Finally, the winners of the international competition EduApp4Syria were announced: “Antura and the letters”, an app that playfully teaches Syrian children how to read and write Arabic and simultaneously aims at making them feel better, was awarded with another 260.000 €. The game was developed by an international team managed by Cologne Game Lab, Wixel Studios and Video Games Without Borders and can be downloaded from today on, free of charge!
About a year ago, Cologne Game Lab (CGL), the Lebanese developer Wixel Studios and the Spain-based NGO Video Games Without Borders (VGWB) have teamed up to take part in the competition “EduApp4Syria” by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), the Norwegian Government and several international partners. The competitors were challenged to develop an open source smartphone application that helps Syrian children learn how to read and write Arabic and improve their psychosocial well-being.
After having been selected as one of the three finalists in December 2016, now their Game “Antura and the letters” was announced the winner of the competition together with their competitor “Feed the Monster” by Romanian Developer Apps Factory. The two winning games were presented during the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week in Paris today. They both receive another 260.000 € funding for the future distribution, testing among Syrian refugee families and evaluation of their games. “Antura and the letters” is aimed at children between 5-10 years. It will be available free of charge in the App Store and on Google Play from today, March 20.
“We are so proud to have won the competition,” says Emmanuel Guardiola, team leader and initiator of the project at Cologne Game Lab. “For more than a year now, people from all over the world, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, have been working together for the same cause – giving the Syrian children a chance for a future after the war. We are looking forward to distribute the finished game all through Middle East and Europe, with the hope to bring literacy and smiles to those kids.”
A strong bond across borders and cultures has been formed. As each party brings to the table something unique and stimulates and complements the others, more joint projects are planned in the future in order to continue this great creative cooperation.
About the Game
In “Antura wa al Huruf” (Antura and The Letters) the players are invited to help an old shepherd keep watch over his living letters – some wild little creatures. With the help of the keeper’s dog Antura, the player embarks on a journey through multiple mini-games, which correspond to content from Syrian elementary school curriculum. Numerous external experts have given their advice during the development process in order to ensure a successful imparting of knowledge as well as a psycho-social value for the children.
Over 2.5 million Syrian children are out of school due to war and expulsion; a lot of them are traumatized and subjected to high levels of stress. As a result, besides all personal suffering and tragical individual fates, their learning ability is affected and a wealth of human resources, creativity, and achievement of a whole generation is being lost.
For more information go to www.antura.org
Check out the PRESS KIT – Antura and the Letters
See the official announcement on norad.no
Watch the trailer here: