Mocha Club is a part of African Leadership

Today, we’re eager to launch a new approach to sharing the stories of the African Leadership network of leaders that you have supported as a Mocha Club member. Our new website launched last week, giving you access to stories of lives transformed by the ideas and work of the network’s Country Directors, Teachers, Students, and Community Developers.  

When you see the new website, you might ask: “What’s the difference between Mocha Club and African Leadership?”  We want to answer that for you, especially as you begin to see more about the African Leadership network that you support as a Mocha Club member.  

Fifteen years ago, Mocha Club began as a way for anyone to support the men and women in Africa who were changing their communities – digging wells, teaching children, leaving women out of a life of prostitution.  That work happened as a result of a network of leaders and teachers through an organization called African Leadership. So, in short, you gave up a few mochas a month to make a tangible difference in the lives of so many Africans who are now equipped to better lead their communities.

Today, this network of leaders is growing and we don’t want you to miss any of the amazing stories coming out of African Leadership.  We truly believe that the way this network of leaders, teachers, students and community developers work together is the most effective and efficient way to spark change across the continent. They aren’t just teachers and preachers.  They are 70,000+ elementary education teachers, trauma counselors, community builders, healthcare providers and government leaders. 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll dive deep into the stories of the men and women who are part of the African Leadership network.  These first-hand accounts of what’s happening today are only possible because you became a Mocha Club member, and because more and more people will become Mocha Club members in the future.  So, while you still give as a Mocha Club member with just a small sacrifice out of your wallet, you’ll gain access to every new and exciting project that African Leadership is rolling out over the next few months. 

Meet the Mocha Club Journey 2019 team!

Our team is assembled, ready to head to Kenya, and we want you to meet them!  

As a quick overview, the team will spend time with our partners at New Dawn Educational Centre in Nairobi, Kenya and participate in their third annual Run For Hope! 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 members and 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.

First up, meet Kathryn:

Kathryn playing and loving on a girl from Blessed Camp.

I have now lived in Nashville almost 12 years (crazy!) after growing up outside of Atlanta and attending Auburn University!  I have always had a big heart and passion for helping others, which drove me to start being involved in mission trips and non-profits here in Nashville.  When I’m not playing with my niece and nephews and hanging with my family, you can find me on my porch with a good book, having a glass of wine with dear friends, or eating my way through Nashville’s amazing restaurants.  Last year I had the opportunity to travel with Mocha Club to Kenya to visit Blessed Camp and New Dawn School.  I am beyond honored to be able to go back this year!  I loved being present in their stories last year and can’t wait to see what this past year has brought them!  Having the chance to continue to help Mocha Club and myself continue to build these relationships is a dream!

Next up, meet Maggie:

I’m a native Nashvillian, raised in the Antioch neighborhood. I graduated from Hume Fogg Academic in 2005. I am the middle child of 5 kids and fell in love with Jesus in high school while serving others on a mission trips. After graduating college at UT Knoxville, I was blessed to work in home-visiting environments and empower low-income families in goal-setting. Now I’m a school counselor and get to use those same skills with students here in Nashville! I’m married with 3 kids and we love to play with our two dogs, Sally and Wendell. I’m a runner and love being outside. God has been so good to me. He teaches me something new each day. Life is a journey and He is constantly revealing himself to me. I am so grateful to be a part of Mocha Club’s work! I’m excited to see what He is doing in Kenya!

Now, meet Margaret Claire:

I moved to Nashville about almost 2 years ago, and I knew that when I moved here I wanted to get involved in non-profits and explore what international mission work could look like.  Last year I was on a run with a friend who was telling me about Mocha Club and its mission and the opportunity to serve abroad.  It has been on my heart since last summer to serve Mocha Club on this international experience, and I’m so excited to experience my fist mission trip abroad. I have loved being in Nashville and being part of a community that supports mission work and serving both locally and internationally.  Nashville is such a great community of people, great outdoor activities and there is always great music.  I can’t wait to get to know the mission and the community of Mocha Club even more.

