We have some exciting news! We have a very generous matching challenge grant on the table!

The CHALLENGE: Raise $1000 by 11:59 p.m. PST May 3rd to receive an additional $1000 in matching funds!

If you have been meaning to donate to this year's Build a Well for Bono's Birthday Campaign but haven't done so yet, this weekend is the perfect time! Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1000 by our challenge grant donors. Your gift of $25 becomes $50, your gift of $50 becomes $100.

Only new donations will be matched. If you have already donated you can help by spreading the word and recruiting friends and family to donate.

We have just over 48 hours to meet the challenge. With your help we can meet the challenge and help bring clean water to community health huts in Senegal. Thank you for your support!

Donate here or here

From April 14th to May 31st the African Well Fund invites U2 fans and others who are inspired by Bono's tireless activism on behalf of Africa to donate to the 13th Annual Build a Well for Bono's Birthday fundraiser in honor of Bono's 55th birthday. This year's campaign will help fund a project in Senegal that will provide sustainable access to clean water. The project will improve access to clean water in 6 "Health Huts" serving 6,500 beneficiaries. The Health Huts serve as community health facilities in very rural areas. Your donation will help give the people in these areas the tools and training needed to improve public health in their communities.

You can read more about the project here.

The 12 previous campaigns have raised over $235,000 in Bono's honor to fund the construction of clean water and sanitation projects implemented by AWF partner Africare that are benefiting more than 73,000 people in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Mali, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

As with last year's fundraiser, we'll be holding a 24 hr. Tweet-a-Thon on May 10th, details coming soon. If you would like to help with this or any other aspect of the fundraiser please contact Diane Yoder at dyoder@africanwellfund,org

By Devlin Smith

As sixth graders friends Dorothy Goodwin, Lauren Flynn and Olivia Overington started Peace Love Cupcakes, selling cupcakes to raise money for local causes. Now in high school, the girls continue to make and sell cupcakes, with African Well Fund their latest beneficiary.

Peace Love Cupcakes will be hosting a cupcake sale on March 21 at the Market Basket in Westford, Massachusetts. You can support the fundraiser by purchasing cupcakes at the event or making a donation through the Peace Love Cupcakes Crowdrise page and help the girls reach their goal of raising $15,000 for AWF.

Dorothy, Lauren and Olivia answered a few questions about Peace Love Cupcakes and making an impact on the world.

How did Peace Love Cupcakes get started?
Peace Love Cupcakes began when we were in sixth grade. We decided we wanted to give back to our community while doing something we loved, which is baking. And thus, Peace Love Cupcakes was created.

What causes and organizations have you supported in the past?
We have supported MSPCA, the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter, the Ellie Fund, House of Hope, and now the African Well Fund.

Why did you decide to raise money for AWF?
We decided to raise money for the African Well Fund because water is an essential aspect of a healthy life and we feel it's necessary to help bring it to other people in the world.

What is your goal for the fundraiser?
We hope to raise $15,000 to build a borehole well providing a community with clean water, and to hopefully spread our message of philanthropy along the way.

When did it start?
It started at the beginning of our freshman year, in September of 2013.

When will it end?
We hope to reach our goal and finish this project in our senior year, spring of 2017.

How can people support your fundraiser?
People can support our fundraiser by coming to our cupcake stands and purchasing cupcakes or donating. They can also donate through the secure link on our website, www.crowdrise.com/peacelovecupcakes. People can also help support us by becoming part of our sponsor program.

What kind of reaction have you gotten to your fundraiser?
People tend to be very surprised that we started giving back at such a young age. And, once they hear about our current project, they are very supportive. They are often taken aback by our age and the fact that this is a mission independent from our school. In addition, friends and family support us and encourage us to continue our efforts and complete strangers have been very positive and helpful.

How are you spreading the word?
We get our word out through our personal social media and on our website, www.peace-love-cupcakes.org. In the past, we have been featured in newspapers and that has sent word around about our project.

