Young refugees learning game design with Nairobi Play

Nairobi Play supports refugee youth in Nairobi and Kakuma with skills on computational thinking, basic programming and intercultural competency. Read below to find out more.

The Nairobi Play Project (NPP) helps adolescents from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds by providing a platform to work together to create games that explore community-based issues using tools like Scratch and Makey Makey. 

NPP is founded upon two main key activities which include Game design and programing and intercultural competency.

Nairobi Play which is designed around a 42-hour curriculum contains lessons on active listening, collaboration and constructive criticism. The program targets 455students between the ages of 14-18 and provides additional resources and materials, both online and offline, for educators and students

Over the course of the curriculum, participants play games, learn the game design process, and remix games. Games-based learning is ideal because of how critical narrative is to both games and to intercultural dialogue. The students come together to share different perspectives and work together to design one narrative, which still represents many  challenges embedded in a game. This process helps in reaching common ground, which makes Nairobi Play successful at bridging cultural and gender divides among the students.

Play in the form of game design is a powerful tool for learning as it teaches and enhances self-awareness and building of social emotional learning. The games allow the children to enter safe spaces of their imagination while providing avenues that helps in adopting new problem solving habits that ease assimilation into their new environment.

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