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Mxit reaches for change

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Africa’s biggest social network, Mxit, has embarked on its re-launch with a key appointment to expand its social development programmes in order to “affect large scale social change across the continent””.

Mxit has appointed a leading figure in the use of social networks for activism, to head up a new “”social impact”” division called Mxit Reach.

Marlon Parker, founder of Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) and, avid social change and e-democracy campaigner, will head up Mxit Reach.

Mxit Reach has, over the years, developed numerous platforms that help young South Africans learn, interact and cope with the challenges that they face in everyday life.

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 NGO’s and social entrepreneurs opt in to the system.

Parker is globally recognised for his work in developing mobile and pc based programmes that assists governments, NGOs and communities help people live better lives.

‚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 affect the biggest change. Mxit has over 50 million users across the continent and beyond, and with over 10 million active users in South Africa alone, it provides a unique opportunity to extend the good work that we are doing,‚ says Parker.

‚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 already offers a number of social impact tools. One such programme is a portal, on Mxit, where young adults receive counselling for drug and substance abuse, physical or mental abuse, dept management, depression and general counselling. This platform was built and managed by Marlon and the team at RLabs in the past.

Other initiatives that fall within Mxit Reach are a South African curriculum based learning platforms that provides maths and science learners with CSIR-approved tutors, subject material and quizzes: a smart citizen platform that simplifies youth rights and promotes their responsibility in creating the future of South Africa, a platform that helps people in Indonesia find safe hospitals, meeting points and help during natural disasters and a number of research based projects that highlight the concerns of young adults in South Africa.

‚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.‚ says Alan Knott-Craig, Mxit CEO.

With over 50 million users, Mxit is the biggest social network in Africa.

Mxit was acquired by the investment company World of Avatar in September 2011.

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