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Mocha Club

HQ, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

What is your piece in the puzzle for good?

What I love about the work of Mocha Club is uncovering the opportunity and potential that exists as a part of the human spirit. I entered this work like many – wanting to change the world – and continue to be struck at how much bigger that concept is than one person. So what is my piece? What am I to lend my hand to, to lower my shoulder, to dig in, to leverage my voice for?

I’m going to champion the boundless opportunity and possibility – the flourishing and quality of life that is already happening in the places crowded with hunger, desperate in need, struck and stuck in poverty. I want to walk into the room, paint a picture that is so unlike what you were expecting from a non profit president, invite you to the party, and drop the mic. Its so much more amazing than you could ever dream. (and its more horrifying than words could articulate). Where my western privilege, my graduate education, my religious affiliation taught me to see need; I discovered solutions. Where you see desperation, we see opportunity. We believe that every human being is endowed with value, dignity, skill, and creativity. No matter their age. No matter their condition. No matter their zip code. No matter their education.

And we have a choice. One life-altering, world changing choice. We can choose to leverage all of who we are for one another. To fight for, to include, to passionately dream and pursue, to express, to honor, to champion opportunity and possibility for ourselves and the world around us. The truth is – that’s what makes for a quality of life we all aspire to. That’s what unleashes human potential and drives human flourishing.

Emily Blackledge, Mocha Club President

FROM THE FIELD, HQ, INSPIRATION

Wait, how does this whole thing work?

It’s a crazy comparison, right? That you could make your coffee at home a few times a month and that savings could make a real difference in Africa?

Since it’s sometimes hard to believe a little could mean a lot, we decided to take you through how the whole thing happens in 3 steps.

Step 1: This one is on you. You commit to give up a few mochas a month. Just $18 – maybe 4 or 5 mochas in a 30 day span. That’s only a few mornings each month you make your coffee at home rather than grab it on your way to work. Totally doable.

Step 2: This is the step you don’t see. It’s also the most important one.

Mocha Club works through education. Our local Country Directors identify local lay leaders in positions to spur change. Those leaders go through a 9-month course, co- created by our Country Directors and tailored to an African context, that teaches those in positions of influence to conduct social analyses, prioritize community needs, identify local assets and resources, develop a plan of action, budget and timeline that plan of action, and then enact the solution and measure its impact.

Step 3: This is the celebration you see in updates from us – the orphan care projects, the trauma-healing groups for children of war, the new water wells, the schools. These are the final products that come out of that course and are enacted by those local leaders. By supporting the education of that one local leader, you put kids in school, you restore hope to the victims of war, you provide clean water – the possibilities are endless!

Interested in hearing more now that you know how we make your mochas matter? Learn 3 reasons why your mochas matter here.

Uncategorized

The Power of Yes

As Mocha Club President, Emily Blackledge is constantly on the move meeting with leaders, pastors, donors, and friends of our organization — those that want to learn more about life in Africa, how we are involved & how, as a community, we get to work together to make an impact in this world. After several encouraging and inspiring conversations last week, she shared with us her musings of what she wants this “work” to be about…

I want to expand the margins and boundaries we build around us. I no longer want to fight against something…but for something. I want my life to be about the positive – the propelling movement into the future, not the raging battle against the negative. I believe by being for the positive, it is in fact more powerful than standing against something. I want to say “yes” more often. “No” is limiting; it fights against something; it defines the negative. “Yes” is powerful. It invites as opposes to divides. It speaks to what we have, not what we lack. It’s a powerful tool for inclusion. It’s a means to fight for, to stand for, to work toward. It means I have something to offer – my “yes” defines what I can give or be or extend. I want to say “yes” as often as possible. Yes to opportunity, to possibility, to movement. Yes.

AFRICA NEWS, Economic Freedom, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, INSPIRATION, Women at Risk

New Leadership at Women at Risk : meet Nebiyu!

It is our pleasure to introduce you to Nebiyu, the new Director of Ellilta Women at Risk. Started by Serawit “Cherry” Friedmeyer twenty years ago, Ellilta has helped over a thousand women break free from the sex trade. As Cherry began to contemplate retirement, Ellilta’s board of directors began a succession process that led them to someone who can carry on her legacy, someone with a deep understanding of the program, someone dedicated to ensuring Ellilta remains open to all those desperate to leave behind life on the streets. That someone was Nebiyu.

To help introduce himself, Nebiyu has written a letter to you…

Hey friends, I hope you all had a nice Christmas and New Years celebration!

I am Nebiyu Haile and I am serving as the Director of Ellilta Women at Risk. Though it has just been about two years since I started working here as a Program Manager, I have been in touch with EWAR for more than three years before joining. When I was working as a director of a faith-based organization, we had a project that aimed at helping women in prostitution and we approached EWAR to help us design and implement that project. Such contact helped me to know more about EWAR and the great work it has been doing to help women in prostitution get out of that business and start a new lifestyle. As a result, when I got the opportunity to join EWAR, it did not take me too much time to decide!

When I was a kid, I got the chance to join an assisted child development project which was being implemented in one of the local churches around our area. As I look back, being part of that project played a great role for the person I am today. It’s through this project that I came to know about Jesus Christ which led me to accept Him as my personal savior. And passing through this project also helped to develop an interest towards charitable and social works. Thus, I consider myself very lucky to have the chance to serve at EWAR!

Working with women who have a distorted self-image is very demanding and needs lots of effort. There are also other external factors which make our work difficult, but when I look at the vision of EWAR, the commitment of the staff and teamwork that is part of EWAR’s culture, it helps keep me going. Seeing the hope of the women we are serving be renewed and their lives brighten are some of the things that bring me great joy!!

Will you help welcome him to our community? Introduce yourself, send a quick “hello,” or share some encouragement with Nebiyu here!

Every day, Nebiyu helps women stuck in the sex trade build restored, healthy, and hopeful new lives. Every month, by giving up a few mochas, you too can give these women a chance to receive counseling, life skills, and job training.

Will you do your part and join the Mocha Club community today?

JOIN US!

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.)

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!