And lastly, meet our trip leader, Fallon:

Fallon and Nancy from New Dawn School.

Hey friends! I’m so excited to be leading my third trip to Africa this summer! I officially joined the Mocha Club team in early 2013, but have been a long-time member and supporter. I’m a Michigan girl but living in Nashville for six years has made it home. I love dancing, baseball (Go Tigers!), and leftovers. As the Mocha Club Community Care Manager, my hope is to make your trip to Africa just one of the many ways you stay connected to the club!

Make sure to follow along on our travels by following the hashtag #mcjourney2019 here on the blog and on our socials.




How much do you know about South Africa?

Emily here.

There are few conversations I’ve had the privilege of having that spanned more topics, heart, and depth as this week’s conversation on our podcast Changing the Conversation. We were fortunate enough to spend the morning with our Country Director from South Africa, Allan Knowles. And we talked about everything from sports to politics, from failure to peace, and of course, coffee. 

Allan helped paint a picture of life in South Africa. While it’s nothing like much of the rest of the continent, South Africa too is marred by a painful struggle for independence and the challenges of living under the evil system of apartheid. There are parts of this remarkable country that beat with the same heart as its African neighbors and even our own country’s story: a passionate love of sports, children growing up amidst a changing political landscape, and how stereotyping our neighbor can drive a country apart.

I was struck at how often I resonated with things Allan was talking about and I hope you are too. It’s what I love about this podcast, it’s why we chose to create it. We are all unique. My story and background is not yours. But underneath so many parts of our circumstances and experiences are systems, questions, emotions, and hopes that we all commonly share. Amidst the many distinctions between the United States and the countries we work in across Africa, there is something profound about being human. Something we share in our DNA that invites us to know ourselves better by hearing the stories of our friends.

Being deeply vulnerable and courageous, Allan shared his story. One where he was raised in a developing South Africa – a country torn apart by apartheid and fear. It was into a world divided that Allan grew up in a 3-bedroom home with 9 children and 2 parents. It was a world that didn’t include interaction with another race or color until one day when a train stopped on the platform and Allan began to ask questions.

What I love about hearing Allan’s story is that out of vastly different experiences and upbringings, we often all experience similar emotions. As human beings, we can each learn how to create resilience from our story, and like Allan, find a way to reconcile our past and use that story to leave a legacy for the generation behind us. I hope you enjoy listening to this episode of Changing the Conversation as much as I did in sharing a podcast booth with Emily Hickey and Allan Knowles.

Meet Jerry

There is only one thing I regret from my 18 years working with African Leadership: that I didn’t get involved sooner.

My life back then probably looked a lot like yours — I went to work, came home to family, and was involved with our church. My days were fully engaged at The Southwestern Company, working to grow our company both in the U.S. and internationally, and in the process building character in young people. My free time was spent with my wife raising our children and trying to instill in them a sense of sharing and service. Friends of ours worked in Africa and when asked to donate to things they cared about, we did —it seemed to be an easy way to support the church and to model “giving back” to our children.

One year, a corporate incentive trip took me to Cape Town, South Africa. Our itinerary included safaris, relaxing and exploring the modern city…until a friend with African Leadership showed up at my hotel and asked me to come with him. We went to Khayelitsha, a slum packed full of makeshift dwellings that over a million South Africans called home. There I saw tremendous poverty and need, but I also saw what African Leadership was doing to address it. Leaders were being trained and developed. Community centers were being built and staffed. Children were being fed and provided daycare and schooling.

Later in the suburbs I met the National Director for pastor training. He was working with young people who desired to become more effective leaders for their churches and communities. They had been given the chance of a lifetime to gain a theological education they otherwise would have never received. In them, I recognized the young adults I worked with through The Southwestern Company — I saw the eagerness to learn, to better themselves, to grow into capable leaders. In myself I recognized I had something to offer them: the experience and skills acquired from so many years dedicated to building character in young people.

