Uncategorized

Your mochas = trauma healing

We have exciting plans to make your mochas matter this coming year. Our local leaders on the ground spent the past few months dreaming up ways to fight extreme poverty in their communities and here’s just a little of what you can expect this year:

  • A completed water well in Malawi, providing clean water to 200 households.
  • 18 new asset-based development courses, teaching local leaders how to dream and plan for their communities.
  • Trauma-healing groups in four different Congolese communities for children who have experienced the trauma of war.
  • About 100 students from Kenyan slums receiving a secondary school education.
  • A farming project in Congo providing a sustainable source of food for an orphanage in Goma.
  • Around 40 new women being rehabilitated from a life stuck in the sex trade in Ethiopia.

You’ll notice that a few of the things on our list for 2018 revolve around trauma-healing. And it may give you pause. Isn’t that what professional counselors are for? Why do our local leaders consider this part of a plan to fight poverty? How exactly can my mochas matter through such an intangible means? Aren’t things like education and healthcare and orphan care more impactful and urgent in fighting poverty?

All good and valid questions. But here’s why our local leaders choose this as form of intervention and poverty alleviation: Trauma-healing is healthcare. It is orphan care. It is education. It is economic development. And it is something highly relevant in war-torn countries like Congo and South Sudan where we work.

How is it all those things? Take our Congolese Country Director for example. In 2017, Denis worked to train a group of community leaders how to identify and address trauma in children. Then those leaders went back to their communities and implemented what they learned — one is a director at a primary school who began “healing clubs” for the kids in his school, one lives near an IDP camp and created a support group for traumatized children in the camp, one gathered a group of police and soldiers and taught them how to better identify and respond to the children they encounter in their jobs.

The children at that primary school now have access to mental and emotional healthcare that will be vital to their ability to develop and continue their education in a school environment. The children in that IDP camp may be orphans who have witnessed unimaginable violence and now have a “family” to support them. The children who come into contact with these members of the police force will benefit from someone in a position of authority who understands them and can see past their actions. All of these things are necessary foundations from which to fight extreme and generational poverty — growing a generation of children capable of flourishing despite their trauma and becoming compassionate adults actively rebuilding their communities, economically, physically, and emotionally. This isn’t possible when that generation is bogged down by extreme trauma.

As a part of Mocha Club, you are a force behind this process. Your mochas make each of these things possible. They reach children, they reach influential adults and community leaders, and they impact the future in ways you can’t even imagine. You are fighting extreme poverty by alleviating the trauma that stands in the way of development.

(And don’t worry — part of training these local leaders is helping them recognize the limits of their abilities as lay leaders and know when to turn it over to professionals to avoid doing any harm.)

AFRICA NEWS, Clean Water, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Orphan Care, Women at Risk

Imagine all we can do together in 2018!

Behind everyday generosity is the belief that the little things we do on a daily basis can add up to make a big difference. A mocha here, a mocha there — sometimes it’s easy to forget the big picture and hard to imagine how those sacrificed mochas add up over the course of the year. So we decided to take a step back and look at some of the impact Mocha Club members had this year.

The everyday generosity of Mocha Club members in 2017 turned into:


CLEAN WATER
200 households in Mvera, Malawi have access to clean water (and electricity!) after developing a community-driven solution to the problems caused by a lack of clean water in their village — low school attendance among girls, high rates of waterborne illnesses, and more.


ECONOMIC FREEDOM
Over 40 women stuck in the sex industry in Ethiopia received counseling, medical care, and skills training, pulling themselves out of life on the streets and creating a sustainable, healthy future for themselves and their families.


EDUCATION
95 students in Nairobi’s slums were able to receive a secondary-level education, something vital to breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Kenya.


HEALTHCARE
More than 30 children in Addis Ababa whose mothers are recovering from being trapped in the sex trade were provided with medical treatments and care, as well as nutritional support so they learn how to create healthy habits for themselves.


ORPHAN CARE
224 orphans and vulnerable children in Congo were counseled through the trauma they’ve experienced because of war and violence and taught life skills that will help them cope in the present and have hope for the future.


 

We can make an even greater impact if you commit to making your mochas matter in 2018!

Will you join our community today?
Join Today!

