It was three years ago when RLabs then known as Athlone Living Lab started an programme to reach young people through the use of mobile phones. What started off as just a way to reach approximately 10 youth at risk turned out to be a huge part of our Social Revolution. Today we are celebrating yet another milestone that our mobile support services have surpassed 300,000 people since its inception and currently reaching people in 7 countries although 90% are based in Southern Africa.
The idea was simple:
Reach Young People on a platform they are comfortable with and address their needs via those platforms.
In South Africa there has been a massive thrust of youth engaging via Mobile Instant Messaging more specifically using MXit. While still early days (See video above) it was interesting to see how it grew organically and how the viral effect took place. Although the service initially started off only addressing substance abuse issues it has grown beyond that offering a wide variety of social issues that needs to be addressed (Read this post for more detail). This work was strengthened through the partnership of RLabs, Impact Direct, MXit and JamiiX (funded by SAFIPA) that allowed it to grow beyond expectations.
We’ve also had more than 6 Million interactions via our various platforms and seeing the impact on the ground has been most rewarding proving the role of innovation in society. We are excited to have reached this milestone but we are still set to reach our target of 1 Million subscribers by the end of the year to our mobile support services.