9 May 2017
Through the international innovative EduApp4Syria competition, the Norwegian government and several international partners sourced the development of two smartphone apps that can help Syrian children (aged 5-10) learn to read in Arabic and improve their psychosocial wellbeing.
The two winning games were selected from 78 submissions by an international expert jury. The jury included experts in Arabic language, literacy, psychosocial wellbeing, game development and digital learning. The winning games were chosen for their high quality and different approaches and gameplay that appeal to a variety of children. The games have open source licenses to encourage maximum use and further creativity. The code is available on GitHub.com.
The games have been tested with Syrian refugee children in Norway and Jordan who gave very positive feedback.
Both games provide a fun, engaging and motivational learning experience and are easy to use and play without adult assistance.
In “Antura and the Letters” the player needs to help an old shepherd and his dog, Antura, watch over wild living letters. The player must solve different mini-games with letters and words to proceed on a fun adventure with Antura.
“Feed the Monster” shows a world where friendly monsters were exiled by an evil character whose magic spell turned them into eggs. The player needs to feed the monsters with correct letters, syllables and words to help the eggs develop and thrive.
The games are free and ad-free and can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store by searching for “eduapp4syria” or through the websites of Antura and the Letters and Feed the Monster. After downloading the games can be used offline.
The games are particularly relevant for Syrian children who are out of school or attending a school with a foreign language of instruction. They are also relevant for other Arabic speaking children.
If your organization is working in Syria or with Syrian refugees in other countries, we encourage you to share these games with these families.
We are also developing separate guidance for organizations interested in conducting field tests of the games as well as a dedicated site for sharing the findings with us and the broader community of organizations and individuals who are interested in EduApp4Syria.
Information on this will be posted on www.norad.no/eduapp4syria, where you can also find further information about the EduApp4Syria and the competition partners.
Visit Norad’s Flickr account for EduApp4Syria photos
Visit Norad’s YouTube account for EduApp4Syria videos
Best regards, on behalf of the competition partners
Liv Marte Nordhaug
Project Manager for EduApp4Syria
Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad