After being selected in April as one of five teams amongst 78 initial bidders, Kukua is proud to announce that it has successfully gained access to the Finalist Phase of the EduApp4Syria, an innovation competition promoted by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) that aims to help Syrian children learn how to read and write through the use of mobile technology.
Being amongst the three finalist enables Kukua to receive additional and considerable funding, now in excess of $350k, and technical expertise to further develop and improve the Alpha version of SIMA.
SIMA is a mobile game that teaches Syrian refugee children aged 5-10 how to read and write and improves their psychosocial well being, while playing. The App was tested in Lebanon, Beqqa Valley, in informal refugee camps where team Kukua spent time with Syrian refugee children and families. At the conclusion of the finalist phase, two final winners of the competition will be announced in early 2017 to receive further funding for distribution.
“Our efforts at Kukua to date have been concentrated in Sub Saharan Africa where illiteracy rates are very high. Our team feels humbled and excited to have been granted the opportunity to extend our work to Syria through the EduApp4Syria competition, allowing us a chance to reach many more children who deserve the opportunity to fulfill their basic right to quality education" said Lucrezia Bisignani, Founder and CEO of Kukua.
As a consequence of the Syrian conflict, millions of families have been forced to flee their homes with an estimated 2.8 million children in Syria or neighbouring countries reported out of school and experiencing learning difficulties. Unicef reported that Syrian children who have lived through the conflict might become “a lost generation” because of the dramatic losses in learning. A high availability of smartphones among war-affected Syrian families can be a means for reaching children with engaging and fun learning supplements. This can help facilitate their continued learning and future reintegration into school.
“Where schools across Syria have been damaged or destroyed by the horrors of war, our mobile game SIMA will offer Syrian children the chance to hold their education in the palm of their hands, opening the door of possibility by teaching them basic reading and writing while playing” said Bisignani.
Along with SIMA, Kukua's dedicated team of entrepreneurs, literacy experts, cognitive psychologists, software developers and game designers will also continue it's efforts developing SEMA a literacy and numeracy mobile game for children in Sub-Saharan Africa which is also participating in the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE and currently being tested in Nairobi, Kenya.