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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.


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.

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.

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.


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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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)



NEW Spring 2015 Mochaterns are here!

It may not feel like Spring in Nashville but our 2015 Spring interns are here and we are so excited to have them this season! Meet Sarah, Taylor, & Annie…

Name: Sarah Roberts 
Nickname:  I have never had one.
Hometown:  Weatherford, TX
University/Year/ Major: Belmont University/ Junior/ Public Relations
Favorite place: I love coffee shops, so probably any coffee shop.
Walk up song: Anything by Switchfoot.
Guilty Pleasure:  Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. Love those T.V. shows.
How do you take your mocha [coffee]?  Any coffee as long as there is cream and sugar to add.
Nashville Bucket List:  Visit every local coffee shop and go to a show at the Ryman.
Why are you excited about interning with the Mocha Club?  I’m excited to see what it takes to run an organization like Mocha Club and to be a small part of an organization that is making an impact. Plus they are partnered with some awesome artists (Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz and Parachute are my favorite people.)

  Name: Taylor Embry

  Nickname: Tay

  Hometown: Murfreesboro, TN

  University/Year/ Major: Belmont University/         Freshman/ Publishing

  Favorite place: My favorite place is in my bed with   coffee on the bedside table, in comfies, reading the day away with a good book.

  Walk up song: Laura Palmer by Bastille.

  Guilty Pleasure: I definitely jam out to T Swift’s new   CD when driving to the office in the mornings.


How do you take your mocha [coffee]? So, Bongo/Fido has this speciality drink in the summer called Grey Skies and it is AMAZING. Coconut milk, bergamot syrup, espresso, and chocolate shavings sprinkled on top. Coffee heaven.

Nashville Bucket List: Hmm. I would have to say going to The Pharmacy is definitely in the top, next to standing through the night outside Bridgestone to get free CMA tickets.

Why are you excited about interning with the Mocha Club? I am beyond excited to work for Mocha Club because I love what the organization in its entirety stands for. Everyone in the office is sweet and I can tell there is a bond here with all the staff. Its an incredible experience and I’m excited to see what all happens in the span of three to four months!


Name: Annie Pickle

Nickname: Pickle

Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee

University/Year/ Major: Belmont/Sophomore/Music Business and Video Production

Favorite place: Salzburg, Austria

Walk up song: Uptown Funk

Guilty Pleasure: Laying on the incredibly soft carpet I have in my dorm room whilst blasting the Beach Boys on my record player.

How do you take your mocha [coffee]? I will drink practically any coffee you put in front of me, but my favorite is probably iced coffee with creamer.

Nashville Bucket List: See as many concerts as possible (I have still yet to see one at the Bridgestone or go to the Bluebird Café, so those are two musts), visit Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, go inside the Parthenon, and tour the Tennessee State Capitol building.

Why are you excited about interning with the Mocha Club? I’m extremely excited to intern at the Mocha Club because I have a passion for Africa and the people there. I have been to South Africa twice and will always cherish my time there and the relationships I was able to make. I love the work the Mocha Club is doing because giving up the cost of a couple mochas a month is something anyone can do. People who have wanted to make a difference but didn’t think they could because they do not have thousands of dollars or time to take a trip halfway across the world, now can. I can’t wait to see what this semester has in store!

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Inspire others to join YOUR club!


Looking to share your impact in Africa with those around you?  Our dear friends, Hayley Morgan and Shannan Martin share how they got involved in Mocha Club and how they have rallied their friends and family to join their hearts in serving Africa!


How to use your voice:

1. Watch the video.

2. Invite other to join Mocha Club with you using your unique invitation URL on your Mocha Club account. (Forgot how to log in? Email!)

Download the sharable Mocha Club banners at

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Internship Opportunity : Travel to Uganda!

Ever dreamed of living in Africa for a time and working on the ground directly with the partners and projects you support?  We have an incredible opportunity for you!

As part of the African Leadership family, our partners at Know Think Act are offering an amazing internship experience in Uganda.  Interns will have the opportunity to work with Mocha Club partners on the ground in Africa for six months!


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“We are looking for a Uganda Program Coordinator to live and work in Kaihura, Uganda for approximately six months. This individual will be responsible for coordinating our ongoing work with Bringing Hope to the Family, a Partner of Know Think Act. Their duties will be threefold: working with volunteer teams on the ground, telling the story of Know Think Act through social media, and training our Partner’s staff in working with our organization. The Uganda Program Coordinator will be trained at our Nashville offices before they depart for Uganda, as well as trained by KTA staff on the ground once in Uganda. They will be required to fundraise for the position and will be paid a monthly stipend out of this amount. The assignment will last approximately six months with the option of extending upon approval from Know Think Act and Bringing Hope to the Family.”





Fall 2014 Internship applications : DEADLINE EXTENDED!