This realization was inspiring and impactful. In the years that followed, I used what I knew to help grow African Leadership and the Kingdom in Africa. And the more I gave, the more I got. I experienced the joy of serving; I gained cross cultural experience that in turn strengthened me professionally; and I made lifelong friends in Africa who are more like me than I would have thought, family oriented people who just want to live peacefully and improve the lives of their families and communities.

The strengths, skills and expertise I had to give, the assets you have to give, can have so much more impact than you can imagine, and getting started is as easy as knowing what you are good at. We are called to build the global church, but no church grows on money alone. It requires time and effort and wisdom and willingness to open yourself up to what the Lord might possibly say when you ask, “What do I have to give?” Responding honestly to this question led to one of the most rewarding experiences of my life — serving as the Chairman of the Board of African Leadership.

What do you have to give?

Let’s celebrate all of the impact in 2018!

Behind each and every donor that gives is the belief that the support you commit to each month can add up to make a big difference. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the big picture and hard to imagine how your gift is exactly impacting people and communities in Africa. Well, we want to assure you that you DO make a difference – and we want to celebrate the impact Mocha Club members had this year!

In 2018, Mocha Club members’ giving:

• Started community development courses in 2 South Sudanese refugee camps.

• Provided clean water for 90 Pygmy families in Rwanda.

Built a local board of directors for our program in Sierra Leone to ensure local ownership and direction.

• Expanded trauma healing training for local leaders in Ethiopia, reaching around 500 local leaders.

• Trained 20 South Sudanese refugee leaders in child trauma healing.

• Reached over 850 children in Congo through “Healing Clubs” that help them work through their trauma and play and bond with others like them.

• Provided jigger treatment to over 600 people living in a leper colony in Kenya.

Enrolled over 5,500 local leaders across the continent in our education program. 

• Took 11 Mocha Club friends to Africa with us to see their impact firsthand.

We can make an even greater impact. Would you join our community of change-makers? Join Today!

End of Year Opportunities

Join our community of change-makers as a monthly donor or make a one-time donation of $350 to educate a local leader for a year and get this coffee mug for free!



Give a gift in their honor! Donate to the Mocha Club in honor of someone you know & love. And we will send them a “Joy to the World” card sharing your gifted donation.



Make a purpose with your purchase and shop our store for the perfect gift for your friends and family. 100% benefitting Africa!



Make your Amazon purchase through our AmazonSmile account. Give that perfect gift and let Amazon donate to Mocha Club! Each purchase gives back.

This is Change in Uganda

Meet Geoffrey. He is another change-maker in this global community you are a part of through Mocha Club. For the last 20 years, he has fought tirelessly to see Uganda flourish from the inside out. Despite war, poverty, refugee crises, and abduction, Geoffrey passionately believes Ugandans can dream and develop a thriving country if they learn, work, and problem solve together. He is unwavering in his dream to see the next generation of Ugandans start from a more sustainable, stable, and successful place than he did.

He is playing the part he is uniquely made for and gifted to play. Geoffrey and his wife Jennifer are dedicated and tremendously gifted teachers. Remember your one teacher who was crazy about what they taught and their passion seemed to spill over to you? That’s Geoffrey and Jennifer! T hey use that passion and energy to push and encourage the next generation of leaders to dream and build thriving, sustainable communities.

Thank you for walking alongside men and women like Geoffrey and Jennifer. There are many roles in this international community and we couldn’t make this kind of impact without you.

Real, lasting solutions do have a secret sauce.

Real, lasting solutions do have a secret sauce – it’s the perfect mix of each change-maker playing his or her specific part. The beauty of lasting solutions is that every change-maker takes their seat at the table – a seat that their uniqueness has crafted them for, and forms a coalition – a band of brothers and sisters, a “we.” Easier said than done, right?

Solutions require people who will leverage who they are. They require individuals who will give what they have. They require folks who will use what they know. And they require courageous individuals who want to learn what they don’t know to fight the extreme poverty that exists in their community. Without ALL of them, solutions won’t last.

