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“Still Breathing” (Summer Sessions)
“I am honored to be able to partner with an organization like Mocha Club who is helping change the lives of women in Ethiopia. The work Mocha Club does is close to my heart and something I’ve been passionate about for years, spreading awareness to end the sex trade that tragically spans our world. To be able to share the stories of these women and support them directly is just a start, and we’re so proud to stand with them in their triumph.” – Deena Jakoub
Learn More about Mocha Club:
See VERIDIA this Fall!
Sept 15 // Birmingham, AL // Workplay Theatre
Sept 16 // Little Rock, AR // Stickyz Shack
Sept 17 // Houston, TX // Warehouse Live Studio
Sept 18 // Dallas, TX // Cambridge Room @ HOB
Sept 19 // Oklahoma City, OK // 89th Street Collective
Sept 22 // Springfield, MO // Outland Ballroom
Sept 23 // Kansas City, MO // The Record Bar (18+)
More dates at http://www.veridiamusic.com/tour
I am so excited to be linking arms with the Mocha Club as an artist sponsor! The fact that God could use my music and ministry to change the lives of people in need across the globe is truly overwhelming. I’ll never forget the first time I heard some of the stories of the women that Mocha Club reaches through their Economic Freedom program in Nazaret, Ethiopia. Countless women and children in Nazaret are forced into lives of prostitution as a desperate attempt to get out of poverty, but it becomes a vicious cycle that slowly eats away at their dignity. Mocha Club comes alongside these women to provide spiritual, emotional and psychological counseling and to help them find alternate means of income to support them and their families. When I heard the stories of these women, and when I saw their beautiful faces, I knew I had to do something. For the cost of just a few lattes or mochas a month, you could change the lives of some amazing women who are so deserving of a chance at life and freedom. Please take a few minutes out of your day to pray about joining me and the Mocha Club in our quest to restore hope and dignity to the least of these. –Becca
Bring hope, restore dignity and change lives for $18 a month.
Use the Promo Code: BECCA to receive a FREE SCARF made by the women in Ethiopia when you join.
This update comes directly from our leaders at Ellilta Women at Risk in Ethiopia. Every time you give up a mocha, you change a life like Mary’s.
Mary* was born and raised in Adama town and she lived with her parents.
Her mother worked as a prostitute to fulfill the basic needs of the family but Mary was unhappy to see her mother in the sex work because she had the fear that she and her younger sister might end up doing the same thing if her mother stops the sex work.
When Mary turned 21, her parents decided to commit divorce and this was challenging for Mary that she could not agree with her step father so she decided to run away from home. By this time, Mary met up with some friends who were involved in prostitution and when she saw the amount of money they make per day she was tempted to start working with them. After a while Mary started working in a bar but she was not happy by what she is doing since she was subjected to violence and abuse from her clients.
After working as prostitute for seven years Mary finds out that she is pregnant from one of her clients but when she tell him about her pregnancy he deny he is the father of the child so she continue working the sex work until her third trimester of her pregnancy to save money for the coming baby.
After delivering a baby girl Mary turns to the sex work since she has no other option and one night as she was on her way to the hotel she meets with counselors from Ellilta Women at Risk and they talk to her and gave her the address to come if she want to change her life.
Mary was so happy to find a way out of prostitution. Thus she came to Ellilta the next day and she was accepted in the rehabilitation program.
Currently Mary is one of the active beneficiaries who is striving to rescue her younger sister from prostitution and be role model for others in the sex work.
We praise God for Mary’s success!!!
*We have changed Mary’s name to protect her journey.
What gives you the confidence to say, “Yeah! I can do that!”
Eric, a recent Belmont University grad, found that “umph”
after his trip to Ellilta in Ethiopia a few weeks ago. With a degree in finance, he is helping Ellilta strengthen its business practices. Which means, he dabbled in dollars and cents, but also in Internet marketing to reach tourists looking for local souvenirs, using technology to share documents, and long-term strategic business planning aimed at, one day, growing Ellilta to other locations.
“I love working with Ellilta because I get to wear so many hats,” says Eric. “Plus, that positivity of women who have so little, but are so happy, is something I just want to be part of.”
As an added benefit, Eric’s trip, which was his second time to Ellilta, meant he connected with the staff on a personal level, way before ever diving into the business details. “I was greeted with open arms,” he says.
Stay tuned to our blog for more to come on Eric’s work with Ellilta, which continues now that he’s back in the States.
Our Belmont students continue their work with Ellilta to make sure it can grow with the increasing number of women who seek help today…and will seek help in the future! The team continues to focus on business practices that simply need some updating. What’s the biggest lesson? It’s not the number crunching or the systems building. It’s the idea of listening and understanding that what works in the U.S. doesn’t necessarily work in Africa. It works best when we take a step back, learn from one another and then move forward. Good lesson for life, right?
We’ve shared a lot of stories – now let’s share a few numbers. 100% of the women who joined Women at Risk in the Nazareth project in January are still “going strong” in the program, says Cherry, who oversees Ellilta. And, this past week, 16 women from previous group graduated from the program. Two set up their own micro-business, while 7 are now trained in tailoring, 5 in food preparation, and 2 in hairdressing. Says Cherry: “In most cases for these women, this is their first accomplishment, having lived their lives so downtrodden.”
This past August, the staff at EWAR welcomed Kidist. She weighed 90 pounds. She had contracted HIV in the last year. Her white blood cells measured dangerously low, and put her at risk to fight life-threatening illness. By all accounts, Kidist was very sick.
She was sick because, one day, as a 17-year-old cashier at a bar, her register was robbed and she became responsible for the debt. The answer? Many advised her to go into a life of prostitution to make the money back. So she did.
That one day changed her life.
But so did the day that she accepted EWAR’s invitation to join the rehabilitation program. Weighing a healthy 150 pounds today, and with a white blood cell count that keeps her well, she is happier and describes her life as “being among family.” She began training to be a tailor this past December.
As she continues the months ahead of counseling and job training, Kidist is healing. She is learning what it means to deal with the loss of her mother shortly after her birth, and the loss of her father when she was eight years old. She is learning to heal from the abandonment experienced when her grandmother could not longer care for her and sent her to an uncle who made her a house girl. And she is learning to heal from the man who took her as a ’secret lover’ while she stayed with her uncle.
Kidist is thriving today, and she’s even more determined to live a new life. Thanks to your support.