GREAT NEWS! The deadline for the Fall 2014 internship applications has been extended! The new deadline is Monday, July 7th!

We have done a little remodeling to our internship program and are excited for what this next internship season will look like!  We are now offering four different department focuses including: 

  • Marketing
    • We highly value the way we look and feel in the print + video world. Work with our team on design projects from brainstorming to implementation. Interns will design smaller projects on their own, and work with our freelance designers on larger projects (both web & print). Applicants with a working knowledge of Photoshop and/or adobe illustrator for the mac are preferred. 
  • Communications
    • You know what they say – communication is key. We’re all about expressing a message well and sharing the stories of the organization with as many people as possible through as many avenues as possible! This applicant needs to enjoy researching + brainstorming, and really love to think outside of the box. Proven writing and journalism skills and an online presence are a must.
  • Artist Community
    • We are honored to work with multiple partners in the local and national scene – from writers to speakers to musicians. This internship would involve the entire event process – from brainstorming through to implementation of an event with one of our community partners. Work alongside our Community Relations team, to equip and prepare our partners to use their platform & represent our organization well. This applicant should have experience in event management. Must be an organized self-initiator and a confident communicator, with the ability to multi-task.
  • Program Management
    • Our Africa Programs team works with our staff and partners across the continent of Africa to implement strategy and programs that fulfill the mission of our organization. This team environment works with community leaders in Africa implementing their community’s vision whether that means a water well or a primary school. This applicant should have a strong passion about the continent of Africa, be an organized self- initiator, and have an ability to multi-task through various projects. Any education in development or international relations is preferred.

If you haven’t yet, fill out the application and send it to if you would like to spend the Fall with us.  

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Mochatern Monday: 06.23.14

Happy Monday! This week marks the halfway point for summer here at Mocha Club. We cannot believe that we have already been here for six weeks, and we’re so sad to only have six or so left. But we’re excited to make the most of what we got!

This week has been a big week for merchandise orders – so for those of you expecting things in the mail… get excited! We love our merch, especially our super soft t-shirts that are definite must-haves. Wearing them is a cool way to show our hearts behind the Mocha Club mission through things like the I Need Africa campaign. Grab your own here!

Friday was also an exciting day around the office as we prepped for a show that night at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville with two of our Mocha Club artists, Jessica Campbell and Ernie Halter. When Mocha Club artists have shows or are on tour, we give them a bag full of Mocha Club materials to promote what we do and raise awareness. Getting to pack a bag for Jessica and Ernie was a blast, and the event on Friday was a total hit! There was an awesome turnout, and we all had a great time watching Ernie cover some solid 90’s R&B classics and hear Jessica blow everyone away with her voice.



Ernie Halter at 3rd and Lindsley


Jessica Campbell at 3rd and Lindsley

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Hannah + Claire sharing about Mocha Club at the table!


That’s all we have for now! Hope y’all enjoy the rest of your weeks – July is right around the corner!


Intern with the Mocha Club : Fall 2014

Summer is already half way through and although we enjoy this time of year, we are looking forward to the Fall season full of awesome colors, crisp air, and hot apple cider.  What are you looking forward to?




Come and intern with the Mocha Club this Fall in Nashville!  This is an unpaid internship that offers school credit to students interesting in learning more about the world of non-profits.  Our Fall semester internship runs from August 18th to December 5th and a minimum of 15 hours a week is required to participate.

Download an application and more information. (applications are due THIS Friday, June 20th)

If you have additional questions, send an email to intern [at]


NEW Mocha Club Artist Sponsor : SIDEWALK PROPHETS

We are so excited to announce that, this spring, we will be teaming up with Sidewalk Prophets as the newest Mocha Club artist sponsor!  These guys have traveled to Africa and have seen the work being done over there.  They share our heart for our partners in Africa and are dedicated to our Education projects.  Starting next week, they will be touring throughout the country sharing their music and heart for the Mocha Club.  Together with you, they will be sponsoring Education.  Join with Sidewalk Prophets & receive the new album, “Live Like That” FREE!


We are looking for volunteers to help work the Mocha Club table at each show!  Check out the dates below and email if you are interested!  Plus, you get into the show for free!

April 24th –  Massapequa, NY – Centerpoint Christian Church

April 25th – Lanexa, VA – Rockahock Campground

April 26th – Claremont, NH – Claremont Opera House

April 27th – Poughkeepsie, NY – Changepoint Church

April 30th – Port Neches, TX – Port Neches Riverfront Park

May 2nd – Salisbury, NC – Catawba College

May 3rd – Valdosta, GA – Valdosta Oaks RV Park

May 5th – Abilene, TX – Abilene Civic Center Arena

May 6th – Odessa, TX – New Life Church

May 7th – Plainview, TX – Harrel Auditorium

May 9th – Springdale, AR – Arvest Ballpark

May 10th – Marion, IL – Marion Cultural & Civic Center