This past weekend the RLabs crew found themselves 40km outside of Cape Town, South Africa in a town called Atlantis. It has approximately 210,000 residents and suffers under high levels of poverty, substance abuse and unemployment. Atlantis has always been best known as the town that apartheid built. Above all it is a community in tension where people are seeking hope and an opportunity for reconstruction.

It is with this purpose that RLabs partnered with a local non-profit, under the supervision of Chief Community Advisor Dr. Mike Adams, to give birth to RLabs Atlantis. The setup of the new Living Lab is to address the social problems being faced by many of the members in this community but also to provide hope through innovative programmes such as:

1) FREE RLabs Academy – This will be launched in March and the courses already confirmed is Digital Media, Entrepreneurship and Art & Design.

2) The Restoration Project – This community outreach project is geared towards young people in the Atlantis area who are at risk, unemployed, vulnerable and in need of a new beginning. The programme will be a mix of mentorship, mobile counselling services, skills development (through the Academy), social entrepreneurship and well-being programmes.

3) Innovation Incubator and Accelerator – The incubation of ideas and turning it into sustainable social enterprises is another aspect that will be explored in Atlantis by the local RLabs Champions.

4) Business Development – Developing business opportunities and creating social capital would also be high on the agenda for RLabs Atlantis ensuring that it becomes a town known for innovation and hope.

Atlantis is the gateway to the West Coast along South Africa and RLabs is excited to see the Social Revolution flooding Atlantis with renewed hope and innovation to bring about the Reconstruction of the Communities in Tension.

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