“Prince was really invested in orphans...The reason I'm letting it be known is to honor him. And I am no longer sworn to secrecy,” says Marnie Gustavson, executive director of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitative Support for Afghanistan (PARSA).
The late legend Prince held a host of titles over the years, but one that was just as impactful as musician and entrepreneur was humanitarian. But bad boys move in silence, and Prince was undoubtedly one of the baddest.
In the wake of Prince's passing, stories about the notoriously private star's good deeds are slowly starting to surface. The latest is that among the list of donors to the Physiotherapy and Rehabilitative Support for Afghanistan (PARSA) — a respected international aid organization that works with orphaned, disabled and war wounded of Afghanistan—is the name Prince.
“Prince was really invested in orphans,” says Marnie Gustavson, executive director of PARSA, who spoke to HR in a phone interview from Kabul. “The reason I'm letting it be known is to honor him. And I am no longer sworn to secrecy.”
Prince’s introduction to Afghanistan’s orphans came through his well known friendship with Betty Tisdale whose nonprofit Helping and Loving Orphans (HALO) holds offices around the world. Tisdale passed last year at the age of 92.
Gustavson estimates that Prince donated an initial $15,000 or so starting roughly six years ago, and contributed roughly another $6,000 every year since then until his death. She says that the Scouts who were helped and nurtured by Prince’s funding shouldn’t be forgotten.
“Most Afghans are just trying to get through the next crisis, and it's been a long haul,” says Gustavson. “When is Afghanistan going to fall? Well, we don't think it's going to fall. We're just really working hard in a very difficult situation. We want to give them responsibility and accountability. Even if it starts with Prince.”
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.