Why a cafe? How does that fit into the mission of For One Life?
Life Cafe is a gathering place for all members of the community – especially the young people – in a place where restaurants are scarce. Meals, live music, special events bring people together in a safe, comfortable place, replacing the alternative of the activities that happen on dark streets. It seems simple, but this Cafe is a place for transformation because it is a place for belonging.
Specifically, we see talent emerging from local musicians and artists because of the opportunity to showcase and perform at Life Cafe. “Live Music Thursday” often packs the Cafe to its capacity. Churachandpur is a community rich with latent talent that is not yet tapped, and the music, poetry, and other arts coming out of Life Cafe is truly remarkable and inspiring.
It’s further encouraging to see the meals served at Life Cafe represent local fare as well as international cuisine – from pizza to ice cream in the summer – and the HDTV bring in international sports around which youth can connect and rally. This kind of exposure is part of encouraging people to think beyond what’s typical and envision new opportunities and experiences.
Our staff of twelve is also experiencing life change at Life Cafe. For many it is a job opportunity unlike any they have ever had, and offers the chance for personal development and learning skills that lead to independence and financial freedom.
Today, Life Cafe is self-sustaining financially. It is a model for other projects, including aspects of the Community Life Center, that bring revenue and business into the community in a long-term way.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The local economic situation in North East India does not allow for much of a disposable income. Keeping our prices low enough to be affordable for the average person and paying the staff decent wages is a tough balancing act.
While the intention of the cafe is not necessarily to make a profit, the goal is to, at a minimum, break even. After being open for just over a year, that goal has not yet been realized, but, it’s getting closer.
Any donations made toward the Life Cafe project will be used for the day to day operations of the cafe.
We see this unique way of ministry as a tool to reach out and make connections with the local people.