Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Digital Citizen Indaba: Using Technology to Reconstruct Communities

A presentation by Marlon Parker

Marlon started the Tik-tik blogging project (tik tik = meth), in which participants use blogging to tell your story. They use the lab at the Cape Pensinsula University to access technology used for the project.

Many of the guys were saying that when people heard their names, they associated with negative things, says Marlon. Blogging changed that, as their names are now associated with positive things, he says. "This is a morale boost."

MXiT for Substance Abuse Project

Marlon also runs a project where they use Facebook and MXiT to counsel people who are affected by sustance abuse, or who are users themselves. Project launched two months ago.

The project uses trained councillors ( who have been reconstructed) to provide counselling. They have been there, and have insight into the issues, Marlon says.

For now, they have 250+ subscribers, meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm - 5pm. Have about 20 - 50 conversations.

People can use the service because they feel tyhey are not being judged, as counsellors have also had problems.

"We believe reconstruction of citizens leads to reconstruction of communities. Use technology to empower those who are less priviledged," he says.

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