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AFRICA NEWS, Education, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, Orphan Care

War, poverty…and thriving?

War and poverty have written much of Congo’s story.

But there’s a church in the countryside taking back the narrative. They are rewriting their story as that of a thriving community.

How? Your everyday generosity allowed Pastor Jean to dream of a new reality for the children in his community. Then you gave him the chance to learn how to make it happen.

Your support of Mocha Club helps equip local leaders like Pastor Jean.

What was this community like before? Pastor Jean explains, “I saw in the streets many kids. Children filled our church every morning. Some wept. They’d never smile and would get aggressive. Joy was missing and it was difficult for me to see. I tried to help them, bring joy to them with songs and dances, but it was not enough.”

Pastor Jean dreamt of helping the children in his community, but he didn’t know how.

 Thanks to you, he received training in child trauma-healing. He learned how to help children thrive despite the trauma around them.

“It was a blessing. It opened my mind and made me strong in this ministry, which is not only a pillarto my church but that will help many children in this place. We’ve become friends with these kids and have helped them commit their lives and pains to Jesus who can take care of us. Now I know the trauma these children live with and how to lead them. Now they can get healing in my church, in my family, and in our environment.”

In a place where thriving seems impossible, Pastor Jean is changing the storyline. His church has become an agent of change for traumatized children, a place where the next generation can heal and grow and thrive together.

He has been the difference to his community, and you have been the difference to him. Together, we are building Africa’s dreams.

AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, Uncategorized

Learning your A-B-C-Ds…

We sat down with Mocha Club President, Emily to discuss the strategy of how Mocha Club educates local leaders in Africa & it’s all about your A-B-C-Ds:  Asset-Based Community Development. Through many years of working with African friends, we have seen (and learned) how powerful it can be when you look at what you have instead of what you lack. And it’s a good way to look at life, in general!

Read along with our conversation with Emily…

How do you use asset-based community development to think holistically?

Asset based development starts with what you have instead of what you lack. It’s a perspective, a mindset, a way of thinking about the world and your place in it. This mindset creates a positive posture from which to approach any topic or situation. And its open-ended question of “what do I have?” naturally allows you to explore answers from multiple angles. Not only do you create a list of things you know intellectually, but you also use your passions as strengths and consider what you can do with your hands. This question and mindset allows you to bring all of yourself to a situation or  problem and create the most holistic response.

Why focus on assets instead of problems?

Both are important. Problems arise by knowing where you want to go and what stands in your way to getting there. Equal to the creation of progress is knowing what you have to work with. “Assets” is just a fancy word for what you have. So when we choose to focus on what we have instead of what we lack, we can begin to see where we currently are and all the avenues for moving forward. It propels progress. Progress brings development – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

What transformation happens in a community when you start to look at what you have instead of what you lack?

Positivity. More than anything else, when you start a conversation with what you have – you begin on a positive note. This alone can help spur progress and development. Just like all elements of confidence and assurance, when you look at your surroundings and can see something positive – or at least start with something positive, you invite progress and development. When you consider the circumstance from all of your assets – you think holistically about the circumstance – you often notice elements of yourself or those around you that you might have missed otherwise. That knowledge can bring transformation.

Where can ABCD be used outside of a community in Africa? (relationships, self care, school, etc.)?

YOU can use this concept of asset based in anything – your relationships, yourself, your job. I am always shocked where I find it. For example, I was recently reading a course book on trauma counseling where they spoke specifically about using asset based tests to work with their clients on what they have to bring to their circumstances, not only focusing on their need or lack or trauma. I’ve talked with college students about using ABCD when determining how to split up a group project. Wouldn’t you rather ask the person who LOVES numbers to be in charge of the budget or numbers doc than the person who can write sheet music?! And with children – it works really well to build self confidence to start with what they can do and what they love to do than what they are struggling with in school. How do you work with what you have to solve the issues that keep you from getting to where you want to go.

AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

Using Your Gifts to Make a Difference

It’s easy to feel helpless when it comes to the bigger problems in the world. You may look around and see all that’s wrong, and want to help, but feel unsure of where or how to begin. You may even dream up a solution, and then your brain interrupts…but I don’t have x, y, or z, so I can’t. You may think you lack what you need to make a difference. That’s a normal thought.

But it’s not true. Through asset-based community development, you can make a difference right where you are.

