Building Character in Youth through a Game-based Solution to a Community Challenge
Nearly half the world’s youth are out-of-school or unemployed and at increased risk of social exclusion, poverty, trafficking, violence, and suicide. While most youth development programs focus primarily on equipping youth with the qualifications to secure a job or further their education, this project will prepare youth to overcome adversity through the development of character strengths.
Rooted in the belief that character development is vital for empowering youth to lead purposeful, meaningful lives, World Vision developed a multi-sectoral project model called Youth Ready. Youth Ready supports young people so that they may develop the skills and character strengths to succeed economically and become contributing members of their communities. The program has already helped thousands of vulnerable youth across the globe discover their potential and plan for their future. Through this transition to scale grant, World Vision will integrate Youth Ready with an online gaming program called Evoke. Launched in 2010 by the World Bank, Evoke uses storytelling, game mechanics, and global social networks to drive collaborative social innovation and character skills development.
Integration of the two evidence-based models is expected to improve character development and thriving outcomes beyond what could be achieved by each in isolation. In partnership with Montclair University, World Vision and the World Bank will implement and evaluate the integrated Youth Ready-Evoke model in Honduras. The team will conduct a thorough systems evaluation to determine which elements of Youth Ready-Evoke are most critical in driving youth character development. The findings and best practices generated from this project will enhance scalability of the Youth Ready-Evoke model and make an important contribution to the science and practice of character development among youth in violent contexts.