ARTISTS, EVENTS, INSPIRATION, Women at Risk

An Evening with Matt Wertz (and Mocha Club!)

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Matt Wertz has announced his 2017 Fall Tour and we are excited to be joining him!

As always, we are looking for Mocha Club members to volunteer at a show and help share about our friends in Africa asking others to join us in fighting extreme poverty!

We need 2 people to work the Mocha Club table and Matt’s merch table at each of the concerts listed below.  Would you be available? It will be a fun night sharing about Mocha Club and welcoming new people into our community. We can’t do this without you!

A fun bonus is that Mocha Club table staff get free admission to the concert!


FALL 2017 TOUR

September 8: Atlanta, GA // VOLUNTEER!

September 9 : Nashville, TN // VOLUNTEER!

September 20 : San Antonio, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 21 : Dallas, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 22 : Houston, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 23 : Austin, TX // VOLUNTEER!

October 18: Indianapolis, IN // VOLUNTEER!

October 19 : Ann Arbor, MI // VOLUNTEER!

October 20 : Evanston, IL // VOLUNTEER!

October 22: Minneapolis, MN // VOLUNTEER!

November 1 : Denver, CO // VOLUNTEER!

November 2 : Los Angeles, CA // VOLUNTEER!

November 3 : San Francisco, CA // VOLUNTEER!

November 4: Portland, OR // VOLUNTEER!

November 5 : Seattle, WA // VOLUNTEER!

November 16 : Vienna, VA // VOLUNTEER!

November 17 : Cambridge, MA // VOLUNTEER!

November 19 : New York, NY // VOLUNTEER!


We’re looking for people who are…

  • Friendly, passionate, responsible, & organized
  • Able to take initiative in introducing Mocha Club to people
  • At least 18 years old

What Mocha Club table staff will need to do at the concert:

  • Arrive approximately 1 hour before the show to set up the Mocha Club table (instructions will be provided).
  • Explain Mocha Club to people who approach the table before, during, and after the event.
  • Be responsible for Mocha Club table items throughout the show (do not leave table unattended).
  • After concert, answer questions and help people fill out Mocha Club signup form.
  • Safely pack up all items at the end of the show and make sure completed signup forms are Fedex’d to us **no later than the next business day following the concert.**
ARTISTS, EVENTS, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare, Uncategorized

Mocha Club + Jordy Searcy + YOU!

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We are excited to announce another new Mocha Club artist, Jordy Searcy! This Fall, we will be joining him as he tours around the nation and we are looking for Mocha Club members to volunteer at a show and help share about our friends in Africa asking others to join us in fighting extreme poverty!

We need 2 people to work the Mocha Club table at each of the concerts listed below.  Would you be available? It will be a fun night sharing about Mocha Club and welcoming new people into our community. We can’t do this without you!

A fun bonus is that Mocha Club table staff get free admission to the concert!


SEPTEMBER 2017

September 8: Jackson, MS // VOLUNTEER!

September 9 : Mobile, AL // VOLUNTEER!

September 12 : Fayetteville, AR // VOLUNTEER!

September 13 : Waco, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 15 : Dallas, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 16: Abilene, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 17: Texarkana, TX // VOLUNTEER!

September 22: Athens, AL // VOLUNTEER!

September 29 : Salem, OR // VOLUNTEER!

September 30: Columbia, TN // VOLUNTEER


We’re looking for people who are…

  • Friendly, passionate, responsible, & organized
  • Able to take initiative in introducing Mocha Club to people
  • At least 18 years old

What Mocha Club table staff will need to do at the concert:

  • Arrive approximately 1 hour before the show to set up the Mocha Club table (instructions will be provided).
  • Explain Mocha Club to people who approach the table before, during, and after the event.
  • Be responsible for Mocha Club table items throughout the show (do not leave table unattended).
  • After concert, answer questions and help people fill out Mocha Club signup form.
  • Safely pack up all items at the end of the show and make sure completed signup forms are Fedex’d to us **no later than the next business day following the concert.**
ARTISTS, EVENTS, Uncategorized

Mocha Club + Nathan Angelo

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*Brand new* Mocha Club artist, Nathan Angelo has announced his 2017 Fall Tour and we are excited to be joining him! We hope to see you at a show as we share about our friends in Africa & ask others to join us in fighting extreme poverty!


