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MXit gears up for social change

MXit Reach has the potential to allow Africa to help Africa, says social activist Marlon Parker.

Social media tool MXit has recruited social change and e-democracy campaigner Marlon Parker.

Parker, founder of global movement and social enterprise Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) yesterday joined the MXit team as head of its social impact arm, MXit Reach.

MXit Reach develops platforms that help young South Africans to learn, interact and cope with the challenges they face in everyday life, says MXit.

“Although Parker worked closely with MXit to develop some of these programmes, his appointment to head of MXit Reach will allow the platform to substantially improve how it allows non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social entrepreneurs opt in to the system.”

Parker is globally recognised for his work in developing mobile and PC-based programmes that assist governments, NGOs and communities in giving communities a shot at better lives, says the social network. 

Large-scale leverage

“All my life, I've wanted to be part of an organisation that has access to the type of technology and broad split of community that will allow us to effect the biggest change,” says Parker.

He says MXit, with over 50 million users across the continent and beyond, and with over 10 million active users in SA alone, provides a unique opportunity to extend the good work that his team is doing.

“Every time I speak at an international conference, there is talk about how other countries can help Africa. I think that MXit Reach has the potential to allow Africa to help Africa, which is really exciting.”

MXit Reach offers a number of social impact tools, including a portal where young adults receive counselling for drug and substance, physical or mental abuse, debt management, depression and general counselling. This platform was built and managed by Parker and the RLabs team.

MXit works with a number of government departments and NGOs, including the World Health Organisation, the United Nations, Unicef, Harvard University, the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Energy and the US Presidency.

MXit says Parker plans to increase this list to include many more globally recognised organisations and governments.

MXit CEO Alan Knott-Craig Jnr says: “We are very lucky and humbled to have him join our team. For some of us, the potential to have a positive impact on our community is the reason we get out of bed. MXit Reach is truly a platform built by Africans, for Africa, and Marlon is the best man in the world to take it to the next level.”

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