"Youth Are the Hope of Africa – How Mocha Club Changes Lives in Nairobi" by Skiff


Kibera slum

by Daniel “Skiff” Skiffington

The most interesting part of travel is the people you meet along the way. Case in point—an Irishman on our flight to Nairobi. He spends most of the year in Kenya, sacrificing comforts of home to help those in need. We traded questions and travel experiences. But the focus of our conversation quickly turned to the gap between rich and poor. The Irishman told us of the shock he experiences each time he travels through Nairobi. In many neighborhoods, one side of the street houses wealthy members of society. Yet across the street (literally a stone’s throw away), the poorest of the poor are packed into small, wooden homes. Quite a contrast if you think about it: one side: mega-mansions, the other: slum homes surrounded by sewage. In many ways, the Irishman’s experience seemed unrealistic. Could a small road really separate two economic extremes? Turns out, the answer is yes.

Char and I experienced the gap between those who “have” and those who “have not” during our recent trip to a Mocha Club project, New Dawn School. Located on a hill overlooking the Kibera slum, the school is across the street from the most affluent area of Nairobi.  The employees of New Dawn work to close the poverty gap by educating students, 160 at a time. The hope is that students will be empowered to attend university and achieve a quality of life unimagined in a childhood of poverty. There are so many stories to share about the students and teachers at New Dawn. From the teenager who walks two hours each direction to attend school, to the administrator who works from sunrise to sunset to educate his students. The stories of hope and success are endless.

Ben at New Dawn School

Ben, headmaster at New Dawn School. He works with 160 students to break cyclical poverty.

New Dawn School is the subject of our first “webisode” from Africa. As I type this, Char is working to put together video of our time at the school. One of the highlights was meeting “Martin.” Martin lives just around the corner from New Dawn and is incredibly thankful for his education. While many kids want to be a doctor or lawyer, Martin wants to use his education to transform Kenya with positive music. I could go on forever telling you about him, but we will let him speak for himself in the video. Look for his story on the Mocha Club website tomorrow.

In the meantime, would you consider donating $7 a month to help Martin and the other students at New Dawn receive a proper education? Remember, it‘s only the cost of two mochas each month, and every little bit helps. Thanks, and we’ll talk to you soon.

The Mocha Club Experience: Starting November 1, 2009, Seattle Pacific University recent graduates Daniel “Skiff” Skiffington and Charlie “Char” Beck visit all of Mocha Club’s current projects in 7 countries and take Mocha Club supporters and friends on a three-month virtual adventure to experience real life in Africa.  Stay tuned for regular updates!

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  • Reply Martin: Songwriter With A Dream « Mocha Club Blog November 6, 2009 at 9:33 am

    […] Martin who was introduced to us yesterday through Skiff and Char on The Mocha Club […]

  • Reply Leann O'Neill (Mrs. O) November 8, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I am thrilled to hear of this project you are doing! I don’t do all the Facebook, Twitter stuff but I’ll follow the website and videos with great interest and awe! Just seeing your pictures and reading your journaling makes me smile and warms my heart! My thoughts and prayers will be with you and all those whose lives you touch! What an amazing man you have become! Your fifth grade teacher is very proud!

    Much love,
    Mrs. O

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