Deep Game: Sarah's Journey
The project in brief
The project is implemented by Newcomers with Disabilities in Sweden. It began in May 2021 and ended in April 2024.
The aim of this project is to create a serious game focusing on the challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees, with a specific focus on a vulnerable group of disabled women. It describes Sarah’s journey starting from her fleeing the conflict in Syria to claiming asylum in the EU. It aims to highlight how various power structures that create inequality intersect. In this case for instance, it illustrates how female refugees, who are disabled, are at a higher risk of being excluded from education, training, job opportunities and social life in the host country compared to men.
They (refuge center employee) gave me a map but I have never used one before, so I got stranded on a train station in very cold weather.
The narrative of the game involves players assuming the part of Sarah. Sarah is a 37-year-old disabled Syrian refugee who had to flee her country of origin in 2015 due to the conflict in Syria. She is taking a long and perilous journey mostly by land, eventually reaching Sweden. Sarah’s 17-year-old son has no choice but to stay in Syria to take care of his sick grandparent. He wants to reunite with his mother in Sweden.
The project received support from the Swedish Institute, Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP), which is a training program developed to build awareness, capacity, and resilience in the practice of governance in the countries in the Eastern Partnership and Baltic Sea Region. At the same time the focus of SAYP is to strengthen young professionals and their individual capabilities to meet the requirement of a modern governance structure. It was through this program that the game was developed.
Main activities of the Good Practice
The SAYP training program sparked the idea for the game. The stories described in the game were collected from newcomers with disabilities in Sweden during our online cafés and workshops. This way the voices of newcomers with disabilities in Sweden are heard.
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
Our main challenges were lack of funding, COVID-19 cancelled our trip to Georgia for some part of the program, everything moved online requiring new tools for cooperation, the war in Ukraine where support staff had to resettle for safety reasons and it took time before we could continue with the work, and we had to wait before there was enough funding for an illustrator.
How they were overcome
The Swedish Institute provided some funding for illustrator. There was no option but to give it time due to the pandemic. Everyone has been very flexible when it comes to times for meetings.
Results of the Good Practice
The project is still underway, and results will follow after evaluation. The expected results are to highlight how various power structures that create inequality intersect, for instance how female refugees who are disabled are at a higher risk of being excluded from education, training, job opportunities and social life in the host country than men.
Finding accessible housing is a huge obstacle for my integration.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
The aim of the game is to raise awareness of the target group, their integration challenges and seek better solutions to tackle the target group’s challenges. The game can be used to build an understanding between the host community and refugees with disabilities.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
Giving a voice to the target group (refugees with disabilities). Raising awareness of their precarious living conditions in Sweden. Through advocacy create a better inclusion process for refugees with disabilities in Sweden.
We hope to secure funding to print more games. We are also trying to find partners to make an online version.
Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?
There is a need for funding if we want to continue developing the game. The game needs exposure and we need partners and funding for the online version.
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