Browsing Tag


How can you thrive in the midst of hardship?

Our culture tells us to avoid pain – it encourages a pursuit of pleasure or feeling good. And there is nothing wrong with feeling “good.” But one thing that has been lost in this pursuit is the beauty and goodness of feelings that don’t feel so good. When you experience a feeling, you have a choice, you can go to one of two extremes with that feeling. One is healthy and always invites community and growth. One is unhealthy and usually ends in isolation and despair.

Lets take hurt for instance; when I’ve been hurt, I can choose to either move toward resentment and bitterness or toward courage. Resentment pushes me away from relationship (at least with the one who hurt me) and leaves me to wrestle with this painful feeling alone. On the other hand, I could choose to move toward courage to be honest (with the one who hurt me) and potentially lead to restoration of the relationship. This honesty doesn’t cover up the hurt but chooses to express this emotion and create a space to find reconciliation.

From just this one instance, I can use hurt to grow my courage and potentially build a healthier, stronger relationship. This is thriving. Using the experiences life hands you to propel you forward physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And the beauty of thriving is that when you are thriving in community, you are naturally helping foster a thriving atmosphere for others around you. When you thrive, we thrive.

Emily Blackledge, Mocha Club President

New Dawn Student Wins Nationwide Competition

8639782683_32db48d6bc_bRecently, the International School of Kenya (ISK), a highly esteemed school near Nairobi, Kenya, launched an essay writing competition. Winners would receive the “Global Hearts Scholarship” (GHS), a prize of free attendance to an academic conference for young leaders. The competition required high school students throughout the country to write essays based on how they were making a difference in their communities. One of New Dawn’s students Rosslyne Anyango, a 12th grader, was among those chosen to win the scholarship and attend a four day conference organized and hosted by ISK. Rosslyne was truly overwhelmed by her win and came back from the conference full of new ideas and learnings that she was eager to share.

“Attending the conference motivated me to realize that I can do things I otherwise thought impossible. It also developed in me a keen sense of community responsibility and engaging in various ways to make a difference. I felt empowered. I need to be idealistic and have a passion for what I hope to achieve in life,” said Rosslyne after returning to New Dawn.

Mocha Club members investing in the future of Africa’s youth through education continue to make it possible for students like Rosslyne to not only have access to education, but to excel and reinvest in their communities.

Education: End of 2012 Update


Due to poverty and lack of proper schooling facilities, Africa is home to 43% of the world’s out of school children.

Thanks to your help over the last 12 months, we were able to make a difference by completing the construction of a brand new Resource Centre, made from recycled shipping containers, at the New Dawn Education Centre in Kenya.

The Resource Centre features a library, a teacher workroom, and three labs that have already been utilized for students to take their Kenya Certification of Secondary Education exams. Forty students have graduated.

We simply couldn’t have accomplished these things without your generosity and commitment to giving up a few mochas a month to provide education in Africa.

Stacked and Ready at New Dawn

The stacking and connecting is nearly complete at New Dawn Education Resource Centre in Nairobi, Kenya! The picture above shows the vision and progress of the 40 foot shipping containers and how they are being used to transform the lives of local students.

There are still a number of finishing touches that need to be added to this amazing facility, but we are excited to see this move from “project” status to a full-fledged, thriving, educational centre.

The facility will house a 200 seat assembly hall, a teacher workroom, chemistry/physics lab, biology/agriculture lab, a library, and a computer lab all strategically tucked into 5,700 square feet.

The hope of the future for New Dawn is “teaching to transform” the lives of 160 disadvantaged students from the slums of Huruma and Githogoro.

The opportunity that has been brought into Huruma and Githogoro couldn’t have been possible without our awesome Mocha Club Members and their passion for education!

Stack it up.

We love seeing the continued improvements to the Resource Center at New Dawn in Kenya.

As we told you last month, these containers, once stacked, connected, and read to use, will give the 160 high school students 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.

Here is the most recent shot of the Resource Center. HUGE amount of work have gone into this much building and we look forward to seeing the final pictures — students learning and growing in that place!

(You’ve totally got to check out the difference between this month and last month. AMAZING!)

Thanks for your continued support of our Education project. It’s so fun to watch this process!


Graduation 2009 Pictures 198

We are always so proud of our New Dawn students, but it seems that each time we get an update, they are just getting more awesome!

While their grading system in Kenya is different than ours, you can see the improvement over the last three years.

