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, Rob Trigalet, AWF board chairman, shares his reasons why.
How did you first learn about the African Well Fund?
I first heard about the AWF in 2003 when they launched the very first Build a Well for Bono's Birthday fundraiser. I remember being struck by how simple their idea was, that if they could use the reach and the power of the Internet to reach as many people as possible, and if a bunch of those people would just donate $10 or $20, that they could build a well in a village and change the lives of hundreds of people half a world away. I became so inspired by the simplicity of the idea, I remember asking my wife to come look at the computer and we decided right there that we wanted to contribute. I felt that was a way to donate funds and then receive direct feedback about the project I was contributing to. That's something that has stayed true right up to the present, AWF has strived to keep donors updated as much as possible with progress reports and pictures on the projects they donate to.
Why did you want to support AWF?
I think the first time I volunteered in 2005, it was to coordinate other volunteers to pass out AWF fliers at the most of the venues on U2's American tour. That led to eventually meeting some of the board members who eventually invited me to join the board of directors.
What are some specific things you've done to support AWF's mission to fund clean water and sanitation projects in sub-Saharan Africa?
In 2006, my wife and I traveled to Uganda with a filmmaker and founding board member Angela Martens to visit some of the wells funded by AWF.
Board member Rob Trigalet poses with members of Africare's staff and a nurse in front of a water collection tank at the Kamgamba Medical Center in Uganda. The construction of this project was funded by AWF.
Have you introduced your family, friends or community to AWF? How?
I have spoken to numerous classrooms and civic groups to spread awareness about the water situation in Africa and to let the public know how they can make a difference. For the past two years, I have had the honor to serve as the chairman of the board.
Why do you continue to support AWF?
I continue to support AWF because, at its core, it still remains a simple idea that allows our donors to have as much access as possible to the people and the projects that they donate to. AWF also continues to be an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff, which allows all of the money we raise to go directly to the projects on the ground. I continue to see it as a privilege to work with people who inspire me and remind me daily that too whom much is given, much is expected.