What’s asset-based community development?

Asset-based community development is working with what you have, rather than being hindered by what you lack.

A community in Africa might lack clean water. The multitude of issues that arise from that one problem — water borne diseases, girls missing school to gather water, and more — make it seem even more complex to address. Installing a clean water well is expensive and time consuming, creating an overwhelming hurdle for many African communities.

However, asset-based community development allows you to look at these problems in a new way.

In Africa, our leaders are trained to look for their assets first. When you partner with Mocha Club leaders, you help this important work happen. Leaders may find they have a community member trained in water engineering, or maybe they discover easy access to piping, or are able to connect with a local storeowner willing to donate a water tank. By educating community members on the direct benefits of clean water, many may volunteer their labor. Leaders may even find that stones, sand, and construction tools are all readily available locally.

Little by little, you help a practical and doable solution take shape.

This is how Mocha Club operates all our programs. You may see poverty around the world and think, I don’t have the money or the time it takes to make a difference. But what might be possible when you consider your assets?

Do you have a passion to help others and the determination to follow through? Do you have some spare change you can set aside during the week? What specific gifts do you have that can be used to tackle poverty? Do you have friends who can combine their efforts with yours?

You are uniquely gifted to make a difference.

So, what would happen in your world if instead of getting stuck in …but I don’t have x, y, or z so I can’t, you reframed your thinking to …I have a, b, and c, so let’s get started?

Consider your assets. You may find you’re closer to making a difference than you think.

Not a member of the Mocha Club giving community?
Join Today!

HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

Will you be my neighbor?

Everyone has a story. And in each individual’s story, they are their own hero – the central figure to their story.

In a neighborhood, to find out what the problems are or the solutions can be, the best way to do that is to listen to the stories of those already in the community. With time, as you build

relationship, trust is given and respect is built. Then, there comes a time where asking questions and offering ideas adds value to the task at hand. But for starters, listen!

Because like it or not, our neighbors are a part of our “we.” The people that live around my house, the colleagues that share my office space, the men and women, boys and girls that go to my church are a part of my community. And I believe there is value in every human being. So the value and strength of my community is directly tied to the people and potential that exists in each of the individuals there. By not knowing them, I can’t know what value, what beauty, what assets they bring to the community.  And when the whole is only as great as the sum of its parts, then the whole suffers when the assets of the individuals are not recognized and used. So – get to know your neighbors!

AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES, Women at Risk

Are you listening?

Quick – think of a country dealing with trauma.

Where is it? Probably somewhere there is war. Somewhere the trauma is tangible and palpable. The kind of place you hear about on the news. Right?

That wouldn’t be wrong. But your mochas helped us address trauma in peaceful Malawi.

Why? Because when we listened to our Malawi Country Director, Leonard, here’s what we heard:

“Gender-based violence is a big problem in Malawi. Probably around 40% of women and children face it. It retards development – women are not willing to take up leadership positions because they are filled with fear due to trauma that results from gender-based violence. Many girls are being raped by those who are supposed to protect them and remain quiet for fear of reprisal, resulting in poor performance in school and dropping out. It is taboo to talk about in the public. Right now there are many women and girls dying in silence. Most people have not reached a point of gathering courage to report these matters to police.  

So what we are doing now is helping fellow Malawians by training and equipping pastors on trauma issues so they are able to assist those who are traumatized. The good news is that people in Malawi trust pastors and church leaders most and are able to share their secret stories with them. We also are encouraging pastors to break the silence in their churches by talking about issues of gender-based violence. Trauma-healing isn’t only needed in war torn countries like South Sudan and Congo. It is needed everywhere.” 

40%. Can you imagine almost half the women and children you pass by today experiencing this kind of abuse? Would you have imagined that you had the power to affect change for them? Because that’s what you did.

Mocha Club believes that change is possible and it starts with investing in the right people. By helping one person lead well, you can help an entire community prosper. So we listened to Leonard, who was hearing a very real need in his community – and that’s how you, Mocha Club member, paved the way for local leaders in Malawi to learn how to listen, respond, and offer safety in instances of gender-based violence.

Haven’t joined the Club yet? For less than $1/day you can educate world-changing leaders to build healthier, more sustainable communities in Africa — just like the ones in Malawi combatting gender-based violence. Join us today.

JOIN US.

