The young women of Ogies and Phola in Mpumalanga will be able to get free lifestyle guidance, advice, support and access to essential services at their fingertips with the launch of a social movement enabled by a new app – LOLA, your best friend in your pocket.
Social purpose enterprise Re-Action developed the LOLA app and its support programme to assist the National Department of Health’s “She Conquers” campaign and its primary goals of reducing HIV, keeping girls at school, and curbing gender-based violence.
The YW&G (Young Woman and Girls) social movement uses LOLA to assist girls to navigate a meaningful life journey.
LOLA’s introduction comes at a time when ongoing gender-based violence in the country has sparked a rising awareness that more needs to be done to protect and empower women and children.
Re-Action founder Sharon White said, “We’re excited to be a catalyst for this social movement by empowering young women and girls with knowledge on issues affecting them daily via school ambassadors and the LOLA app. This ensures they don’t receive misinformation within their communities.”
The app uses innovation and technology to assist young woman and girls as they navigate social and peer pressures in communities where getting pregnant can be seen as fashionable, alcohol and drug use can be cool, and a “blesser culture” encourages transactional sex.
Glencore Coal’s Community & Regulatory Affairs General Manager Noel Pillay said, “The tools and information on the LOLA app can be accessed for free at any of our Wi-Fi hotspots around Ogies and Phola, providing 500MB of free Wi-Fi data per person, per day.”
At the launch, more than 1 000 girls, from four local schools, will have the opportunity to engage with the app, and access other wellbeing and lifestyle information relevant to young women and girls.
Aside from the user experience, which is designed by young girls themselves, the LOLA app provides human-scale, targeted and specific information to individuals using geolocation and predictive intelligence.
“Re-Action is honoured to be at the forefront and to serve as a catalyst for young woman and girls to make meaningful life changes at grassroots level. Re-Action is developing further programmes to support young men and boys as the youth of any nation deserve better, says Pillay . “This initiative is part of Glencore’s ongoing commitment to improving people’s quality of life in our host communities through access to essential health services and using technology to drive sustainable development,” Pillay concludes