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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!

Mochatern Monday : Welcome Maddie + Ellie’s Run 2015!

Well, my first week at Mocha Club is officially over and it has been awesome so far! I jumped on board at an excellent time: the week before the 11th annual Ellie’s Run. From my first day in the office last week, I got to help out preparing things for the run, from filling race packets, to organizing the volunteer and runner shirts, to preparing signs to hang around the race site. The work that has gone into this one event is incredible and everybody on the team is so invested in making it the best it can possibly be and I’m so glad I got to be a tiny part of it.

For those of you who don’t know, Ellie’s Run started back in 2004 when Ellie Ambrose of Nashville, Tennessee wanted to help children in Africa upon seeing photos of their living conditions. She was immediately moved and wanted to do something. Enter Ellie’s Run for Africa. An event that has raised over $500,000 for Mocha Club’s educational partner, New Dawn in Nairobi, Kenya and has provided the opportunity for thousands of children attend school.

Race day came and went and it was a huge success! Even though it rained for almost the entirety of the event, everyone looked to be having an absolute blast, kids and adults alike. There was a kids’ zone with inflatables and face painting, tents supporting Mocha Club, ThriftSmart, and fashionABLE, the Well Coffeehouse was providing coffee, and there was even a popsicle stand. A group of yogis led the runners in a short yoga exercise before they ran some African music and dancing- courtesy of Sankofa African Drum & Dance- to close the race. Despite the rain, there were some very impressive race times.

Congratulations once again to our overall winners: Joseph Elsakr and Jennifer Huang. And a big thank you to every single person who came out in support of Ellie’s Run, and thank you for helping Mocha Club raise $25,000 for New Dawn in Nairobi. Mocha Club couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.

Since Ellie’s Run has ended, the office will probably quiet down a bit, and continue to buzz with excitement about how well the race went. I’m sure that the rest of the summer will be just as exciting as this first week has been- full of life, love, and positivity.

At this point, I figure you would probably like to know a little about one of the voices you’ll be hearing from through the summer, so, without further ado:

Name: Maddie Murphy
Department: Marketing
Hometown: Columbus, Georgia
University / Year / Major: Belmont University / Junior / Marketing
Favorite place? Definitely the beach.
Walk up song? Keep Your Eyes Open by needtobreathe
Nashville bucket list? I’d love to randomly run into Taylor Swift or Hunter Hayes around town. And take a picture with the “I Believe In Nashville” sign.
How do you take your mocha [coffee]? I like Mocha Frappuccino’s from Starbucks… (I’m actually not much of a coffee person… Maybe that will change!)
Guilty pleasure? Watching cat videos on YouTube, with my cat.
Why are you excited about interning with Mocha Club? I am excited to work for an organization that I have been passionate about and following for about five years now and be involved in a more hands-on way. I am also excited about the opportunity to leave my mark on Mocha Club by assisting in Marketing projects, as well as the intern project. Being able to work for an organization that inspires me each and every day is something I am looking forward to.

As you can see, I’ve already checked one thing off on my Nashville bucket list- to take a picture with the “I Believe In Nashville” sign!

You can keep up with me (and the other mochatern once she joins me next week!) over on Twitter @mochatern for a more daily update of all things Mocha Club and intern life.

Have a great week and I will see you next time for another #mochaternmonday!

“Wrecking my definition of charity…in a lovely way.”

Sometimes in the act of doing good, we lose sight of what it is we are accomplishing. We supply funds, we raise awareness, we bring solutions. It’s easy to distance ourselves from the personal and the dynamic nuances of the situation.

This week held a needed reminder when John Ambrose, a long-time volunteer, and Phil Renicks, our chief education officer, spoke at the office devotional. The way they spoke about Ellie’s Run for Africa and New Dawn Educational Centre hit me with a fresh view of giving to causes. It wrecked my previous definition of charity in a lovely way.

