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MELA – A Serious Game to address Sexual and Gender ‑ Based Violence in Ethiopia

Posted by stephanie rogers on October 13, 2021 in News

MELA, which means “Find a Solution” in Amharic, is a video game designed for college level instructors to learn how to address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in their classrooms in Ethiopia. The game has been developed by Dr. Hani Sadati, who completed his PhD on development of the game as part of Dalhousie’s Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Training (ATTSVE) project.

The ATTSVE Project led by Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture, supports agricultural colleges in Ethiopia to develop capacity, enhance campus development, and prepare skilled, competent, and inclusive graduates in gender sensitive education.

A “Serious Game” is a term given to games which intend to be informative and entertaining at the same time, to teach players an educational perspective on matters which need to be understood and comprehended by society. SGBV needs to be acknowledged and addressed accordingly.  Ethiopia is one of the countries with the highest rating of SGBV (WHO, 2019) and it is important to develop solutions, as women in the agricultural sector (which provides 80% employment in the country) face a considerable amount of gender disparity.

The game, MELA is in an interactive format, giving the players the ability to make choices based on the situation at hand. The game has a total of five chapters with 22 certificates to be achieved. The game puts you in a teacher’s seat to learn and interact with your fellow colleagues and students and helps you manage and conduct a class where major gender inequality exists. The game also advises on methods for motivating female students and increasing their self-esteem, provides language support, how to effectively communicate, and information on the resources available to students for conflict resolution and resilience.

The certificates are a feedback mechanism that rewards the player for their contribution and participation in understanding and addressing the SGBV issues in Ethiopian ATVET (Agricultural Technical Vocational Education Training) colleges.

Serious games are a self-educating tool which help with the sustainability of educational and social change programs and empowerment of women in agricultural education.

Mela is free for all and if you would like to view the game it can be accessed on Android or Apple via its gaming website and on Facebook on @melagame. You can also contact Hannah Pugh in the International Office for more information