TIMELESS TOUR 2017

August 9 : Vienna, VA

August 10 : Pittsburgh, PA

August 12 : New York, NY

August 31 : Isle of Palms, SC

September 1 : Atlanta, GA

September 2: Charlotte, NC

September 6 : Lexington, KY

September 7 : Nashville, TN

September 8 : Greer, SC

September 27 : Chicago, IL

September 28: Indianapolis, IN

September 29 : Chattanooga, TN

October 5 : Columbia, SC

October 6 : Bluffton, SC

November 1 : Asheville, NC

November 11: Dallas, TX

November 16 : San Francisco, CA

November 18: Augusta, GA


Interested in becoming a Mocha Club artist advocate? Email Fallon – fklug@themochaclub.org.

AFRICA NEWS, Clean Water, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, PERSPECTIVES

3 Reasons Your Mochas Matter

A word from Mocha Club President, Emily Blackledge:

You’ve heard us say it over and over: you can make a difference simply by giving up the cost of a few mochas a month. But we’ll be the first to tell you – there’s no comparison between what you give and what you get.

While your lack of caffeine is temporary, your impact is not. Why? Because Mocha Club is dedicated to making sure your mochas matter long-term. Here’s how:

1. Collaborative Relationships : “We” is our favorite pronoun.

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If you have been engaged with an organization or visited some of their work and you only hear “us,” “them,” “theirs,” or “mine,” it is a telling example of a group divided. Without shared values, a common vision and dreams, the work being done belongs to only part of the group. In the long run, these projects and partnerships tend to end poorly. Mocha Club’s strategy is different. Your mochas help provide education for local leaders in the form of a community development course of study — a course co-created by representatives from multiple African countries that takes these leaders through the process of identifying, prioritizing, and addressing community needs. The local community development class in Mvera that proposed the water project we told you about on World Water Day spent months surveying neighbors, friends, family, local businesses, schools, and more to get to a consensus on the greatest need in their area. Not the greatest need for one part of the village or the greatest need to one segment of society or even the greatest need as assessed by Mocha Club the greatest need for the community as a whole, identified by the community as a wholeA community ceremony was just held to lay the foundation stone for the new water project. Here you see traditional leaders, church leaders, police and the Malawi Defence Force, government officials, and local residents. All turned out to collectively celebrate the beginning of the project. Mvera’s original well was built by missionaries and not owned by the community. This time around, “we” is who owns the project – everyone was involved in naming the need and finding a solution, each household will register to use the water and contribute a monthly fee to pay for upkeep and maintenance, and a local committee will be nominated to oversee the project’s continued success. When Mvera residents are still enjoying clean water decades from now, it’s your mochas that made it so.

2. Meaningful Impact: We know who calls the shots.

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And it’s not the group of us sitting in offices here in the United States. One of the reasons Mvera has a water shortage is because it is in a hilly area full of rocks and the water springs dry out during the dry season. The other reason is man made. Mvera is in the Dowa district of Malawi – a district that Leonard, our local Country Director, tells us was “the first district in Malawi created by colonial masters” and means “a place of wild animals.” The well in Mvera was originally dug by missionaries. What was once 36 meters deep and fully functional turned into 7 meters deep and not at all sufficient for the community. Local Malawians didn’t determine its location, they weren’t trained on its upkeep, they weren’t involved at any point of the well’s life cycle. During its research, the community development class in Mvera discovered several potential needs during a social analysis – employment, education, health care. But because they approached the situation from a place of “we,” the community of Mvera determined on its own that the most pressing problem was the water shortage. It makes perfect sense — why would a group of people from a different culture, speaking a different language, be able to determine the best course of action for a community halfway across the world? How would my community know if the next best tool for the Mvera community is a grade school or a water well or a pig farm? Your mochas matter because the people calling the shots are the ones on the ground, the ones that know their communities inside and out.