Phil shared a story of a New Dawn student he had the privilege of meeting back in 2009. Lucy Kamau Kamwende has a history that unfortunately can resonate with too many around the globe. She finished primary school, but her parents were unable to send her to secondary school because of finances. Lucy made her way to Nairobi to live with an Aunt and Uncle where she worked as a domestic in several different homes, each time facing unmentionable abuse. She heard of New Dawn and was admitted, despite the years of absence from school.


Lucy at New Dawn!

When Lucy came to New Dawn, she was battered and shy. She met Phil as a participant in a focus group interview aimed at evaluating the school program.  He asked her what changes she would make to New Dawn if she had the power. Her response? To provide dorms for the girls so that she could be safe. A dorm opened soon after, and provided Lucy with a safe home for the first time in years. She began thriving in her studies and in her personal growth. Lucy went from a victim of abuse to graduating near the top of her class, elected to be head girl her senior year, and a chosen speaker for the dedication of a new classroom building.

Lucy is now in her second year at Kenyatta University with a 3.5 GPA. She has a sponsor to provide the funding that she needs for her tuition, room and board.  As for her future? Lucy wants to return to New Dawn as a teacher of Kiswahili and Religious studies.  In the words of Phil, “New Dawn is developing young men and women who are not only desirous of an education and to get out of the slums to better themselves, but are desirous to get back in. They have an attitude of ‘we’ve been given to, so we want to give back.’”

 I used to have a skewed definition of what it meant to give in charity/ I saw it as throwing money at a problem or giving once, then moving on. But there is so much more to it than that. To me, charity is the choice to be actively gracious with whatever it is you’ve been given.  I see this in Lucy, who was given the gift of education and wants to pass it on. It is not simply a one-time donation, but an ongoing effort to be invested in the good of others. Charity is friendship driven and culture crossing and impacting one person at a time. It is always being at the ready to stand up and help. For the sake of grace. For giving others what they would otherwise not have- whether that be an education, clean water, or intangible but life-altering hope. This type of impact takes commitment and building relationships. Those we impact are not just a name, not simply a kid in a picture. We are working for a heartbeat and a story and a history and a future. We are giving for a family like ours on the opposite side of the world. It’s not just giving money. It is life-changing relationships. To me, that’s my new definition of charity.

Author: Maddy Harper

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Mocha Club.

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


Last week at the Influence Conference in Indianapolis, we revealed our new product for the Fall to all the bloggers and influencers…the “Giving Is Lovely” tee!

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This flowy-style raglan tee is perfect for a comfy fit for a casual day or dressed up with some accessories for a dinner out!  Designed by the oh-so lovely, Lindsey Letters, “Giving Is Lovely” represents exactly what Mocha Club is all about: giving.  What a lovely thing.



This tee is available in the Apparel section of the Mocha Club store, available for $28! Want it for FREE? Join the Mocha Club at $18/month and we’ll send one to you as a THANK YOU!



Influence Conference THIS WEEKEND!

We are gearing up, packing up, and pumping up for the Influence Conference happening next week in Indianapolis with the founders and some of our favorite bloggers, Jessi Connolly and Hayley Morgan!


Influence Conference has been happening annually for three years and Mocha Club has been part of this amazing three day event from the beginning. They just published the 2014 conference : Influence Magazine and we are thrilled to be part of it. The women and organizations featured in this publication are inspiring and we honored to be shared alongside them.  Sign up for the newsletter here: to be sure to get your copy tomorrow afternoon! 


I Need Africa vv. 004 : GROW

Since we launched the “I need Africa” 2.0 campaign a year ago, we’ve been pulling out quotes from the INA story to highlight as themes, to focus on the glorious truths that Africa gives us.
First, it was PEACE — with the launch of the Pocket Tee and fashionABLE INA scarf.  Then, it was LOVE — with the “Love is Sovereign”mug and Pocket Tote. Then it was JOY – when we partnered with Miriam Designs to create a “joy” necklace.

