By Devlin Smith
Eliane Van Puyvelde is a health care professional in Australia who, with the help of some of her friends, has decided to raise $30,000 for the African Well Fund. Van Puyvelde has launched the site African Well Project to collect funds from donors all over the world. The money will be used to fund a future AWF project.
Van Puyvelde discussed why she started this fundraiser and how you can help her reach her goal.
How did you first come up with the idea to do your own fundraiser for AWF?
I have had an interest in building wells in Africa for some time—I guess that comes from my background in the health profession and wanting to help people. Providing a source of clean water seems like the most basic of ways to improve people’s health and is a basic right of everyone, plus digging wells seemed to me to be a very leveraged approach to impact many people for the better from a single effort.
Why did you decide to have it be online and global rather than just raise funds in your community?
I wanted it online simply because I have a lot of contacts interstate and overseas, that way I can raise money with their help and not be restricted to the people I see physically on a day-to-day basis.
When did you launch the fundraiser?
A few weeks ago when we finally got the Web site up and running.
What kind of response have you gotten so far?
We’re still in the early stages at this point, but we’re close to getting our first $1,000 in.
Do you have a target date for when you’d like to reach your fundraising goal?
No official date, whatever it takes, I guess, but I’d like to be done by no later than the end of the year.
On your site, you mention a number of supporters. Who are they and how are they helping you with this project?
The supporters are all friends of mine. They are people that have helped me to brainstorm and build the Web site, or people who said they would help me to raise funds.
You’ve also talked about wanting to visit the project site once you’ve reached your fundraising goal and the funds have been allocated. Why is it important for you to do this?
I’m a people person and I like to see what all my efforts are going towards. It’s important for my drive to see the change that I can make in people’s lives, that’s the sort of thing that will spur me on toward more efforts like this one in the future. It’s my reward.
Anything else you’d like to share about this fundraiser?
Only that we can use all the help that we can get and that if anyone wishes to contribute or to help raise funds and awareness that they can get in contact with me through the Web site.