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INSPIRATION

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

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.

AFRICA NEWS, Featured, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

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!

AFRICA NEWS, Economic Freedom, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

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?

FROM THE FIELD, INSPIRATION, Orphan Care

This is change in Congo

Meet Denis. He is one change-maker in this global community you are a part of. For the last 20 years, he has worked to better the lives of orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Amidst war, chaos, and trauma, he remains unwavering in his commitment to affect real and sustainable change in his corner of the world.

He is passionately playing the part he is uniquely made for and gifted to play. Denis is a wonderful example of what’s possible when this community of change-makers leverages who we are, gives what we have, uses what we know and learns what we don’t to leave a lasting impact.

Thank you for walking alongside men and women like Denis. There are many roles in this international community and we couldn’t make this kind of impact without you. As Denis so fiercely states: “We have to help the others. We have to work for the others who do not know.”

Thank you for helping Denis and others like him work for those who do not know.

HQ, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

You are one of the greatest ways to change the world

At Mocha Club, we believe you are one of the greatest ways to change the world and fight extreme poverty. Because you have assets that no one else does. The things you’ve learned, the things you love, the experiences you’ve had are all resources you can use to better the world around you. We’ve seen people just like you transform their communities and create lasting impact. And we believe that the more friends who are willing to be a part of this international community of change-makers, the bigger the reach of real and sustainable change we can create across Africa.

But instead of telling you about how valuable your role can be, it’s easier to show it to you…

Mocha Club is an international community of change-makers who:

  • Leverage who we are
  • Give what we have
  • Use what we know
  • Learn what we don’t

To fight extreme poverty and leave an impact we know will last across Africa. 

Will you join our community of change-makers?


We want to learn more about you and your unique value! If you fill out the following survey, we can update you on places and opportunities we learn about where you can use your skills to change the world. And we’d love to send you a free magnet so don’t forget to include your mailing address! Don’t worry, we’ll take care not to barrage your inbox or mailbox!

Take our short survey!

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA NEWS, AFRICA TRIPS, CAMPAIGNS, Education, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

#MCJourney2018 : meet Allison!

We are excited to introduce you to another person on our Mocha Club Journey 2018 team! 

Up next…

Meet Allison!

I’m thrilled to be heading to Kenya and I wish I could take all of you with us! I have been a Mocha Club member for 9 years and have loved learning the stories of our friends in Africa and hearing about their generosity, creativity, and ingenuity as they build schools, educate kids, and so much more. When I visited Kenya in 2009, I was inspired by many people (see ancient blog posts here from MC projects in Kitui and Nairobi) but felt especially connected to the students at New Dawn because of their courageous personal stories. As a MC volunteer, I helped raise funds for them for many years with friends in Nashville, and I’m so excited to visit them again and walk in classrooms and talk with teachers.

More about me… I’m the Managing Director of the Nashville Office of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We fundraise to support St. Jude’s mission of finding cures and saving children through wonderful volunteers, corporate partners, and brilliant committees who host dinners, concerts, marathons, radio-thons, walks, golf tournaments, a rodeo, and much more. When I’m not working, I love yoga, cooking, gardening, and walks with friends in my Nashville neighborhood. I was also recently described as “A Nashville food blogger without the blog,” because I love trying new restaurants and always have a new favorite.


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is 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.

**If you would like to donate – either to Allison’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Allison’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, Education, EVENTS, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES

#MCJourney2018 : meet Angel!

It’s time to introduce another team member who is joining the Mocha Club Journey 2018! 

Up next…

Meet Angel!

I am a singer songwriter/humanitarian/ substitute teacher currently residing in Nashville. I’m touring and also following my heart to serve others all over the world.

It’s not often that I’m not playing music and writing songs but I also have my hands full in other areas as well! I love my kids when I’m substitute teaching. I also adore acting and writing short stories. Books and running a 5K is also part of my many interests. My quiet time is gold and meaningful conversation is why I was put on the planet. Traveling and doing work with people from all walks of life is a priority as well as spending time with family and friends who I would be lost without.  I am so excited to be serving the people of Mocha Club this August and walking the path of the life God has for me!! What a gift.


