On October 9, 2003, members of the African Well Fund Board of Directors traveled to Washington D.C. to attend Africare’s Bishop Walker Dinner. It was a moving, inspirational and productive trip. Not only did board members attend the dinner, but also some members spent time at the beautiful Africare house on the morning of the dinner. It was also the first time that most of the board had gathered physically in one place, so we were able to hold our first in person meeting (at midnight!).
Patricia Owens of Africare and AWF members at the Africare dinner
On the morning of the 9th, board members who had arrived in Washington traveled to the Africare House for a meeting with Africare. We cannot say enough about the welcome we received and the hospitality extended. After a tour of their newly renovated headquarters, which is filled with exquisite African art, we were shown to the executive boardroom where a breakfast buffet awaited us. After breakfast we met with the Africare staff, including Africare’s president Julius Coles. They talked to us about Africare’s history, current projects and challenges and their appreciation for our work on their behalf. They also furnished us with the wonderful report and pictures that we have posted detailing the wells project funded by Bono’s birthday fundraiser. All in all, the staff spent more than 2 hours with us that morning and we are forever grateful.
That evening we attended the dinner. . The event is the largest annual fundraiser for Africa in the United States and this year’s dinner raised over $1 million dollars. You can read Africare’s press release about the dinner here. There were many speeches given but AWF board members were unanimous in their opinion that Bill Gates Sr. gave the most moving and eloquent speech of the night. (You can read the speech transcript here.)
After the dinner, we were able to meet and plan and coordinate our strategies for the coming year. We were all reinvigorated by the trip and we have many plans for the future of the African Well Fund.