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annie

AFRICA NEWS, Education

Imagine Schools Without Computers.

Original story by Diane McCarthy and Teo Kermeliotis, CNN

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Can you imagine what today’s generation would do without computers? While we in the Western world have had this luxury for years, many children in Africa have not. Thanks to Ghana native Seth Owusu, this is slowly changing.

Seth Owusu came to the United States in 1991 from Ghana after being inspired by missionaries to help strangers. While in America, he created the Entire Village Computers Organization, a nonprofit that donates refurbished computers and delivers them to the developing world. Through this organization, he is using the power of technology to provide computer literacy to children who otherwise have access to none. So far, Owusu has been able to successfully refurbish and donate 233 computers all of which he has upgraded himself.

Through organizations such as this and projects like ours, change is slowly being seen throughout Africa.

“If we want to change the world, we have to start by changing the people who are going to be the world tomorrow, who are the kids.” –Seth Owusu

Beautifully said Seth Owusu. Beautifully said.

You can read the full story on CNN’s Africa Voices.

AFRICA NEWS

Modeling With Purpose

Original story by Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

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Imagine that you were a young girl living in the poverty and oppression in the ghetto of Nigeria. Next, imagine you are walking down a dirt road someone says to you, “Hey, you look like a model!” Flattering right? In a normal everyday circumstance in Nigeria, your only response would be to smile and keep walking. However, for native Nigerian Abigail Okoye, it did not end there. Her life was about to be turned around because on that very day there was a casting for models due to the diligent and passionate work of Caterina Bartolussi.

Italian designer Caterina Bartolussi has created a fashion label called Kinabuti inspired by Nigeria using their vibrant colors and traditions of Africa. Her passion is to bring fashion to the ghetto and “use fashion as an instrument for change in the region.” She chose 21 local girls to become models with her label and taught them the ins and outs of make up, hair styling, runway walking, and posing. These “Kinabuti girls” have been given the chance to have a better life because of this.

Isn’t it cool to see how someone else out there is using fashion to make a difference in Africa? It just goes to show that something as simple as a beautiful piece of fabric can make a difference in someone’s life.

You can read the whole story here.

 

HQ, MOCHATERNS

Meet the Spring Interns: Lynne

LynneMoody-Italy Name: Lynne Moody

Department: Artist Relations / Social Media

Hometown: There are 2 places that I call home. Tulsa, Oklahoma and Franklin, Tennessee.

University / Year / Major: Vanderbilt University; senior graduating in May 2012; double majoring in Spanish and Medicine, Health, and Society

Favorite place you’ve traveled: Palma de Mallorca, Spain. I lived there for 6 months in the spring of 2011. That was definitely the best (and longest) trip I have ever taken. Edinburgh, Scotland is a close second, though.

Hidden talent: I am a pro at developing black and white 35mm film and photos in a darkroom.

If you could have a pen pal, who would it be? I would like to have Frank Warren, the guy who runs PostSecret, as a pen pal. I feel like he truly knows the ins and outs of human emotion, and I would love to have direct correspondence with him.

Guilty pleasure: Gossip Girl and eating lots of desserts, especially cake and anything of the pumpkin variety.

Why are you excited about interning with Mocha Club? I am excited about this internship for many reasons but mostly for the opportunity to do work that helps people in need in Africa and to learn more about non-profit organizations.

. . . . .

Friends/family of Lynne: what are your thoughts? Why is Lynne perfect for this internship? Any weird habits we should be warned about? Leave a comment telling us about her!

HQ, MOCHATERNS

Meet the Spring Interns: Rachel

rachel Name: Rachel Galloway

Hometown: Snellville, Georgia

University / Year / Major: Belmont University, Class of 2013, Management

Favorite place traveled: Heidelberg, Germany

Hidden talent: As bizarre as this sounds, I can ride a horse backwards.

If you could have a pen pal, who would it be?: If I can pick an imaginary person, then Santa Claus would be an awesome pen pal. If not, then Lady Gaga. I think she would be incredibly interesting to hear from.

Guilty pleasure: I have way too many to count…Jonas Brothers, Twilight, any movie with Ashton Kutcher in it….

Why are you excited about interning with Mocha Club? I am excited to intern with the Mocha Club because I want to get the chance to be a part of something that is making a difference in the world. Everywhere you go, you see people hurting, and you feel like there is not a whole lot you can do about it. This is my chance to do something greater.

. . . . .

Friends/family of Rachel: what are your thoughts? Why is Rachel perfect for this internship? Any weird habits we should be warned about? Leave a comment telling us about her!

HQ, MOCHATERNS

Meet the Spring Interns: Kelsey

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Name: Kelsey Willman

Department: fashionABLE

Hometown: Chico, California

University/Year/Major: Belmont University, Junior, Social Entrepreneurship

Favorite Place I’ve Traveled: Antiqua, Guatemala

Hidden Talent: Interior Decorating

If you could have a pen pal, who would it be?: Amy Poehler

Guilty Pleasure: Going to pet stores to play with baby animals

Why are you excited about interning with fashionABLE?  Getting to work for such an awesome organization.

. . . . .

Friends/family of Kelsey: what are your thoughts? Why is Kelsey perfect for this internship? Any weird habits we should be warned about? Leave a comment telling us about her!

FROM THE FIELD, HIV/AIDS + Healthcare

You can play with AIDS.

