Over the last three years, we've worked with over 3,000 girls in South Africa through sport, media and education. We learned a lot about what matters to girls in South Africa, and as a result, in July, Girls & Football SA launched mGirls, a mobile health app which now has 50,000 subscribers. mGirls is built on the Mxit platform (available in iTunes and the Google Play Store) and provides girls in South Africa with free, daily health facts. A push text is sent to a subscriber’s phone (be it a Nokia or an iPhone, the platform on which mGirls is hosted operates on 8,000 different devices) with an accurate health tip. Through effective use of technology suited to our target market, we reach girls all over South Africa.
This means 50,000 girls have access to information that could change whether they know how to prevent contracting HIV/AIDS, whether they understand how sport affects their health, and whether they have the courage to actively participate in school.
We are able to instantly adjust our content based on feedback we receive from users. We have untapped insights into health challenges girls in South Africa face today and we are better able to meet their needs. We can look at ways to predict challenges and we can collaborate with leading agencies on girls’ health to understand how to avoid issues like teen pregnancy.
Though mobile health (or mHealth) is not a new concept, we often overlook the young people who need access to information that will help them make healthy choices. This information ranges from helping a girl understand the changes her body is going through to encouraging her to make smart choices about her sexual health. It’s about going back to the basics: making sure young people have access to accurate information that helps them make informed, empowered decisions.
To me, this is the best kind of conversation we can have with young people - it’s open, safe and guided by our users. It’s 50,000 reasons this year was great.
Thank you for your support.