Uncategorized

Need a gift for Mom?

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Your Mother’s Day gift could not only show your mom how much you care but could also help rescue women from the streets of Ethiopia and providing them with counseling, skills training, and job opportunities. Give your mom a Mocha Club membership in her honor! It’s easy! 

– When you sign up, use the your mom’s name + email in the sign up form and YOUR information for the rest of the fields including billing. You will be billed monthly for the contribution & your mom will receive updates of the work being done in her honor!   

– Lastly, email info@themochaclub.org to notify us of the gift + your mom’s mailing address so we can send her a package with a welcome packet and a beautiful scarf made by the women in Ethiopia! 

**Gifted memberships must be submitted TODAY(5/3) for guaranteed delivery by Mother’s Day!

GIVE YOUR GIFT NOW!

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MOCHATERNS

Mochatern Monday 05.02.16: “Thankful!”

Hey, Mocha Club friends!

Happy Monday! This is sadly my last Mochatern Monday post for you, as my spring here at Mocha Club has come to a close. I am so sad to leave the people and love that I have found here this semester, but I am so grateful for the experience that I have had, and the lessons that I have learned. For my last post, I wanted to make a list of all of the things here at Mocha Club that I am thankful for. And, of course, to thank you, the readers of our blog here, for helping us serve Africa, and keeping up with what we have going on! Here it goes…

  1. I am thankful for the people here, the Mocha Club team. Each one of them has worked each day to make me feel like a welcomed, valued member of the team, and I am so very happy that I got the opportunity to meet each one of them. They are a special group of people with big hearts!
  2. I am thankful for these Mochatern Monday posts! I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to share my thoughts through my writing, and to be able to communicate with all of you out there who follow us, and read what we have to say.
  3. I am thankful for weekly staff meetings and morning prayer. I have loved the times when the whole team gets to come together and share what is going on, and the opportunity to pray for one another.
  4. I am thankful for endless coffee and Diet Coke! Every morning when I woke up, I couldn’t wait to get to Mocha Club, because where I get to make my coffee (with French Vanilla creamer!).
  5. I am thankful for our friends and servant hearts in Africa, who help us just as much as we help them! I am thankful to have gotten to know Africa a little bit better, and for the lessons I have been taught even from so far away.
  6. I am thankful for our merchandise and the people who order it! I loved getting to write little notes to all of you on your order summaries, and spread the Mocha Club cheer!
  7. I am thankful for my desk in the front room of the office, for the people I got to talk to on the phone, and those I was able to greet and offer a cup of coffee too. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to come in contact with people that I may not have ever met.
  8. I am thankful for the opportunity to organize and take pictures for our social media accounts, and to come up with captions as well!
  9. I am thankful to have gotten to know our Mocha Club artists better through weekly artist updates and special events. I am grateful to know some of the biggest supporters of Mocha Club.
  10. I am thankful for this opportunity to intern at this super cool environment. I am thankful for lessons learned and new friends made!

Thank you all for reading along with me this semester! Mocha Club is a special place, and I am thrilled that I was able to be a part of it for a little bit!

Much love,
Austill

AFRICA NEWS

Share the Good News!

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I think we all realize that, for the most part, when it comes to news stories about Africa, they are all pretty negative, and do not display Africa as a play that seems like it could in anyway be improved. However, in the shadow of the more prominent, often depressing news stories about Africa are events, people, and knowledge that can be shared as good news for Africa!

 

We wanted to take a moment to point you in the direction of this great article by Ian Bremmer for 2W2B9043Time magazine entitled “These 5 Facts Explain the Good News About Africa.” In his article, Bremmer shares five facts that shed a lot of positive light on Africa for the reader. He includes facts like demographics (the fact that Africans will make up half the world’s population by 2050), and the increasingly, strong civil society growing in Africa, along with the introduction and moderate, yet growing, use of technology in everyday lives. Furthermore, Bremmer notes that events like issues with politics and civil wars, that are usually huge problems for African countries are dwindling. This proves that Africa is moving out of its negative state and into a more positive era! We think that the article is worth your while to read, and will lift your spirits about the state of Africa.

While they still need a great deal of our help, it is important to communicate that their situation is not hopeless. It is just different from hours, and we want to do all that we can to make it better!

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Source: http://time.com/4246821/these-5-facts-explain-the-good-news-about-africa/

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

Saving lives…from the young to the old

UntitledToday is World Malaria Day!

First let us say a big THANK YOU for being part of sustainable health solutions that not only combat the threat of malaria but provide basis health care for communities in Kenya.  New Dawn Clinic is a neighboring health care facility on the campus of New Dawn Academy that not only serves the students in school but also the people in the surrounding community of the Huruma slum. You are impacting thousands of lives from babies to the elderly…here are just three of those stories:

The Young

A one year old baby visited the child welfare clinic and was severely underweight to the point of malnutrition. She has been a special client for the staff at New Dawn clinic – despite both low social and economic status of the mother, they have been supporting her nutritionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

So far the progress is quite good.

