RLABS at Kylemore and Rhodes High schools

February 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

This week we went out to schools in the Western Cape again to do MoCo presentations and to give the students the contact to add to their mobile phones for our online counselling. We did two schools this week; one in Stellenbosh and one in the Athlone area. The school in Stellensbosh was Kylemore High and the school in Athlone was Rhodes High. We however did not do an assembly but individual classes this time round.

At Kylemore High we did 9 classes of about 25 students in each class and at Rhodes High 4 classes with about 20 students in each class. I was not feeling too well this week and it was a bit taxing on my body but God was faithful and carried me through. I was assisted by Clinton Liederman , Terence Hendricks and as I call him “The Master of presentations” Reagen Allen. Having this awesome team with me just made things so much easier.

Reagen took the bull by the horns and flowed with the MoCo presentation. He brought a profound dynamic with his awesome sense of humour. Lots more kids added the contact and lots came online seeking help with various issues they face on a daily basis.

Thank you Lord for everything that you are doing in our midst and we give honour and glory to You FatherJ

“The Art of Mobile Counselling” Workshop:Day 2

November 11, 2009 § 1 Comment

Day 2 of the training started off with a bang!The praticipants had to bring in their homework that was given to them by Clinton.This was quite fun as some of these participants was not familiar with the chat lingo the kids use on mxit.So they basically had to go out and do some research and asks kids in their area for some words for their homework.

Here are some of the chat-lingo words the participants brought back as part of their homework:

watching t.v – wtv

listening to music – l2m

never mind – nvm

later – l8er

These are only but some of the words they brought back and well done to them for the great research they done.Some of them said it was not easy as most of the words they got from the kids has swearing content in them.

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One of the participants giving feedback on thee homework he got.

Next up was Craig Ross.He session was “Introduction To The System”. He basically introduced the participants to the system that they will be doing the counseling from.This session took some time as we had to get everyone signed onto the system and then they had to take turns in working on the system and getting the hang of it.We had half of them in one room(they acted as the users seeking help) chatting from gtalk.The rest was in another room(The Lab) chatting  as counselors on the system.This went well as everyone had a chance to be the victim(user) and then the rescuer(counselor) as well.

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This is Craig Ross doing his presentation "Introduction To The Sytem"

The introduction To The System took most of the day.We had a activity (ice breaker) after that just to get the juices of the participants flowing.And then i did an overview of day two.I also gave the participants some more homework.Those who did not have mxit on their mobiles was to go home and download it from the internet from their mobiles and then install and register to mxit.

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Some of the participants doing their activity (ice breaker)

Stay tuned to see how it unfolds………

Western Cape Mobile Substance Abuse Counselling Service PART I

October 20, 2009 § 2 Comments

Today I was in a very significant meeting. It was meeting where new things were to give birth. There was five different organisations present and Marlon Parker from RLABS presented to the various organisations how Social Media could be used to combat the scurge against the drug problem in our country. Also present was Social Development with whom RLABS is partnering and taking this pilot project forward.

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RLABS is to role out a Western Cape Mobile Substance Abuse Counselling Service. As a group we are piloting a distributed mobile counselling service across the Western Cape starting in 5 high risk districts. The  mobile application we are using to reach out to the youth in South Africa is Mxit. Mxit currently has about 15 million users in South Africa alone and 80% of them are ages between 13 -35.I will be giving you stats in my next blog post of what our counselling service is all about.

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WHAT IS A LIVING LAB?

A Living Lab is a user-centric research methodology for sensing, prototyping, validating and refining complex solutions in multiple and evolving real life contexts. It is a human-centric Research and Development approach to ICT solutions and innovations.RLABS (Reconstructed Labs) is a community based organisation and is an innitiative by Impact Direct Ministries

Here is a bit more about RLABS:

The Reconstructed Living Lab is one of ten in South Africa, and the first one in the Western Cape. The project has grown out of collaboration between Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), a community organisation Impact Direct Ministries (IDM), and the Bridgetown Civic Organisation. It has features that are unique in living labs as it is community led and is based in a social deprived area in Cape Town.

Athlone is situated on the Cape Flats of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. It is today known for two features, the new football stadium and the obsolete power towers which dominate the area. The society is described by Parker (2008) as a community in tension. Factors for the grounds of tension include: lack of economical development (e.g. unemployment, inflation); Social inequality (e.g. lack of social services,) Lack of education and lack of appropriateness and use of technology (e.g. technology not being utilised fully within communities for its intended use). Athlone has all these social problems, and is plagued with violence, drugs and gangsterism.

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RLABS is one of the projects that also falls under the banner of Impact Direct Ministries.I now work for Impact and have a role that I play within RLABS. My job description is that of Operations Manager within RLABS. This particular pilot project will be funded by Social Services and we are looking forward to rolling it out in the schools.

For now I cannot go into much detail about this project but will be keeping you updated as things unfold. We will be having another meeting this Friday (23/10/2009) This is just another way of how you can use Social Media for Social Change. Watch this space as we see how the lives will be changed by with the use of Social Media.

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