Refugee Education


Sima by Kukua

A culturally relevant mobile game that teaches children academic and psychosocial skills

Team Lead

Lucrezia Bisignani

The Solution

Game-based learning presents a promising alternative for refugee children who lose access to a traditional classroom education. Kukua’s game-based learning app, Sima, is a highly engaging, open source mobile game that empowers refugee children aged 5-10 to master basic reading, writing, and numeracy. The game employs a user-centered design approach to inform all aspects of Sima’s research, design, and testing. Sima was built in collaboration with a team of Syrian experts and storytellers, Arabic curriculum and content developers, and cognitive psychologists and psychosocial well-being experts.

Incorporating elements of Syrian myth and folklore, the game includes nine culturally-relevant worlds and five levels throughout which the animated heroine, Sima, guides players on a structured learning path. Through the game’s dynamic story and reward systems, children internalize positive messages in areas such as resilience, emotion management, mental and physical self-care, and cross-cultural interaction.

Existing Partnerships

Kukua has partnered with the following organizations:

  • Echo VC
  • firstminute capital
  • Founders Factory
  • Kima Ventures
  • Burda Media
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)

Solver Team

Organization Type:

Rome, Italy


Working in:
Lebanon, Turkey



Solution Team:

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