She is gaining weight and this is a good indicator of progress. The mother appreciates their daily care home visits and prayers we share together which has lifted her spirit.

The Adult

A patient visited New Dawn Clinic with a history of cough for more than two weeks, weight loss, and diarrhea. He was counseled and tested for HIV & was found positive. He also received positive results for Tuberculosis & was immediately provided with ARVs and Anti-Tb’s to fight both diseases. The clinic staff did a follow up at his home and advised on good and proper ventilation so as to reduce the transmission of the Tuberculosis. They continued with counseling two times a week and a home visit nightly.

Currently, his progress is good. They are continuing with both psychological and spiritual counseling and home visits.

The Elderly

We visited this client at his home at the nearby slum Huruma after complaints urine retention, tremors, and weakness of both upper and lower limbs.

Daily home care was started immediately. One week later he was transferred to the home of the elderly where he was being monitored.

Since the clinic started attending the patient, much improvement has been reported. In October the patient was discharged from the home for the elderly back to his home at Huruma slum. Since the discharge date, the clinic has been visiting him weekly for supportive and preventive care.

This client comes to the clinic weekly checkups and the family is so happy and has appreciated the prayers and support we offer them each day.

HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, MOCHATERNS

Mochatern Monday 04.11.16: World Health Day

Greetings, Mocha Club!

It’s Monday again. My Mondays are always set to the tune of the very popular song by the The Bangles (It’s just another manic Monday…). I don’t actually dread Mondays as much as I used too. Every Monday is like a miniature fresh start, or a reminder that whatever we feel like we didn’t do well or couldn’t accomplish the week before is in the past. We get to start anew each week! On another positive note, I think that spring has finally sprung. The world seems a little greener lately. And despite a slightwind chill, the sun is back in business to supply warmth yet again.2W2B0363

Last Thursday was. World Health Day is a global health awareness day falls on April 7th each year. World Health Day was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, and the decision to make April 7th the official date came two years later in 1950. The importance of World Health Day is that it is an annual opportunity to bring people’s attention to the state of health worldwide. Each year, WHO organizes events for World Health Day based on a specific “health theme.” The organization sheds light on the statistics of certain health issues that affect the us on all on a global level, and offer ways in which we can work together to prevent certain diseases and ailments from taking over our lives. The theme for 2016 was Beat Diabetes.

As many of you know, one of our five project areas here at Mocha Club is healthcare. It is of major concern that many of the countries in Africa do not have proper healthcare systems, or any healthcare system at all. Therefore, when people of all ages are faced with sickness and disease, they often have nowhere to turn. Therefore, another important aspect of the awareness brought about by World Health Day is that it brings attention not only to the theme for the year, but also the need to provide decent, accessible healthcare to all people, no matter where they live. While we have much and varied access to healthcare and modern medicine here in America, it is important to recognize that we are very lucky, and that we should be working to see that what is provided for us, can be provided for all people.

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Fortunately, Mocha Club is able to work to provide healthcare for people in Africa because of you, our members! For instance, the development of the New Dawn Clinic in the Huruma and Githogoro slums near Kenya and HEKO in Nairobi’s Kibera slum were made possible with your help, prayers, and kindness. Through these clinics, people are able to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS, be provided with vaccinations, and have general ailments fixed, such as bandaging wounds. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for helping us reach beyond our borders and help to provide healthcare and assistance to those suffering from sickness and disease. We cannot do these things without you!

I hope you all have a wonderful week, and I will see you next Monday!

Thank you for giving!
Austill

MOCHATERNS, Uncategorized

Mochatern Monday 04.04.16 : “We can be the opposite of loneliness.”

Happy Monday, Mocha Club!

It has been so long since I have written anything! But, that only means that we are happily busy here, and that there are many projects and plans for projects that need my help and attention. One thing that, I think, is super cool is that Mocha Club now has a Snapchat! It’s really fun to see how managing a social media account works, and how much time and strategic planning goes into it. The only social media accounts I have ever “handled” have been my own, and, well, I’m lucky my friends don’t base my merit on my caption making or editing ability. So, I’ve taken this Snapchat as a learning experience- the opportunity to see the planning, detail, and remembering that goes into the upkeep of an organization’s social media handles.