Why is it important for you to work for causes like AWF?
It is important to work for such causes because spreading philanthropy and charitable notions is very important to us. We understand that this is just a small part of a bigger picture, but we firmly believe that everyone must do his or her part in order to make the positive progress we all wish to see in our world.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to start their own fundraisers?
Our best advice is to start small and do as much as you can to improve your efforts as you go. Things may turn out differently than your original expectations, but as long as you are interested in your work and feel you are making the impact you wish to, then keep going.

When we were younger, we started this mainly as a fun activity for us to do together. But as time has gone by and we have matured, we've begun to see the impact people can make when they come together with the common goal of bettering the world we live in.

This project has taught us not only about the world, economics, and different cultures, but also about whom we are as people, what we're passionate about, and how we can make a difference. With Peace Love Cupcakes, we have found inspiration for ourselves and hope to do the same for others.

For the eighth year in a row, Elsha Stockseth is selling holiday cards, with proceeds benefiting the African Well Fund. Cards available for purchase include the new design "Running," which was inspired by the races Stockseth, who has muscular dystrophy, has participated in this year with race partners. The card depicts Stockseth being pushed across the finish line by a snowman, with another snowman and a penguin close behind.

"It is really fun because I have a bunch of hidden stuff in the card," Stockseth said. "I would love to do a race with U2."

Inside, the card reads, "Running down the road to say Have a Magnificent Day."

The 5- x 7-inch cards are available through Stockseth's website for $1 each, with 10 cents from each purchase being donated to AWF. Shipping charges vary based on the number of cards ordered.

Stockseth is also offering four other card designs: "Light," which features the Three Wise Men in a nativity scene and reads, "May love light up your Christmas tree" inside; "Waves," featuring a surfing snowman and reading, "Wishing you a Beautiful Day filled with waves of joy!"; "Dreams," which features a snowman dreaming in his blue room and reads, "... and may your dreams be realized;" and "Rudy," a reindeer card that reads, "Warm Season's Greetings" inside.

Last year, Stockseth sold 2,300 holiday cards.

To purchase Stockseth's holiday cards, click here.

Elsha Stockseth 2014 Heart Card.jpg

Today is World Toilet Day. It may not be considered a polite dinner conversation topic, but ensuring access to clean water and sanitation facilities like latrines is one of the most important global public health issues. Thousands in the developing world, primarily children, die every day of preventable water-borne illnesses. People are forced to walk for miles to fetch potable water. When schools don't have clean water or sanitation facilities, many children simply don't show up, especially girls who have reached puberty, and students who do attend tend to find themselves in difficult and unsafe learning environments. This reality is far more disturbing than talking about toilets.

Africare, the African Well Fund and the Batonga Foundation are recognizing World Toilet Day with the launch of a Water & Sanitation project in three schools in Benin. In Benin's commune of Berembeke, less than 30% of students who are enrolled actually attend school, and although Berembeke is a higher-traffic city in Benin for people and goods, the local water and sanitation situation is poor. Cholera and diarrhea are endemic, and the high mortality rate is worsening. The new project will collaborate with the local population to improve clean water access and sanitation in three schools, upgrading the learning environment and enhancing public health in this important crossroads region.

To achieve sustainability, the project will contract with Association pour la Santé et la Médecine Africaine, a local non-governmental organization, and will collaborate with school authorities, students, parents' associations and other local stakeholders. Depending on the specific needs of each school, the schools will be connected to Benin's Rural Water Supply system, and they will receive improved latrine facilities and hand-washing stations. Murals by local artists and education sessions will teach pupils how to keep themselves safe from water-borne diseases, and each school will establish a committee with students and teachers to properly maintain their new infrastructure.

Africare and the African Well Fund have partnered on clean water access projects for more than a decade, and the Batonga Foundation partnered with both organizations on a similar project as recently as 2012 that benefited 630 students across four schools. Water and sanitation are major issues with straightforward solutions. Bring them up tonight at dinner.

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