Search for Common Ground has developed an innovative approach to teaching Rwandan school children how to deal with conflict in their lives. In partnership with Serious Games, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Rwandan Ministry of Education, the NGO developed a computer game designed to help primary school students learn about conflict: what causes conflict and what are some effective ways to handle it.
The game, Bana Dukine (Kids, Let’s Play!) is set near a water hole and the characters in the game are the animals that use the water hole. The central character is Little Lion, whose father left him in charge of distributing water to the other animals. As the days go by, the temperature rises, and the amount of water in the hole decreases. This sets up the conflict between the animals over diminished resources. At this point in the game, conflict dialogues appear on the screen between characters, and it becomes the responsibility of little lion (i.e. the student) to choose the best response.
Founded in 1982, Search for Common Ground works to transform the way the world deals with conflict – away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. We work with local partners to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies‘ capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.