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Italian startup launches mobile game for Syrian children

(AGI) Rome, Sept 8 - Education will be placed in the palm of Syrian children's h...

Italian startup launches mobile game for Syrian children
 Siria, da startup italiana 'mobile game' per far leggere i bimbi

(AGI) Rome, Sept 8 - Education will be placed in the palm of Syrian children's hands through a mobile phone game designed to teach the 'lost generation' how to read and write. The app was created by Italian startup Kukua, which was among the five finalists selected out of the 87 bidders at the EduApp4Syria international competition, promoted and funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). A technical consultant and a grant of more than 350,000 dollars will now help Kukua further develop and improve the Alpha version of its app, SIMA. The mobile game is targeted for children between the ages of 5 and 10. The app was tested out in the Beqqa Valley in Lebanon, where Kukua's team spent several weeks with children and families in informal refugee camps. In early 2017, NORAD will announce the competition's top two candidates, who will receive further funding to help distribute their product. "To date, Kukua has concentrated its efforts in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the literacy rate is very low. We are extremely grateful and thrilled for the opportunity granted by the EduApp4Syria competition to expand our work in Syria. It will allow us to reach many more children and offer them quality education, a right they have been denied for years due to the war," affirmed Kukua's CEO and co-founder, Lucrezia Bisignani. The conflict in Syria has uprooted millions of families from their homes. Around 2.8 million children in Syria and its neighbouring countries cannot access the school system, creating enormous challenges for their studies. But new technology might help save Syria's 'lost generation'. "Our mobile game SIMA will offer Syrian children the chance to take hold of their education in the palm of their hand in places where schools have been destroyed or damaged by war," Bisignani said. Kukua is built of an international team of entrepreneurs, literacy experts, cognitive psychologists, software developers and game designers who work together to create educational mobile games for disadvantaged children. Alongside SIMA, the startup is developing SEMA, a game that will teach Sub-Saharan African children how to read, write and do arithmetic. It is currently competing for the 15 million dollar Global Learning XPRIZE. (AGI). .