Mocha Club has been building a network of change-makers for almost 20 years. We know individuals who can give from their resources. We have partners with specific skills they are willing to leverage. We work with local leaders and change-makers who know the uniqueness of a community in rural Malawi or Ethiopia or Sierra Leone. We have thousands of individuals willing to help. We know leaders who have plans and dreams they are working on. We are building thriving communities all across the continent. Together.

So the secret to fighting extreme poverty in Africa is:

1. Sign up to be part of the solution.

2. Consider what specific role you have to play in this specific community.

3. Listen and honor the other change-makers at the table and build a sense of “we.”

4. Together, craft an appropriate solution for the priority at hand.

5. Work together to implement that solution.

6. Learn from what you’ve done and CELEBRATE the victory!


The beauty of this is that change-makers come in every shape and color. From every corner of the world. You are vital. So are the rest of the change-makers at the table – the widow in Africa, the community chief, the orphan care volunteer, the pastor of the church, the cheerleader on your left and the engineer on your right. Together, we change the world.

When we work together, each playing our role, we transform the world. Learn some more examples of where we have seen the international Mocha Club community have impact here.

Changing the Conversation: A new podcast!

You’ve heard us say before how much we learn from Africa. And we’re always looking for ways to share what we’ve experienced. So we’re excited to announce the launching of our podcast Changing the Conversation!

We believe the greatest asset we have is our love.  But how do we best love others? On our podcast, “Changing the Conversation”, we take time to explore a variety of topics to challenge our perspective in pursuit of better loving people and the world around us. We sit down with artists, writers, country leaders, CEOs and more to consider a different way of looking at a situation by taking the time to listen.

African Leadership Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to educating world-changing leaders all over the continent of Africa.  Mocha Club, an impact partner of African Leadership, focuses on creating a community of givers who can leverage their assets to support these leaders as they build healthy, more sustainable communities in Africa.

Episode 001: Why Are We Here?

Did you know there are 350 new podcasts launching EVERY DAY?! Emily Blackledge and Fallon Klug kick off the “Changing the Conversation” podcast by answering the question each new listener asks “Why are you here?” We hope that our common dreams of making the world a better place, our listeners will see these conversations as important & inspiring. Brought to you by African Leadership and the Mocha Club.

Listen here!

What really is the problem in Africa?

Extreme poverty affects 414,000,000 people in Africa. When you add war, drought, and refugee camps to this story, this problem becomes even more complex and overwhelming. As change-makers, we see this poverty as the villain and we want to fight. But how?

Poverty is complex. There are many reasons why it exists. There are many necessary interventions to eradicate it – like education, water, shelter and safety, healthcare, food, and jobs. There is no “one size fits all” solution. Because like you, each community has a unique history and set of circumstances. To leave a lasting impact on a community, you must learn and know that community. In order to eradicate extreme poverty, we have to work intentionally, community by community, dream by dream.

At Mocha Club, this is what we do. We interact with communities all across the continent and learn what makes them unique. We work intentionally with local leaders in these communities to hear their dreams of how they want to fight extreme poverty. And we join them in the fight.

Because real, lasting change starts with change-makers – both local leaders and people just like you. Men and women who explore ideas, resources and problems to enact creative solutions to the many faces of extreme poverty. And here’s the great news: the number of change-makers is greater than the number of people in extreme poverty. Every individual affected by poverty wants change – they are fighting this villain from the front lines. We are joining them in this fight. Together, we are bigger and stronger than 414,000,000!

Collectively, we have what it takes to fight extreme poverty; we’ve seen it. We know change-makers with specific skills, we’ve met local leaders who know their communities inside and out, we have friends with passion, conviction, and tireless enthusiasm for the fight. We are spread across the globe – in homes, villages, apartments and hostels. We are an international community of change-makers who leverage who we are, give what we have, use what we know, and learn what we don’t to fight extreme poverty and leave an impact we know will last across Africa.

So where do YOU fit in?

It may be taking a trip with us to hear from our local leaders directly and use your own unique skills to lend a hand. It may be leveraging your voice and social media to share about these leaders and their dreams with your family and friends. Or maybe it’s simply joining our giving community and supporting these leaders from right where you are.

Will you join our community of change-makers?