Now, we are excited to GROW


beautiful photography by Madeline from Harper Photography [ harper ]

What’s the product?! We are so excited to announce a collaboration with our very dear friend Jessi from Naptime Diaries to design this two set journal bundle!  These journals are exclusive to Mocha Club and can be purchased in the MC store separately for $8 each or together for $14. 


photography by Madeline from Harper Photography


OR you can get it free by joining MC (or inviting a friend to join your team!).*
We find that the more we continue to give to Africa, the more we receive, and we want to continue to challenge the perception that Africa needs only our pity and charity, and instead seek to reveal the truth that its people have much to offer.  And we want to GROW in that knowledge and share it with others.

Click below to watch the INA video and learn more about the heart behind what we do at Mocha Club…

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*Limit 2 free items per person, per collection.
*If you have questions about inviting and your unique personal URL, email us at info(at)
*Once you (or your friend) join, you’ll receive an email giving you instructions on how to get your free stuff!

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.”




New Purpose Project : PikiPiki Safari

Today launches a new Purpose Project for the next month : PikiPiki Safari.  Our very own, Curtis is the Chief Community Officer for Mocha Club and is excited to lend his skills and passion in a whole new way.


 PikiPiki Safari (Pikipiki = Swahili for motorcycle / Safari = a journey)  If he reached his goal, he will take a motorcycle adventure and ride from Nashville, TN to Cherokee, NC, then ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive up to Front Royal, Virginia. Along the way he will be sharing the impact Mocha Club is having in Africa, with individuals, churches and groups of friends.

“I love adventure. My Mom often reminds me that my first word as a baby was, “go” and that is what I’ve done ever since. With a love for travel, new things and a desire to always learn, my wife, Wendy and I have traveled the world and have taken some amazing adventures together.

In 2010 I visited Africa for the first time. Uganda, Dominican Republic of Congo and Rwanda were on the agenda. It is in those places that I saw first hand how not only are their unspeakable tragedies which have occurred in the past, but also current needs and in addition to a joy within people which only Christ can bring. Yes, I saw joy, excitement and hope. 

Upon my return to the US from this first trip there grew an ever-increasing passion to become an advocate for investing in the lives of African’s and also a spark in the grand future of Africa as a whole. This is why I have not only partnered with Mocha Club, it has become my vocation and now, my personal Purpose Project. I cannot sit day by day working to invest in African’s servant leaders without asking my friends, family and acquaintances to do the same.”

His goal is to raise $2,000 to support our community leaders all across the continent; like the Women at Risk program. The Women at Risk program reaches out to these women and comes along side of them, not only to provide counseling but job training and then job opportunities in order to provide for themselves and their family. I’ve seen first hand the results of this program and know it is working. 



Follow along >> Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Read more on Curtis’ website and head over to his Purpose Project page to donate what you can! As always, small sacrifices make a big impact, will you help us support these women?

Giving is Lovely

Back in May, we had the awesome #KenyaMocha live stream and you all joined Annie and the team to raise money for our teachers at New Dawn! As a thank you, Jessi + Lindsey designed a one-of-a-kind print and anyone who joined Mocha Club that night had a chance to be the winner of the original art piece.

Congratulations to Shannon! She was our lucky recipient of this beautiful canvas.



“I first heard about Mocha Club at the Influence Conference in 2012. Having several friends participate in Purpose Projects, I began following the organizations work more closely. The more I learned, the more I was excited about their commitment to Africa. Seeing Annie Downs, who I also heard at the Influence Conference a year later, partner with Mocha Club sealed the deal for me.

I live in Washington DC, one of the nation’s worst public education systems. I partner with an education focused organization here in DC helping to mentor and tutor underserved children. Seeing this issue first hand has made me realize not only how great the need is, but what a tremendous impact each small contribution can make. When Annie Downs asked people to join her in supporting the New Dawn Education Centre, it was a no brainer. Yes! I want my money and time to support education across the globe, because education changes generations.” 

Giving is lovely. Thank you all for giving each month and impacting so many lives in Africa.