Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Something we could not resist

Here is something that we could not just resist.TAKING A RIDE ON ONE OF THESE SCOOTERS! How could one resist driving down the road without a helmet and arms stretched out without being arrested. Think i should get me one of these when I get home.


Making our way to Owerri

The Sunday morning  Bradley and I was awake early and felt a bit adventurous.We ventured into the little town of Ewu on our own without our guide and contact Benneth.When we got outside  we saw lots of little scooters (local taxis ) zipping up and down  the little dusty streets. Ones dodging skills had to be on par as you  had to watch where you were walking and dodge these scooters at the same  time. Lots of fun!We met up with two of these taxi drivers and asked them to take us around the town.

Houtchie (left) and Boutchie (right) our taxi drivers for the morning

We hopped on their scooters and they whisked us off to a navy base where we were greeted by armed guards. The guards were however not as intimating as they looked and allowed us to take some pictures with them.It was then time to head back to the guesthouse and get packing for the next leg of our journey that would take us to a town called Owerri. I still could not get over the humidity but had to learn to adapt quickly.

RLabs Nigeria Trip:DAY 1

The time has finally arrived for Bradley and I to go to Nigeria to set up and RLabs there. It was quite the mission just organizing the logistics to get to Nigeria but it was on the good and capable hands of  RLabs Director Rene Parker. We had three flights to catch before we   were to arrive at our final destination in Owerri,Nigeria. First we had to catch a flight to JOHANNESBURG ,from JOHANNESBURG – LAGOS and from LAGOS – OWERRI.


After a long day of travelling we finally arrived at Lagos airport in the evening and  could feel the humidity as we got off from the plane and entered the airport.  We did not have much difficulty getting through customs but it did take long however.  We met our contact Benneth, a humble gentle man, as we came out of the airport. He had a car waiting for us and we made our way through the thick traffic to guesthouse we were going to overnight at.One could see the poorness in the little run down town where the guesthouse was situated. It was then time for a good nights rest  as we had one more flight to take the following morning to our final destination,Owerri.


A blog post by Marlon Parker: The journey of an imperfect being

Life as we know it comes with all kinds of challenges, tears, joy, heartache and laughter. Life in itself is a journey, one that we all undertake, one where we hope that we live life to the fullest and be able to at least make a positive difference and impact in the life’s journey of others.

In most cases, we as people disqualify ourselves from being able to make that positive impact because we are focused on our imperfections and always have the struggle in our minds that we are too bad to be of any good. I’ve had this struggle many times in my life and it is always a battle because it is easier to give up and accept our imperfections and use it as an excuse not to do the good.

Since starting this journey of longing to do good there is always a perception of who you are (your background) and what is it that allows you to follow through on this journey of hope. So many have asked the question before, “Who is Marlon Parker?, What is his story? What’s your motives?” and many responses to these questions were given. Today I want to take it further and tell you who I am from the heart:

I was born in a home where my father deserted me at a young age, not being the perfect son to a loving mother and late-grandmother (they are my life), not even the perfect brother (I love my brothers and sister, the one who I should have taken care of and nurtured as an older brother is in prison today), not the perfect husband to my beautiful wife (who has my heart and who I love, yet she forgive me and love me even when I caused her pain and heartache), not the perfect friend (every friend that I’ve ever letdown, caused pain or not live up to your expectations). As a teenager I could not deal with peer-pressure and became a “teen alcoholic” wanting to please others just to be accepted. At the age of 15 I was suicidal had no longing to live and no ambition, fatherless and rebellious. I was never the perfect student, I’ve failed many times (failed people too) and yet I had this longing to one day be able to do good.

Yet the questions always remained: how can I (Marlon Parker) who lied, cheated, caused pain and heartache, who was dishonest, broke vows, alcoholic, deserted, imperfect, failed, weak, scared make a positive change in someone’s life? What qualifies me to do this yet I’m the worst of the worst and not the perfect person?

The answer is simple and is found in these beautiful words:

“when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears”

I AM NOT perfect and will never BE but my perfection is found in my faith in the LORD Jesus (He was the one who carried me and is still carrying me all these years even when I failed Him).