Follow us on Snapchat: @mochaclub

I recently read a book, or rather a collection of essays, by a writer named Marina Keegan. Marina Keegan was a member of the Yale University Class of 2012, and was an avid creator writer with the hopes of parlaying her abilities in both fiction and nonfiction writing into a career. Unfortunately, Marina was killed in a car accident when she was 22, two days after she graduated from Yale. Upon her death, her parents and some of her teachers gathered together what they found to be Marina’s best and most impactful writing and turned her stories and thoughts into a book. If you haven’t read it, the book is called The Opposite of Loneliness, and it will knock you over with its youthful eloquence and power.

At the book’s beginning, following acknowledgements from members of the Yale faculty, there is an essay that Marina wrote, in the spirit of graduation, for the Yale Daily News. The title of the essay, like the book, is The Opposite of Loneliness, and in it Marina explores, or, rather, voices her fear of leaving the community that she created for herself at Yale which she said felt like the opposite of loneliness. Marina noted that we don’t have a word in the dictionary that means the opposite of loneliness, but that if we did, that’s what we most want in life.

“It’s not quite love, it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of the opposite of loneliness. We create this oppositeness for ourselves everywhere we go. At school. At work. In our families. In our friend groups. We put ourselves in situations with people who know what we’re going through. Who get it. Who we can make eye contact with in the middle of a class lecture and find comfort in a mutual, silent sense of “how are we going to do this?”

I think everyone, whether it is given recognition or not, fights loneliness. Fights the feeling of being alone. Because, no matter how confident we are in ourselves or how capable we may be, nothing we do or have or think means as much unless it is shared. We want someone to laugh with at work with the fax machine breaks or we pull up a funny video on our desktop. We need a friend to come along on our road trips and fight with us about what music to play and whether to leave the windows up or down. We need the parent that has been in our shoes and offer advice, and we need the child that leads us to believe our lives have been fruitful. We need to boy or girl in class that takes our side every now and then in the the discussion. We need people. We want people. We want the opposite of loneliness.

So, I started thinking about how I could connect this train of thought to the Mocha Club, and how I was going to tie this all together. We desire to create for ourselves the opposite of loneliness, right? We desire to bring people into our lives or create communities and group that make us feel the opposite of lonely. However, we can create the opposite of loneliness for other people as well. We can be the opposite of loneliness.

I always tell myself that I should live a more inclusive life. To reach past my immediate friendships and relations and try to let other people in. Our creation of the opposite of loneliness can extend far beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone- where we live, where we work. And, because you are a member of the Mocha Club you have somewhat of an understanding of what it means to offer the opposite of loneliness to people far outside of your immediate realm. You realize that in supporting Mocha Club, you are telling people in Africa- “You are not alone. I am here.” I think we should work to try to spread the opposite of loneliness to anyone we can.

I will leave you with one more excerpt from Marina’s essay (the full text can still be found online at the Yale Daily News):

“We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I’d say that’s how I feel at Yale. How I feel right now. Here. With all of you. In love, impressed, humbled, scared. And we don’t have to lose that!”

 

Have a great day, and thank you for reading! We appreciate each of you!
Austill

AFRICA NEWS

A Stylish DJ & The Master of Cool

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DJ Zinhle has risen to the top in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has been one of the only females to reach that level of stardom as a DJ in Africa. Growing up in a rural area of Africa without running water or electricity, Zinhle was determined from a young age to make a difference for herself and others in the world. She began her career as a DJ in 2004 after graduating from the University of Johannesburg, and discovered that she had a true talent, one that she enjoyed and was moved by. Zinhle now mentors to other aspiring DJs, particularly young girls, who view her success as inspiring and one of a kind. On top of her success as a DJ, Zinhle has created her own brand of watches called “Era by DJ Zinhle.” Everytime a girl or woman orders a watch, she sends a note to them telling they to take advantage of the time that they have to follow their dreams and take charge of their lives. In response to her success and her powerful message, and what she plans to do next, DJ Zinhle responds, “We’ll see where the world takes me.”
Source: http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/02/26/music-with-attitude-african-voices-spc-b.cnn


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Atang Tshikare is an artist who specializes in adding his own unique touches to other people’s creations and talents. He defines himself as a “visual creative,” someone who transcends the boundaries of art, and tries to create things that are unique and thought-provoking.  For instance, he hand-painted his bike – taking something that has already been created,and giving it a slightly different edge. One of his favorite things to add uniqueness to are shoes. Check it out!

Source: http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2016/01/29/atang-tshikare-african-voices-c-spc.cnn

FROM THE FIELD, Orphan Care, Uncategorized

“For them, love never exists, the future is dark.”

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Current statistics show that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 90% of children live in poverty and 60% of those children are orphans – left alone by either one parent or both. Our DRC country direct, Denis, explains vividly what life is like for orphaned children :

Some pass all the time in the streets without help, no place to sleep, and they are exposed to the bad weather. Others find a poor hospitable family which will help only for food and a place to sleep but there is no hope for them to be at school, get clothes, or healthy assurance.

