When anti-government demonstrations began in March 2011 in Syria, what ensued was a violent government crackdown and armed opposition groups fighting back. Syria’s ongoing war has left an estimated 6.5 million people without homes in the country, and more than five million people fled to neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
In 2016, ADRA Czech Republic officials wanted to help Syrian refugees and found a unique way in developing a game app.
“The creators of the game contacted us, and we agreed to cooperate,” said Jakub Charvat, head of public relations and fundraising for ADRA Czech Republic. “As we came up with game concepts, we didn’t want the game to be brutal, violent, or associated with war. It made sense to instead create a game about helping others, and that’s where the idea of ‘Husky: The Savior’ was born.”
The interactive game app can be downloaded on any iOS or Android device at no cost. Once the app is downloaded, gamers select the play button to begin. The object of the game is to help the main character, a husky dog, to rescue puppies without getting caught.
“The aim is, the more puppies the gamer helps the husky rescue, the more points the gamer collects,” says Charvat.
Charvat explains that gamers help ADRA Czech Republic through in-app purchases, a voluntary way of earning bonus points in the game, or by watching sponsored videos. “By [their] playing the game, money will be generated,” said Charvat. “It’s that easy.”
As more gamers download the Husky game app, more Syrian refugees will receive help. “The income we receive from the in-app purchases or paid advertisements will go toward helping children in Syria receive funds to continue school, [for] shelter assistance, and clean water,” says Charvat. “The game app is a small yet innovative step toward aid provision, but it will be a big way to help Syrian refugees right from your mobile or tablet.”
In the three months after Husky: The Savior’s release in April 2018, the game had more than 1,400 downloads.