RLabs Advice Support inititiave have gone to another level by collaborating with 5 Non-profits to provide drug counselling using cellphones in 5 different districts accross Cape Town. The initial areas idenitfied are Khayelitsha, Miitchells Plain, Atlantis, Athlone, Paarl, Wellington and Stellenbosch.
The MoCo (Mobile Counseling) project has been doing well and we have been doing presentations at more schools around The Western Cape.Yesterday a team went to Atlantis High School to do the Moco presentation to 300 Grade 10 students.
We had no PA system in the hall so the speakers were forced to speak at the top of their voices. It was challenging keeping the kids attention for 45 minutes. Well done to the team who went out to Atlantis High School.
Stats for Moco service for past 3 months
– 1174 subscribers
– 5684 conversations
– 190891 messages exchanged
Moco Counsellors offering advice and support to South Africa
Today RLabs was priviliged to host a group of amazing individuals from the University of Amsterdam Business School who are currently busy with their Executive Masters in Information Management. The group have been doing a week of training and the project is part of a collaboration with UCT Graduate School of Business. Being part of this programme not only provided our team an opportunity to share experiences and stories but also learn from an amazing group of individuals who are adding value to their various organisations daily.
I had the privilege of doing a presentation together with Craig Ross about the “Art of Mobile Counseling”. Today I found myself presenting this new form of counseling to people who probably had more degrees than a thermometer and the great thing about it is that in this instance I was the expert. Who would have thought that a group of ex gangsters and drug addicts could add value to or impart knowledge into the lives of a group of highly qualified individuals from Europe?
What has God still got in store for this group of young men and women who once gave up hope on themselves thinking they would probably all die “druggies”…
Join me in the next episode in my journey, God bless.
I find myself sitting in my favorite seat looking out over the balcony and see people going into the mall to handle their business. I see them but my attention is not focused on them, I’m thinking about the exciting 3 days that just passed. This week RLabs embarked another exciting initiative, the world’s first Mobile Counseling training.
Participants representing 5 NGO's
Day 1 of the training workshop kicked off with Michael Abrahams doing the introduction and welcoming the 5 NGO’s after which Brent Williams kicked off the first session with his presentation on “Mobile Phones for social good”. Brent laid a sound foundation for the rest of the workshop giving the participants some background on Social Media and showing them the possibilities of reaching the masses using mobile chat applications.
Before the tea break Craig Ross had a slot informing the participants about the chat system (http://chat.rlabs.org) they will be working on and also getting them registered as counselors. Once all participants were registered on the system the first session was complete and it was time for a tea break.
After the break Craig continued with his presentation on “The Art of Mobile Counseling”. Craig spoke of his experience of being a mobile counselor and highlighted the differences between mobile counseling and face to face counseling. Most of the participants were trained counselors at the organizations they worked at. Craig highlighted 2 significant points: 1) Mobile chat environment has its own culture and language; 2) Brief and to the point less is best, the counselor have to use as little text to get the maximum message. After Craig’s slot the participants didn’t know whether they should be excited or scared.
Confessions of a Mobile Counselor
I was next up with my slot on “Confessions of a Mobile Counselor”, this was more of an interactive session where I asked the participants what tools they thought a mobile counselor should have in their toolkit. In this session I also shared out of my experience as a mobile counselor and also gave them real examples of mobile counseling sessions and how I handled those giving them some idea as to what they would be getting themselves into. After this session the participants were a bit more relaxed and felt like mobile counseling was something they could probably do. They were then given some homework and soon after we had a lunch break.
counselors vs. users roleplay using g-talk
After lunch Michael Abrahams facilitated the “role play” using google talk. The group was divided in two, one group being the counselors and the other group drug addicts seeking help and then changed roles halfway through the session. This gave the participants a chance to put into practice what they had learned in the previous session. The day then ended on this high note and the participants were left with a lot to ponder…