An African visit that inspired a technology innovation

A pleasure trip to Africa by two Australian travellers inspired the development and launch of a social network site called mmMule, already enhancing delivery of donations to charities in Africa.

MmMule, also known as AngelMule, is a social travel network connecting locals and charities looking to have supplies delivered by travellers. In return, travellers are rewarded with fun, local travel experiences, accommodation or a small fee, says Andrew Simpson, one of the founders.

A traveller identifies the area he will be travelling to after signing up. He then identifies the charities in the area and their needs before selecting the donations he can deliver, adds Avis Mulhall, a co-founder.

The app, they say, is all about making it easier for people to get anything they dream of from anywhere in the world. It encourages travellers to deliver vital supplies for individuals and non-profit projects.

MmMule has a messaging section where the traveller talks with the charity to decide on the items needed and place and time of delivery.

The idea behind the site’s new arm – AngelMule – came from a trip Simpson and Mulhall took to Rwanda, where they say they visited an orphanage carrying a soccer ball.

Simpson says it was the most amazing experience to turn up at the orphanage with the soccer ball and see the ecstatic reactions of the kids who had been using a plastic water bottle as a ball.

The two are now aiming to provide a platform for other travellers to have a similar experience.

According to a UN case study on tourism, over the past 25 years, the number of tourists in Africa has more than quadrupled, bringing around US$17.9 billion in revenue to sub-Saharan African countries in 2005.

With Africa’s charity organisations working in education, health, community participation and Agriculture and many others,Angelmule will help them receive gifts and vital supplies delivered by travellers.

Charities including Hope Alive Uganda and Patmos Care Centre in Kenya’s Mathare Slums have already subscribed to the site.

Similar sites including PleaseBringMe.com have in the past linked tourists with the locals in Turkey looking for deliveries. AngelMule, however says it looks more at the vital supplies for non-profit organisations in the countries the tourists visit than the local communities.

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