3. Creative Solutions: We build with what we have.

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An accurate understanding of reality is important, but leading with the worst qualities doesn’t really inspire anyone’s participation. We already know that without everyone’s engagement, without “we,” development isn’t sustainable. When strategy is focused on what is working – assets to build on, tools that already exist – you can do things you had no idea could be done. For example, in researching the options for a water solution in Mvera, the local class discovered that they already had much of what they needed – river sand, rocks, quarry stones, manpower, and expertise. They consulted professional builders in the community, engineers, the local electricity supplier, a pipe company, and the local government. Once this project is complete, they’ve already dreamed of building on it and expanding access to more and more people. Building with what you have attracts others (and their talents and resources) to join the dream. Asset-based development makes your mochas matter long into the future.

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Community Update:

I am glad to report that the Mvera water project is progressing well. After the laying of the Foundation Stone, people in the community began the work and it has been very successful. Right now the community is mobilizing locally available resources for the construction of the tank (water reservoir). Here are photos showing the laying of the foundation stone and the actual work beginning.  – Leonard Chipangano, Malawi Country Director

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AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, INSPIRATION

Update from Adjumani Refugee Camp

 We’ve got another update from the Adjumani refugee camp where Mocha Club is providing zinc roofs for South Sudanese refugees! 

 Here, Tito, our South Sudan Country Director, shows Gabriel’s home in the camp. See the metal ridges on top of his house? Those are from members of the Mocha Club community — people just like you.

Ever doubt your mochas could make a difference? It only took one Mocha Club member to provide a roof like this one — each zinc sheet was $9. And we still need your help. Will you give up a few mochas a month to help continue our work with refugees?

 But let’s take it back to the beginning — why roofs? Don’t refugees need food, water, medical care? 

 Mocha Club works through local Country Directors — leaders like Tito who live, work, raise their families, and are well known in the communities they serve. When we asked Tito how Mocha Club members like you could best serve the refugees fleeing South Sudan, he said in Adjumani, he kept hearing one thing over and over: a longing for something sustainable and long-lasting in the midst of near-constant uncertainty. 

 So they asked for zinc roofing to protect their families from the elements as long as they had to be there — a year, ten years, or perhaps even the rest of their lives. And you stepped in and met that need.

 Through Mocha Club, you’re not just meeting physical needs. Tito recognized that the UN and other organizations were providing basic physical needs for refugees, but no one was focusing on their hearts.

 Tito is holding trauma-healing workshops in the camps, helping refugees process what they’ve experienced and begin to heal. And once again, you, Mocha Club member, are behind him. The resources and materials he uses in those workshops? They’re from our Mocha Club members.

 With solid roofs over their head and the community and resources to work through their experience, these families can truly begin to look toward the future. Thank you for your continued support of refugee families through Mocha Club. Your mocha matters.

We still need your help! Will you give up two mochas a month to help continue our work with refugees?

JOIN MOCHA CLUB

Join Mocha Club today, and as a “thank you”, we will send you a free item from our store!
AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, INSPIRATION

Your mochas matter in South Sudan

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The fight against extreme poverty is not easy. War, refugee camps, hunger, rape, brutality – our South Sudan Country Director Tito has seen it all. He was conscripted by both the state and rebel armies of Sudan in his youth, lost family and friends to civil war, and has been forced to flee his home on more than one occasion.

Many of us would be ready to throw in the towel, tired of watching our country fall apart over and over again, but not Tito. He sees opportunity – a hope for his country as he is busy putting it back together. For more than a decade, Tito has been teaching local leaders how to engage with and improve their communities, even amid the harshest of conditions. And now, as so many South Sudanese are forced to flee their homes into neighboring Uganda – an estimated 800,000 so far, including Tito’s family – he is providing the comfort of a warm, friendly face welcoming many of them into northern Uganda’s refugee camps.

Tito is working diligently in several of these communities, starting leadership classes, holding trauma-healing workshops to help refugees process what they’ve experienced, and providing durable zinc roofs to those whose U.N.-issued tarps have failed to provide adequate shelter over their new homes.

And you, as a Mocha Club member, are right there standing beside him. Tito has transformed your everyday generosity into life change: the materials necessary for these workshops, the sheets of zinc that will protect refugees in their homes for a decade. You, me, Tito, members of the Mocha Club community around the world – we all play a role in providing a vital part of the healing process for refugees: HOPE. Your mochas matter in South Sudan.

HQ, Uncategorized

WE’RE HIRING!

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We are hiring a new position for our team : Member Care Coordinator. This person will be the first point of contact with the organization and is responsible for creating a warm welcome to new members & friends of Mocha Club! Read more responsibilities & expectations below.

