The Mocha Blog
Mocha Blog category icon

[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:

[iframe http://www.one.org/us/static/widgets/fiscalcliff_petition_wgt.html?source=wgt05 550 700]

Mocha Club Members

Paige
After my first Drew Holcomb concert, I loved them and their support of Mocha Club, so I signed up, stoked to be a part of their mission. It’s cool to see the difference we make overseas! To be more involved, I man the MC table at concerts, recruiting new members and enjoying some great music. Win.
Paige in Kentucky
Amanda
I joined Mocha Club because it just made sense! Its so easy to use our pocket change frivolously, but through Mocha Club I discovered that what I might easily do away with can be a truly life-changing blessing to someone else. I was readily equipped to make a difference and hadn’t a clue until I learned about the shocking exchange rate: 2 mochas=education, 2 mochas=clean water…  Its powerful when you realize you can make a tangible difference in someone’s life and in such a simple way.
Amanda in New York