Eight years later and I still remember every detail of my trip to Africa. I was in Zambia (and a couple of days in Botswana) and it was life changing, to say the least.
There’s something about that place, there’s so much hope and joy. Around the same time as my trip, I connected with Mocha Club through one of the sponsored artist concerts and have been a supporter ever since. Today, I’m chatting with Fallon Klug, Manager of Community Administration, who I got to meet just last week at the Dave Barnes/Matt Wertz concert in Austin! It was so much fun!
Mocha Club is a community of people giving up the cost of a few mochas a month to fund development projects in Africa. We work in five main project areas: Clean Water, Education, Economic Freedom, Orphan Care, and Healthcare.
Our vision is to provide a way for people who don’t have hundreds or thousands of dollars to make a difference in Africa. Our community-based website allows members to start a team and invite friends to join them in giving up the cost of a few mochas a month to support their chosen project. We know that today’s tech-savvy generation can have a huge impact by using the viral nature of the web. So we decided to equip Mocha Club members themselves to grow awareness and support for Africa by inviting friends.
We’re aware of people’s general lack of trust that their money is being effective, and we address that by providing regular updates. We update our Mocha Club members regularly on how their money is helping the people of Africa through videos and blogs of the specific projects they are supporting.
1. How did you get involved with this organization and what is your specific role?
I actually first heard about Mocha Club back when I was in college in 2007. (Go Dutchmen!) I was a fangirl at a Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes concert when they shared about an organization called the Mocha Club. It was all about giving up $9 a month to support development projects in Africa. As a college student, I could sacrifice $9 and provide clean water for an African for a year! To me, this was incredible. I definitely could give up a couple “decaf americanos with steamed milk” a month in order to provide basic clean water for an entire year. My heart was on fire for Mocha Club and I joined that night. Throughout the years, my passion for Mocha Club and Africa grew and at the same time, I discovered a desire to work in the non-profit realm. The Lord is the great Orchestrator : in 2013, I moved to Nashville and am now the Community Coordinator for Mocha Club. Plug your nose for the cheese: dream come true!
I’m the director of our members and love getting to know the Mocha Club community! I also work with partners, artists, and events to share our common passion for Africa and get others to join our community.
2. What do you want people to know about the work Mocha Club is doing?
The best part about the work that we do is that it’s all about the people. The relationships we have with our African partners across the continent are long lasting and impactful. These partners are leaders in their community who we come alongside to help with what THEY say they need. They are the experts. They know their community and what they need – we are there to help alongside them. The Mocha Club is all about small sacrifices making a big impact. The work we do in Africa is done by a community of people coming together to do their small part and in the end, making a huge impact. It’s the thing you tell your friend about who tells their friend about so we can all do it together!
3. What’s one of your favorite stories from recent work?
This is a story of Kidist (find the full story here) – one of the women who was a former prostitute and is now enrolled in the Women At Risk program receiving counseling and job skills training in order to restore her dignity and lead to a better life for her. The way she describes the staff and other women at the program as “being among family” is just beautiful. Her story is an inspiration to me of strength, perseverance, and hope.
4. What are some of the best ways people can partner with your organization?
We have different ways that people get become part of the community at Mocha Club: first, become a member! Giving up $9 a month and getting your friends to do so too is an easy way to become part of the Club and make a direct impact in Africa. Be an advocate! Share about Mocha Club with your family and friends and grow our community together. Volunteer! If you live in Nashville, we have events coming up that we would love to have you be part of. Check out Ellie’s Run for Africa (elliesrun.org). It’s a 5K race that raises money for our education project at New Dawn high school in Nairobi, Kenya. Or if you want to volunteer on the road, we have multiple artists that go out on tour and talk about their partnership with Mocha Club. We would love your help at the Mocha Club table to share what we are all about and get others to join!
Thank you so much Fallon! Loved hearing more about Mocha Club and hope you readers enjoyed the awesomeness as well! If you’re interested in joining, you can check out My Team, Love Connects Us, or start your own!
(There are so many incredible organizations out there doing incredible things to change the world. The Difference Makers Features highlight some of the ones I love and support and want to spread the word about! Find previous entries here).