This journey of Hope and making a difference was never about me and will never be about me…it is about the people (By people for people). If someone who is as bad and imperfect as me could persevere on this journey then anyone can do good and make a difference.

I therefore ask forgiveness to everyone who was ever letdown and hurt by Marlon, to those who feel imperfect and that you can’t do anything to make a difference, think again….your journey has just begun and someone out there has been waiting on you to start their reconstruction process.

Marlon needs to be reconstructed and that is the reason why “I will always need you” because this journey is not about me (will never be), it is about the people, it is about hope, it is about learning, it is about opportunity, it is about reconstruction and it is about A Social Revolution (by the people for the people) especially those who are longing for reconstruction and that has always been what RLabs represents.

Rlabs: Internet Access for All

As a drug user, it was easier for Brent Williams to steal a computer than to actually operate one. But when he kicked the habit and learned how to use computers, he experienced the empowerment that comes from having access to the Internet. That is when he established Rlabs, a community center that teaches computer skills in the deprived area in Cape Town where he used to shoot drugs.

Interview with Ethel Marsh,one of our Social and New Media participants

Social and New Media Registration

Early afternoon we at Rlabs were busy setting up the control room and to make sure everything is ready for the registration later that evening at seven o’ clock. All the facilitators were at hand and ready for the presentation, excited to get the year started with new members of the community.

Just before seven members of the community started rolling into the new space at Rlabs.They were very excited to know what they will be learning this year. To our surprise there were more members present than we expected and it looks like we could be doing two classes for Social & New Media every Tuesday. Brent did a quick Check in where everyone had to share a little about themselves and what it is that they are expecting for this course and thereafter did a short presentation on the course for the term. At the end everyone looked really excited to be a part of this class.

Our classes will be starting the 8th of March 2011 every Tuesday until the 5th of July2011. To socially revolutionize our communities is our goal.

RLabs Covering Social Media Coverage at Sahara Park Newlands

Today the  RLabs team was out at Sahara Park Newlands doing the Social Media Coverage for a cricket match between Wynberg Boys High and Grey High School.  This event was in collaboration with Standard Bank Pro 20 School Cricket . The Rlabs team covered ball by ball and wicked by wicked action with  live  commentary  through various Social Networking tools.  In the  picture we have Brent  capturing content. The content that was captured included interviews with the crowd and players taking photos and  uploading them  to  Standard Bank Facebook Page.

For more  products and services you can read here or contact  one of our consultants

RLabs and GivenGain collaborates

On Tuesday some of the RLabs team was out in Stellensbosh doing training with 8 ofGivenGain’s clients. GivenGain does a 3 day workshop with their clients and these are the topics that they cover:

1. Social Media training: Various social media platforms, setting up an account, how to use the functionalities of each platform.

2. Baseline training: Using the GivenGain platform – publish, donation reports, communication, database, fundraising pages.

3. Intermediate training: Creating fundraising campaigns, social media optimization, advanced applications of the Givengain platform.

RLabs has collaborated with GivenGain and will be doing the 1st of the 3 day training, covering everything their clients need to know about social media. We had good feedback from the participants regarding the training and we have been told that we will be hearing from their individual organisations to come and do some in house training with them. This is what Jannie Smith from GivenGain had to say regarding the training:

” Thanks again for you guys’ training today – I have received a lot of positive response from the attendees today re the social media training and their exposure to it. Especially Norman from SSNet – if only his supporters knew what is going to hit them soon on the social media platforms…”

This is a good start the year and we as RLabs are looking forward to this on-going partnership

source: RLabs

Blogging training session with CAN

Yesterday RLabs was out in the field doing training with one of their clients, CAN. This particular  training block was about blogging and we covered very basic things with them like blogging etiquette, blogging dos and don’ts, etc. After the presentation it was time to do some practical work on their site. In this session we showed them how to insert and upload text, pics and videos into a post and then post it. RLabs will be going back to Can in 2 weeks to finish the last block of training.

CAN is one of RLabs clients and singed a phase handover contract with us. This package includes the set up of a blog, and training to dedicated staff members to manage their Social Media strategy ensuring goals and objectives are met.


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