These are the graduating class mean scores:

2009 – 4.02

2010- 4.31

2011- 5.01

That is great growth. Phil Renicks, our Educational Consultant with African Leadership says, “I am greatly encouraged and convinced that once the new resource center is completed and the students have access to the proper science labs, computer lab and library that the scores will continue to improve. Thanks for all your support and especially to The Mocha Club for your commitment to the on-going monitoring and evaluation process.”

We are so proud of these students and look forward to being able to complete the necessary additions and watch as their scores continue to head up!

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.

Those last few bucks of the year…..

If you are tax savvy, as you should be, you know that any tax-deducted donations have to happen by the end of this year. So, that gives you about 11 days.

And in the next 11 days, we want to build a computer lab.

This Christmas, would you consider a gift to the New Dawn Education Center to help us give those students a new computer lab?

We believe that addressing problems like famine relief and water emergencies are critical and necessary as short-term solutions to those in need.

But as part of a comprehensive long-term strategy, we also want to make sure these children have every opportunity to succeed, beyond just meeting their basic needs. We want to do more than provide housing, food, and education – we want to provide them the type of education that puts them in a place to be leaders in their community.

Each computer costs $750.

We want to buy 40 computers to be used by 160 students daily (and the students in night classes as well).

So go ahead. Check your financials and figure out how much more you want to give in 2011, then go for it! We can’t wait to show you these students using the new lab in 2012!


They said he would be nothing.

Tobias Tembo, a recent college graduate, achieved his dreams this year after being told he would never amount to anything.

Tembo’s degree in psychology from the University of Zambia makes him one of the most highly educated from his original demographic; a poor kid from the streets. His father passed when he was only a baby and has hardly any memory of his mother. For a short time, he lived with an aunt who mistreated him by burning his school books and uniforms; she chased him onto the streets after the third grade where he lived for five years. Tembo struggled through the next decade, until entering high school where he found his niche.

“I think I am still struggling a lot, not in terms of food—I have my basics, but I still struggle because I never grew up in a home, I don’t know how to behave appropriately, when it comes to that, all my life I work that’s all, I feel I still have a long way to go in life,” Tembo says.

Tembo has made many efforts in Zambia to empower other children from the streets to have a better life. He wants to inspire creativity and give them a chance to have change in their lives.

Like Tembo, there are many other students in Africa who, when reached, can have a ripple effect on other students.  The education project you can support through the Mocha Club supports schools in Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa. We hear stories, like Tembo’s, often from our schools throughout Africa. His story reminds us of Francis, Lucy, Enock, and Stephen. And they are just a few of the hundreds of students we educate every month thanks to your monthly donations.

Click here  to read more about Tembo. Visit our Education Page to learn more information on how you can help reverse the trends of injustice and poverty that lead to a lack of education.

Joy Robs Students of Sleep.

This is an update from Phil Renicks, one of the staff at African Leadership. Because of his expertise in the area, Phil is in charge of the Education projects. This was written after a recent trip to New Dawn School in Nairobi, Kenya.

. . . . .

New home!

Last year during my time on the campus of New Dawn School in Nairobi, Kenya, I conducted more than 50 focus group interviews including students, care givers, community leaders, and teachers. I asked the question, “If there was one thing you would change if you had the power and re- sources, what would it be?”

The overwhelming response was to provide a safe place for the girls at New Dawn to live.

Many of the girl students live with members of their extended family, they walk long distances through unsafe areas, or are in a place where an education for girls is not valued. Many of them are forced to work long hours after school to support their adopted family since many of them are orphans.

Through the generous gifts of a number of donors God provided a boarding home for 20 vulnerable girls AND for 15 boys who were considered “at risk.” A Mocha Club team cleaned a former classroom in the village and gave it a fresh coat of paint. This team effort resulted in 15 boys calling the place home.

The first night the boys stayed together in the dorm the joy and excitement was so overwhelming that not one of them slept. They spent the whole night talking about their new life and thanking God for a safe, dry and comfortable place to live and most of all, a bed.

Just a 40 minute walk away from school there are two concrete block cottages each with 10 girls under the care of one of the women teachers from New Dawn who lives next door. The homes are in a secure compound and they have electricity which most of them didn’t have in the homes where they were living. Now they can study at night, have meals together and find strength in bonding together as sisters.

In large letters on the wall of the boys dorm are painted these words from 2 Corinthians 17. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The old life is gone. A new life has begun!”