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Meet the Middle Schoolers Changing Education in Malawi

Meet the Middle Schoolers Changing Education in Malawi

Meet Social Good CLT

Social Good CLT is a brand new media platform created with an exclusive purpose: to share stories of good in our city. By bringing untold stories to light, Social Good CLT hopes to inspire others to do good as well.

Social Good CLT has collected some of the Queen City's most talented creatives: writers, photographers, graphic designers, social media experts and storytellers. These contributors combine their forces twice a week to share stories of good in the QC. You can find the stories on Social Good CLT’s Facebook and Instagram pages or read full features on the Social Good CLT blog

Last week Social Good CLT launched with a story our community has already been inspired by! Written by Watershed Bloc Leader Holly Martin, this story features the Brew Tang Clan, a student-led coffee shop that Shed Students Pastor Jonathan George started at Piedmont Middle School. All of the funds the coffee shop takes in go straight to the Equitas Village Schoolhouse Project in Malawi. Equitas is one of Watershed’s global partners

Thanks, Social Good CLT, for featuring a few Charlotte change makers Watershed is especially proud of!

Meet the Middle Schoolers Changing Education in Malawi

Written by Holly Martin, Photos by Drew White

Since Jonathan George and his crew, the Brew Tang Clan, started fundraising two years ago with #Coffee4Ed, they’ve raised over $10,000. They’ve got T-shirts and a mission. This year, they got their own space.

All proceeds of their student-run coffee shop at Piedmont Middle School are donated to Equitas, a Charlotte-based nonprofit dedicated to providing education in Malawi.

The group has garnered donations from local roasters Enderly Coffee, Parliament, and Counter Culture, along with pastries from Sunflour Bakery and filtered water from Diamond Springs. A variety of companies have donated equipment, and the project has begun to receive attention of local media outlets like Wilson’s World.

In addition to #Coffee4Ed, the group completes #PiedmontWalk4Ed, a five-mile fundraiser walk from Park Road Shopping Center to their school in Plaza Midwood, raising awareness for how far children in rural Malawi walk to school each day.

Charlottean Steve Cook, a human rights activist, photographer and filmmaker, founded Equitas in 2007. Shortly after, he and George became friends.

As a result of this friendship, George and his wife Kayla went to Malawi to direct a youth sports program in 2009-2010. When they returned, they knew they wanted to continue to help.

George decided to combine his love for teaching, coffee, and social enterprise to help educate students and fundraise to break the cycle of poverty in Malawi. Modeling social enterprise is the objective of #Coffee4Ed. Rather than focusing inward, students are inspired to focus on what benefits others.

The crew has plans to start serving pop-ups at local events and markets.

“My main thing to pass on to them is finding something they’re passionate about to make the world better,” he says. “If it’s coffee, great. If it’s something else, great. My challenge is that they’ll do what they love to do and use that to make social change.”

Equitas is raising $300,000 to build a school in Malawi so students will have accessible education in their own village. Without it, George says, “They’ll miss half a year during the rainy season. They miss kindergarten or they’re behind. They end up becoming subsistence farmers.”

Yamilet, an eighth-grade student, is a Brew Tang Clan member.

“My favorite part is seeing the changes happen in Malawi,” she says, adding, “I love the bragging rights. I can make a really good cup of coffee! You should come try it!”

If you know people, businesses, programs or nonprofits that are helping to make a difference in our city, nominate them to be featured on Social Good CLT here. And don’t forget to follow Social Good CLT on Facebook and on Instagram if you’re interested in learning more about the good happening in our city!