art, helped to paint the canvases. The Tree of Life Children's Village is a community focused on providing education and spiritual development to Zambian orphans.
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    Baylor students Veronica Campbell (front) and Rachel Taylor (back) painted abstract backgrounds and trees on canvases to raise money for the Family Legacy Tree of Life Children's Village in Zambia.
Aug. 18, 2016

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (Aug. 18, 2016) —Orphans in Zambia left their fingerprints — literally — on an art project by two Baylor University studio art majors on a women’s leadership mission trip this summer to the southern African country. The students’ paintings of trees – featuring brightly colored leaves made by the children’s fingertips – eventually raised nearly $45,000 to help children living in extreme poverty become leaders for change.

The paintings were created by Baylor students Veronica Campbell and Rachel Taylor, who traveled to Zambia with Baylor Missions’ Zambia women’s leadership team. The finished canvases were auctioned to raise money for the Legacy Academy at the Family Legacy Tree of Life Children’s Village , a community for orphaned children located outside Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.

“I had no idea this project would be such a success,” said Campbell, a junior and former social work major from Splendora, Texas. “When I switched my major back to art, I was contemplating the importance of it and how it can ‘help people.’ By participating in this, I see how it has aided the kids financially and how it has freed up time for the Family Legacy staff so they can tackle other things they have on their plate.”

More than one million orphans have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS or extreme poverty in Zambia. Family Legacy provides children with educational and spiritual development and works to give them the opportunities and encouragement they need to become leaders and professionals in the community.

The organization hosts the annual Camp Life, a summer program that allows individuals and American families to connect with and support children in Lusaka slums while sharing the good news of the Gospel. During this seven-week program, they sell art projects to raise money to take the children on field trips throughout the year.

“My trip to Zambia was an experience that I won’t soon forget,” said Taylor, a junior from McGregor, Texas. “It taught me many things, among them, the importance of the empowerment of women everywhere. My goal to further women’s empowerment didn’t end when I left Africa.”

Led by by Melanie Smith, international programs coordinator in Baylor’s Center for Global Engagement, and Carol Marroquin, office manager in the Hankamer School of Business, Baylor students also connected with children by visiting slums to read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and helping them illustrate the book.

In addition, the students worked with high school-aged girls and spoke with them about various topics in leadership. They also visited a Lusaka hospital to speak with the founder of “Zoe’s Hope,” a nonprofit organization that helps abandoned premature babies.

The Zambian women’s leadership mission trip was one of 15 Baylor mission trips during the summer that integrated students’ faith with service and learning. Their work included exploring hunger in America, raising awareness of human trafficking, consulting with businesses and young entrepreneurs, addressing health care concerns, performing concerts and during church services, teaching leadership skills to women and girls, holding sports camps in local schools, empowering and supporting teachers, and ministering in prisons, villages, churches and orphanages.

"Baylor Missions desires to see students actively engage what they are learning in the classroom to be creative in addressing global and community issues,” said Holly Tate, assistant director for missions. “Baylor global mission trips allow students the opportunity to showcase their talents and passions in ways they could have never expected, with an impact that is truly life changing for both our students and the communities in which they engage.”

Students interested in making a difference through mission trips such as this one should visit www.baylor.edu/missions.

by Karyn Simpson, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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