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is 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.

**If you would like to donate – either to Angel’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Angel’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student

#mcjourney2018, AFRICA TRIPS, Education, FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, MOCHATERNS

#MCJourney2018 : meet Kathryn!

T minus one month and we will be heading out on the Mocha Club Journey 2018! And we want you to meet the team!

Up first…

Meet Kathryn!

I have now lived in Nashville almost 11 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.  Having been involved with Mocha Club through Ellie’s Run, I am beyond excited to go on this adventure with Mocha Club and these ladies.  I feel extremely blessed to be able to learn from the incredible people of Kenya and play a small role in supporting Mocha Club’s mission!


The Mocha Club Journey 2018 team is 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.

**If you would like to donate – either to Kathryn’s trip or to sponsor a New Dawn student – click the links below!

       Sponsor Kathryn’s trip                                                         Sponsor a New Dawn student

 

FROM THE FIELD, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION, PERSPECTIVES, Uncategorized

How Tito Is Love

Tito is our South Sudan Country Director. Although he has spent most of his life surrounded by war, Tito maintains an incredible capacity to love others. Here he explains what compels him to do so.

“We are truly the generation that can make history and it starts with us leading the way by not being selfish. The more you empower others and embrace team and mentoring – I guarantee, you will manifest more opportunity than you can handle.” –Gerard Adams

Fifteen years after hearing this, Gerard Adams’ message still rings in my head. I know with the knowledge God has given me I can become an agent of change. I know church leaders can be the source of hope and peace for my country.

As a college student in Kenya, I would periodically go back to South Sudan. I saw church leaders waiting for relief, waiting for someone else to make a difference – this I strongly disagreed with. Our motivation is supposed to be the love of God, but people were waiting to be given rather than giving. That was the state of the church I wanted to see transformed.

This compels me to be part of changing the situation.

I realized that sharing Christ through your own life, way of living, what you do, your business – in relation to all the difficulties South Sudanese are going through at the camps and villages, you can still be able to give hope. If you do this with integrity, peace can be realized in our communities, churches, and the country at large.

It is all the product of love.

The money you give in love has an effect – it has blessings on both sides and can actually change lives. What friends and donors have given in love has enabled us to train about 4,000 church leaders since 2004.

From being a student seeing a lot of need to taking action, I found peace and can now see hope in South Sudan.


Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give or volunteer? How have you been loved? Share your story with us online – hashtag #LovedPeopleLovePeople & #mochaclub and we’ll send you a Mocha Club sticker!

AFRICA NEWS, I NEED AFRICA, INSPIRATION

Loved people love people

Loved people love people
A note from Mocha Club President Emily Blackledge.

 I often get asked why I do this work…why Africa?

My answer is simple: loved people love people. And for me, that answer is not specific to Africa. Sure, I work at an NGO that focuses on Africa, but I have a lot of hours in my day that aren’t spent at work. I serve at my church, I care for a family, I volunteer in the inner city.

In each case, my “why” is always the same: I am loved, so I love.

Being loved is an asset. It’s a gift that I have been given. And I don’t believe we are given gifts for ourselves alone. I have been loved, and I have been loved well. So out of that love, I have much to give.

I see that modeled so well when I travel across Africa.

Places and people who do not know me, welcome me in, offer me food and drink, give from what they have. Why? Because it has been done for them. Somewhere along the way, someone loved them, offered them food and drink, welcomed them in.

It’s a mark of humanity that I want to champion in all parts of my life. I can only give from what I have – and love is my best asset. The love of Christ compels me.

Loved people love people.


Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be showcasing the ways we see loved people love people across our network. We’d love to hear from you! Why do you give or volunteer? How have you been loved? Share your story with us online — hashtag #LovedPeopleLovePeople & #mochaclub and we’ll send you a Mocha Club magnet!