Mela: A Digital Game for Instructors to combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence


A Digital Game for Instructors to combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Ethiopia’s Agriculture Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) colleges


The first two weeks of February 2019 will go down in the history of serious game-making in Ethiopia, as a time that paved the way for an innovative avenue of contributing to one of the country’s long standing issues of concern, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in colleges. A team of experts, including game developers/designers, story tellers, illustrator, sound designer, and education researchers came together under the Dedicated 5 (D5) and made the first playable prototype of this educational game, Mela.

Developing this serious game is one of the main phases of a doctorate project of Mr. Hani Sadati, a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Studies at McGill University’s Faculty of Education in Canada, entitled ‘Participatory Digital Game Development to Address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Agriculture Colleges in Ethiopia’. This study is a response to the high prevalence rates of sexual and gender-based violence in agriculture colleges in Ethiopia. The ultimate goal is to contribute to empowering the instructors in these colleges, expanding their capacity to address SGBV issues, and supporting the development of campus-based strategies to prevent SGBV. Methodologically, this study uses participatory approaches to game development. This locally produced self-educating tool will offer a strategy for sustainability in supporting the instructors in interventions that address the safety of young women.

The project is still in progress and at the prototype stage. After receiving feedback from the advisory team, and education experts, the team will continue to develop the extended game. The game will also be field tested in the selected four ATVET colleges, Nedjo, Maichew, Soddo, and Woreta.

This project is being supported by Global Affairs Canada funded the project, Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE), as well as Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC), and Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC). Its local tech partners are Dedicated 5 (D5) and iceaddis.

For more information, please contact the researcher, Hani Sadati ([email protected]), or the local game development team ([email protected]), or visit the Facebook page of the project: Serious Game for Gender Equity