Applications are due Friday, April 28th with an immediate start date.

Apply by email with your resume to info(at)themochaclub.org.

>> JOB DESCRIPTION & REQUIREMENTS HERE <<

AFRICA NEWS, AFRICA TRIPS, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, PERSPECTIVES

Welcome to Adjumani Refugee Camp

 

REFUGEE: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disaster.

This definition has been my understanding of a refugee for years and the images we see on US television paint a grim reality that thousands endure each year as they are impacted by the trauma forcing them from their homes.

In February, I was able to go and visit Mocha Club’s Country Director and staff who are working in northern Uganda with refugees fleeing the war in South Sudan. As we began our drive into the camps, my heart was ready for what my head was sure I was about to encounter.

Our journey led us to Adjumani, Uganda where I first met Anthony, an older man with a kind smile who looked to be in his late sixties. He was standing in front of the tarped structure he now calls home. Last September, when the fighting got close to his village in South Sudan, he sent his mother, his wife, and his five young children to safety in Uganda. He stayed behind, separated from his loved ones, salvaging what he could of their farm until army rebels took over three months later, forcing him to flee.

As Anthony shared his story, I could see the fear and heartbreak he had lived through on his face. He was not sure what he would find as he crossed the Nile and made his way to the processing tent at Adjumani where all new refugees must go to get registered and ask about their relatives. Did his mother survive the trek three months ago? Were all of his children still alive? Would his wife be there? It’s a reality I truly can’t fathom.

Anthony’s story lined up with what I have seen on TV or witnessed in other camps before. I had expected Adjumani to be unfathomable: hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees; makeshift communities dotted with tarped roofs; tons of stories just like Anthony’s.

I’ve been in many places like this before – places where poverty, war and trauma are overwhelming and it looks like – it feels like – all hope is lost. In these camps, there is a tension that exists and becomes normal. Refugee vs. Peacekeeper. Refugee vs. Refugee. Refugee vs. Local. This tension is often even tangibly represented by a huge fence around the camp – not to keep refugees safe, but to keep them in. In this reality, a refugee is fighting to survive – they never even dream about thriving.

Adjumani is different.

As Tito, our South Sudan Country Director, showed me around, I began to see things I had not expected. I saw smiles, I saw community, I saw – HOPE. Tito pointed out opportunity, vision, dreams, and plans for a future here. He was breathing hope to life.

I struggled to reconcile what I had expected with what was right in front of me, then it hit me… these people’s lives had been entirely wrecked, forever altered. But they were finally at a place where they could stop running.

Hundreds of thousands of people like Anthony had fought to make it here. But when they arrived, they found kindness and were offered land next to their Ugandan neighbors. I was able to ask several Ugandans, “Why are you so willing to share your land, your schools, your economy with so many South Sudanese refugees?” Their response? “Because ten years ago, they did that for us.”

For decades, this region has lived with civil war, with night commutes and child soldiers. Where we see a line separating South Sudan and Uganda, they don’t see anything. They lived here long before that line was drawn; they’ve been neighbors for centuries; they’ve hosted each other in times of crisis. And they continue to do so — because when all else fails, community remains.

Mochas Matter.

I now had a new understanding and appreciation for refugees. While what I saw was different than my expectations, it did not diminish the very real needs, which are still present. Remember those tarp roofs? Tito shared with us that they only last three months and an immediate need in the refugee community is to find a solution for them. Thanks to you and the Mocha Club community we have been able to provide zinc roofs for many of the refugee families.

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Oh, and Anthony? His family is one that will benefit from the zinc roofs – the roofs that are a result of your mochas. That’s me, Anthony, and his wife Betty in front of their current home, tarp and all. Soon that tarp will be replaced by the zinc sheets he has received. And for the next ten years, those zinc sheets – your mochas – will be the solid roof over his family in this community that has become their home.

Next?

I asked Tito what was next – for the refugees and for how Mocha Club could support them beyond a solid roof under which their families could lay their heads. He said he dreams of a place where they can rest their hearts as well. So he is beginning to teach these refugees how to walk through their stories of trauma and loss and begin to heal.

Emily Blackledge, Mocha Club President