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

MOCHA CLUB JOURNEY 2018 : RUN FOR HOPE

Have you ever dreamed of running a race in Africa? Do you have a heart to serve others around the world? Do you love to meet new people around the world?

Join our team for the Mocha Club Journey 2018 trip – Run for Hope!


This summer we are headed to Kenya!  We will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre  in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their second annual Run For Hope 5K! All proceeds from the race help support operations and send kids to school at New Dawn. We will also be visiting another Mocha Club partner, Action Ministry and their founder, Peter Ochiel who serves a leprosy community in Ukunda. Our trips provide an opportunity for Mocha Club members and their friends to visit Africa and witness firsthand how giving to Mocha Club & supporting local leaders creates thriving communities, while having a chance to serve the African people.

  • Dates: August3- August 13, 2018 (dates could vary 1-2 days on each side, depending on flight availability)
  • Cost: $3,700 – 4,000 (depending on single or double room occupancy)
  • Trip Book & Application: Click here!
  • Interested? Email fklug(at)themochaclub.org. We will follow up with details! But don’t wait too long… space is limited! 

<< APPLY TODAY>>

(or download the application & mail in):

Mocha Club
P.O. Box 25266
Nashville, TN 37202


Meet Your Trip Leader:


Fallon officially joined the Mocha Club team in Nashville in early 2013, but has been a long-time member and supporter.  As the Mocha Club Artist & Member Care Manager, she’ll make sure your trip to Africa is just one of the many ways you stay connected to the club! Fallon loves dancing, baseball (Go Tigers!), and leftovers.

HQ, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

What’s the first step in caring for someone else well?

The first step in caring for someone is to listen to them.

Without attuning to someone, you are moving toward them with your own expectations, assumptions, and perspective. It is only when I stop, quiet my own perspective, and listen to what they are saying and not saying that I can care for them well.

Consider a small child, their cry might be for food or a diaper change or some attention. Only when the care giver is turning their whole attention to the child can they ascertain what the child is really crying for.

So to care well for one another, we must tune in – attune – listen to the person in front of us. At its core, it’s the dignifying response to a person asking to be known by another.

Emily Blackledge, Mocha Club President

AFRICA NEWS, FROM THE FIELD, HQ, INSPIRATION

Who do your mochas support?

Now that you know the how, why, and where of Mocha Club — who do your mochas support?

Mocha Club works with local leaders. We believe they are in the best positions to know the needs of and effect real change in their communities. So we work through education, offering these leaders the tools to identify, address, and fulfill the needs of their communities.

Who are some of these leaders?

They are Budete in Rwanda, coordinating cooperatives with women living with HIV/AIDS to grow their financial security and independence.

They are James in a South Sudanese refugee camp, who adopted three orphans after they showed up to the camp without families.

They are Denis in Congo, working to address the trauma children in his community have experienced.

They are Richard in Uganda, who started a nursery and primary school for children whose parents were abducted by rebels.

They are Chipiliro in Malawi, starting an orphan feeding program through his local church, as well as a nursery school and Bible study for HIV+ women.

They are Henry in South Africa, ministering to and mentoring alcoholics in the townships.

There are over 60,000 graduates of our education program – leaders just like these — across the continent, over 5,000 currently enrolled. Your mochas are providing an education that gives them a framework to turn these dreams into real and sustainable change in their communities. And that’s just what they are doing.

HQ

Where do your mochas go?

We’ve told you how your mochas are put to work and why your mochas matter, but where do your mochas go?

Mocha Club works in 11 countries across Africa – Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

In each of these countries, Mocha Club works through local leaders. Each year, our local Country Directors create their own strategic plans, evaluating where in their countries to focus. Through listening surveys and situation analyses, they choose communities in which to offer our education program, teachers to teach it, and students with the most potential for using this education to effect real and sustainable change in their spheres of influence.

Some of those “wheres” are refugee camps.

Some are rebuilding after years of war.

Some are struggling with poverty, injustice, famine, or fear.

Some are communities just like yours and mine, learning how to flourish in the midst of circumstances and struggles unique to their locale.

But because of your mochas, all of these “wheres” are gaining the benefit of local leaders better equipped to tackle their communities’ most pressing challenges.

Want to see Mocha Club at work in one of these places? We’re going to Kenya this summer – come with us! Details here. Email Fallon for more information: fklug@themochaclub.org.

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. It’s 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