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[photo by Char Beck // charbeck.net]

In 2004, after already having spent time in Africa, Mocha Club Director, Barrett Ward created the Mocha Club with a vision of empowering individuals to give up the cost of a few mochas a month to support relief and development projects identified by the local, African communities. We address extreme poverty in a holistic manner by serving communities with a variety of solutions that include care for orphans and women at-risk, providing access to education, creating clean water solutions and supporting communities living with HIV/AIDS.

While working with communities to help them identify their needs, we regularly see the impact of US foreign aid in their lives. Specifically, in the area of HIV/AIDS, there was a time in our recent past when this diagnosis was a near certain death sentence for those with which we work and serve. Now, with the support of US foreign assistance, 8 million patients are receiving treatment for the disease, up from 200,000 just 10 years ago.  This directly impacts how we partner with communities and jointly create solutions for their healthcare needs.

In 2008, while working in Ethiopia, Barrett met a friend serving the area through the Clinton HIV/AIDS initiative, (now called the Clinton Health Access Initiative) which has helped to bring AIDS care and treatment to over 750,000 people living with HIV/AIDS.  Barrett has often spoken of the effective approach that was being taken, as well as the quality of people who were carrying out the work, on both the U.S. and Ethiopian side. Most importantly, he saw that the local government was a partner in this work, ensuring community owned solutions and implementation.

This coming January the U.S. faces the “fiscal cliff” and the potential halting or significant reduction of foreign assistance to communities in need throughout the world. The Mocha Club is dedicated to locally developed projects where the community identifies the needs and the response.  US foreign aid is not only a successful, strategic partner in addressing extreme poverty in Africa, but one that has made tremendous progress on less than 1% of the federal budget.  Our desire is for a solution that protects and empowers the “least of these” throughout the continent of Africa.

Our friends at ONE are providing you with an opportunity to make your voice heard with a petition to preserve the International Affairs account which helps to fight HIV/AIDS, childhood diseases and more around the globe. Check it out here:

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Mocha Club Members

Nick
I originally joined Mocha Club to help create change in a world far less fortunate than mine. Through my time volunteering and interning, I learned not only about how much change Mocha Club was creating in Africa, but also how much I could learn from the Africans whose lives Mocha Club was affecting. I remember seeing the "I Need Africa" video for the first time and nearly being moved to tears from the truth of that film. Overall, the community of people involved in Mocha Club are not only intelligent, creative, passionate, and general rockstars, they also are welcoming and made me feel like part of a family working to better not only the lives of others, but also, our own lives.
Nick in Tennessee
Rahul
We joined Mocha Club because we were looking to do something as a community of college students working together to help expand the Kingdom. We are able to show other college students how we can help people across the world right from where we are and truly live out the Gospel.
Rahul in Florida