As African Well Fund nears the $1 million fundraising mark, we’ve asked supporters to share their stories of why they give. In this installment, Angela Martens, AWF secretary, shares her reasons why.
How did you first learn about the African Well Fund?
Almost nine years ago I responded to a post on a U2 fan forum asking fans to come together to raise $1,000 to build a well in Africa. That was the beginning of what would become the African Well Fund.
Why did you want to support AWF?
Initially, the idea of raising $1,000 seemed so simple and achievable, and yet would make such a large and tangible difference for those benefiting from the well. AWF has long since exceeded the goal to fund one well but the basic principle behind the idea remains the same–a simple and achievable way to impact lives.
What are some specific things you’ve done to support AWF’s mission to fund clean water and sanitation projects in sub-Saharan Africa?
I volunteer my time to compile the monthly newsletter and reply to other volunteer inquiries, as well as serve on the board of directors.
Have you introduced your family, friends or community to AWF? How?
I have given a couple of presentations about my trips to Africa to my church and have encouraged friends and family to support AWF through various Facebook causes and challenges.
Angela Martens Diane Yoder Ghana.jpg
AWF Board Secretary Angela Martens (fifth from the left) poses with AWF Board Vice Chairman Diane Yoder (fourth from the right), former Africare President Julius Coles (far right) and members of the Agravi Community Water Committee during a 2009 trip to Ghana.
Why do you continue to support AWF?
I have been fortunate enough to travel to Africa twice to see projects funded by AWF–first in 2006 on a trip to Uganda and then in 2009 to Ghana. [On both trips it was] amazing and inspiring to see firsthand the difference water projects do make for the people living in communities benefiting from the wells. In every village we were greeted by the communities who were always so grateful and gracious to us and repeatedly asked for latrines and other water projects, as well as springs and wells for their neighboring communities. In Africa, if you don’t really like a gift, you quietly say thank you, but if you truly appreciate the gift, you ask for more. Communities receiving wells and other water projects were so genuinely grateful, they not only asked for more for themselves but for their neighbors, too.
I have seen for myself the direct and substantial difference clean water projects make in communities, but I have also seen that there is still a great need for even more water projects. There is still much work for AWF to do.
If you’d like to tell African Well Fund why you give, please e-mail To make a donation to support future African Well Fund projects, please click here.