Mocha Club, a division of African Leadership, is an online community of young people giving up “a few mochas a month" to support our BUILDdeep community development projects. Mocha Club was created in 2005 as a way to give people who don’t have thousands of dollars the chance to make a real difference in Africa through small sacrifices such as giving up the cost of a few cups of coffee a month. Members support a variety of projects, from providing hope through rehabilitation at Women at Risk in Ethiopia to offering a world-class education to the emerging generation at New Dawn School in Kenya. Mocha Club empowers young people to make a big impact.

One such outstanding young person is Ellie Ambrose. Ellie’s Run for Africa, an annual partner of African Leadership and Mocha Club, just wrapped up another successful 5K in downtown Nashville to benefit the New Dawn School. On May 18th, the winning runner crossed the finish line with a time of 17 minutes and 49 seconds. He led a pack of 255 runners in this local opportunity to walk alongside African children, raise funds for their education, and give them hope to get out of the slums.

In 2004, an African missionary spoke at Ellie Ambrose's church, and she immediately knew she wanted to help in some tangible way. “I had just been to another race and had lots of fun,” Ellie says. “So I naturally thought it would be a great way to raise money. For several months, my mom kind of blew me off and expected me to forget about it.” However, after persisting, “She finally said, ‘Okay, Ellie, if you still want to do this after Christmas this year, we’ll talk about it.’ She told me later that she thought that I’d get so excited with presents that I’d forget the whole thing. But I approached her again after Christmas, and she knew then that I was really serious.”

Because of the partnership between Ellie's Run, African Leadership, and Mocha Club, the New Dawn School has changed dramatically. Before Ellie’s Run, all of the students were confined to the same room throughout most of the day. The number of textbooks available to them and the school community was limited. Within the past year, the New Dawn School has opened a new resource center equipped with a library, a computer lab, a science lab, a 200-seat assembly hall, and a teachers workroom.

Mocha Club allows its members to choose which area of BUILDdeep community development to support. Its hope is that this is just the first of many choices the Mocha Club community will make to take advantage of opportunities to support needs in Africa.