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In 2011,  HEKO decided to prioritize prevention measures by focusing on health and nutrition education, care and support through the promotion of sports and youth risk free activities.

And in the last few months, HEKO has seen this focus on sports and education make great strides in the lives of the people they work with.

500 students were engaged in sports and youth friendly risk-free activities on HIV/AIDS education prevention and awareness.

50 peer educators were trained during 2011 to enhance their capacity to reach the other youth in the Most-At-Risk population on issues of HIV. They encouraged the youth that they met to access counseling and referral for testing on HIV status, sexually transmitted infections as well as education on reproductive health.

30 community social workers associated with HEKO carried out outreach campaigns. Sessions were held to elicit greater access and better utilization of HIV treatment by sharing information on how ART works, who qualifies, where it can be accessed and how to support adherence to ART. (ART is Antiretroviral Treatment.)

 

5 HEKO health and social volunteer workers transferred nursing care skills to caregivers of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) and also provided psychosocial support to PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS).

It is amazing to see the reach that $7 a month can make in the HIV/AIDS prevention and education projects!

AFRICA NEWS, CAMPAIGNS, Clean Water, FROM THE FIELD

The community helps.

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Our new clean water well partners in Ethiopia, EKHC, have an interesting way of getting the community to invest in the upkeep of the new well in their village.

According to their website, the EKHC drills about 40 boreholes each year and installs hand pumps to supply communities with clean water. Water levels vary across Ethiopia, and in some cases, it may be necessary to drill to a depth of 100m to find water.

If water is found and testing proves it to be good to drink, which has been the case in the areas we want to drill, the Water Department installs simple, strong hand pumps. The community contributes to the project by providing labor, to prepare the site or guard equipment.

After installation, people from the local community are trained and equipped with the necessary tools to carry out basic maintenance. More severe breakdowns are dealt with by an area maintenance team that has received more extensive training. Each household contributes a small amount of money per month into a fund to pay the pump caretaker and help with the cost of spare parts.

We love partnering with projects that not only provide for the community, but encourage the community to participate as well.

As “well” … see what we did there? [Clean water pun. Classic.]

Education, FROM THE FIELD

She didn't have a chance.

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We received this letter from one of the students at our orphanage in Zimbabwe. Nothing means more to us that hearing how just $7 a month from our Orphan Care members and artists can literally change the course of a life.

. . . . .

My name is Anita. I am a 23 year old female who had the privilege of being a beneficiary in the [Mocha Club] Orphans Programme.

The program reached out it’s helping hand at a time when much confusion and fear concerning the financing of my education was at the peak. I had just lost my father, who was the bread winner of our little family of four.

At the time I was waiting for my ‘O’ Level results, my sister was a second year student nurse and my mother was, and still is, a farmer. The loss of my father caused an upheaval in our everyday life and there was no means by which I could continue my education. This was in March 2008.

My mother did all she could but with my sister’s needs, it was hard for her to also help me achieve my educational goals. I also looked for work to try and ease the burden on her, but having only an ‘O’ Level Certificate I earned very little and could contribute little.

She appealed to Agrippa Dube [our Director in Zimbabwe] and he entered me into it at the beginning of this year. I have just recently completed my course in Marketing Management. I set for my finals and am confidently waiting for my results at the end of the year.

No words can explain the relief; joy and hope for the future that fills my heart as I write this. None can describe the gratitude for the chance the program gave me. Not only that, but I am also grateful to see the happiness on my mother’s face. I have a future now, something I had stopped hoping for. Thank you Mocha Club, God will bless your cause and all that help it reach people like me.

Thank you,

Anita

Education, FROM THE FIELD

Building blocks of education… made of steel.

We have waited, sometimes not so patiently, for this construction to get underway. After a long delay over a land dispute, we are finally building!

New Dawn Education Center in Kenya now has the makings of a new Resource Center. For the 160 students who attend high school there every day, this building will give them an area to study and a place where supplies and resources, such as computers, will be housed. It will also be used for group projects and classrooms.

You can check out our facebook album to see more pictures of the containers being moved in the correct places. As the Resource Center is completed and used, we will continue to update you with photographs and stories. Thanks to all the members and artists who support education, we are able to increase the resources, and increase the opportunities, for the students at New Dawn.

AFRICA NEWS, CAMPAIGNS, FROM THE FIELD

Famine relief update.

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The most severe drought in 60 years has been threatening the lives of more than 11 million people – especially young children – in the Horn of Africa. We set up a fund in the fall of 2011 to try to help these people in such a desperate time.

For every $6 that was donated, a family received a delivery of food and vital assistance for 1 month.

Thanks to the generous donations of Mocha Club members and friends, approximately 4,000 Kenyan families received much needed rations of food.

The intent was to give 4 kg (2 2kg packs) of maize flour and a 500g pack of cooking fat to each of 3,300 families. This is then cooked into the basic food staple called ugali in Kenya (a similar staple in other parts of Africa is called posho or sima).

You can read more about Ugali here.

For various reasons, in some locations fewer people were served than planned; in others, more people were served. In one location, the response was so overwhelming that our Kenyan director, in consultation with local church leaders, actually cut the rations in half to serve twice as many people.

You can see more pictures of the delivery of these emergency rations on our facebook page.

We will continue to identify emergency needs in Africa, make you aware of those needs, and do our best to meet those needs thanks to your kind hearts and generous donations.