It’s with heavy hearts that the African Well Fund shares news of the death of founding board member Laura Page. Inspired by the October 2002 MTV documentary “Fight for Your Rights: The Diary of Bono and Chris Tucker: Aiding Africa” to do something tangible for people in sub-Saharan Africa, Laura and nine other U2 fans aimed to raise $1,000 to fund construction of a water project in honor of Bono’s birthday. From that first fundraiser, the African Well Fund was born.
The organization’s founding board members each brought the unique talents and skills needed to turn their idea of raising money to fund a single water project into a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that would raise money to fund hundreds of clean water and sanitation projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Laura’s background in finance and nonprofit organizations helped AWF take shape. Her web programming skills gave the organization its virtual home. Laura even donated the server where that original site, and the many future iterations she built, lived. Her husband Stephen, an attorney, gave his expertise to help AWF become an official nonprofit in 2003.
“We always talked about how providential it was that we had the exact right mix of skills needed to create a nonprofit out of thin air,” said AWF Vice-chair Diane Yoder, “but Laura really was key. Not just in the beginning, she kept us on track for years. Our resident devil’s advocate, she pushed us towards professionalism and made us a better organization as a result. Her heart was as big as her intellect and her intellect was mighty. She is irreplaceable, both as a member of the organization and as a friend.”
Without Laura’s perseverance, guidance and wisdom, AWF would not be where it is today — an organization that’s raised over $1.3 million to fund the construction of clean water and sanitation projects in 15 sub-Saharan African nations that are benefiting over 350,000 people. In her memory, current and past board members are aiming to fully fund this year’s Build a Well for Bono’s Birthday project, our 17th annual birthday well fundraiser. We send our love and deepest sympathies to Laura’s family and friends, and our eternal gratitude to Laura for all she did for AWF.
Join us in celebrating Laura's memory by completing fundraising for a new well in Mloka, Tanzania in her honor. The well will serve 6,000 in Mloka and the surrounding communities, providing them with a source of clean, fresh water.