Some of them can find a hospitable family but they become victims of exploitation by man – hard labor, danger for women, and everything goes from bad to worse.

In the streets, they take on some jobs like caring goods, washing cars, begging, working in the road in order to get something… some time they rob in order to survive.

For them, love never exists, the future is dark.

In Goma, the government supports the orphanages but does not monetarily help these safe havens.  The community has compassion for these orphans and are grateful for orphanages but their means to help themselves is limited.

Sister Alvera leads the Flame of Love Orphanage and is Denis’ friend.  She has cared for these children for a long time because, while this group of orphans is small, their lives are significant. Mocha Club can build on the success of the Flame of Love Orphanage in Goma as we expand out to support orphanages in other locations.  Because let’s face it.  There are 4 million orphans in the country.  Child labor is an everyday practice.  And 1 in 7 children die before they turn 5 years old. (source: http://www.unicef.org/wcaro/Countries_1749.html)

Support Flame of Love Orphanage

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INSPIRATION, Uncategorized

Be Inspired : Bekah Wertz with High Fancy Paper

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Haley George Photography

Bekah Wertz :: High Fancy Paper

How did the name “High Fancy Paper” originate?

I was chatting with my coworkers one day, and was trying to describe something as both “high class” and “real fancy”. The two phrases got jumbled in my head and what actually came out was “high fancy.” We laughed about it, but the more I said it, the more I realized what a perfect name it was for my business.

What motivated you to start your business, and how has it grown since it began?

I started designing wedding invitations for a few friends on the side of my day job. Once I had a few under my belt, people started referring me to other brides, and I was able to start charging for my services. Weddings turned into parties, showers and all of the decorations that came with it.

My next step was starting an Etsy shop. Doodles turned into prints and cards that I started selling to the public. When I moved to Nashville, I still didn’t know a ton of people, so I started exploring new areas and checking out local shops. My dream was to sell my paper goods in stores around town, so I worked on the artwork and approached some local businesses to gauge their interest. The first order placed with with White’s Mercantile in 12 South. I still remember how giddy I felt, knowing that my product would get to sit alongside other artists I’ve admired for years.

Since then, we’ve expanded our line and increased our orders with shops around Nashville. Back in August, I approached my friend, Sarah Cox, about coming on board with High Fancy Paper to help me run the business side of things. She agreed almost immediately, and has been the most amazing source of encouragement and drive ever since. We have plans in the works to move into new cities, expand our product line, and partner with local shops to create items that people can connect with. I can’t wait to see how HFP grows this year!

*If you have a shop in your city you think would be a good fit for High Fancy Paper, let us know! info@highfancy.com

How has the Nashville community embraced your business?

This community has embraced me wholeheartedly! Moving here a little over a year and a half ago, I was unsure about what it would be like to establish myself as an independent business owner and creative in a new place. The people here have blown me away with their generosity, kindness, and support. So many people have been in my same shoes and want to extend the same helping hand that was shown to them when they were starting out. I couldn’t imagine starting a business in a better environment. From shop owners, to printers, to fellow designers, I’ve made meaningful connections with individuals who have rooted me on and taken a chance on High Fancy Paper.

Is there any way that your business has given back, to the community or in some other way?

Back in April when the first earthquake struck Nepal, I created a print that we sold online and through Instagram. We donated all the proceeds to Unicef, directly aiding the relief efforts. We are always looking for new opportunities to give back and partner with local or global organizations.

What is special about the way you create your prints and why do you do it this way?

I do a lot of my artwork by hand. It may start out with a picture or a computer sketch, but most always ends with lettering and illustration done with a brush, pen or marker of some sort. I have a strong appreciation for simple and clean, but my work never seems to be finished unless it has a touch of “humanity”.

Is there a certain person or style that inspires you as you create your work?

My grandmother, Mama Doc as we affectionately called her, continually inspires me in my work. She was an amazing woman with an incredibly strong work ethic and generous spirit. She worked with her hands, creating, crafting and cooking for both loved ones and strangers. Growing up on a farm in Western Kansas, and living through the Great Depression, she learned how to be resourceful with what she was given. Mama Doc was into recycling before it was the trendy thing to do! I still remember her pulling out her reusable bags from the trunk before heading into the grocery store.

She was able to make things beautiful out of simple materials. When I’m creating a new design or assembling a set of invitations, I feel like I have a piece of her with me. She put her heart and soul into what she did. It wasn’t about perfection, but embracing the perfectly imperfect that made her so dynamic. I only hope that I can carry on that same legacy through High Fancy Paper.

Watch this sneak peek of the heart behind High Fancy Paper [click on image to play video]:

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Elizabeth Olmstead | Film Maker