‘JESSE’ TO ROLL OUT IN ST LUCIA TO TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Following the success of its educational computer game, JESSE, in Barbados and Grenada, None in 3 is delighted to announce that commencing this month, JESSE will be implemented in the south of Saint Lucia, in seven schools.
JESSE was the first prosocial game developed by the None in 3 Centre (Ni3). Ni3 is a global Research Centre at the University of Huddersfield, UK, which creates evidence-based prosocial games to address gender-based violence. It created JESSE in a two-year project (2016-18) funded by the European Union with support from the Sweetwater Foundation.
Though JESSE's story is sadly familiar, he is actually unique, for he is the main character in a computer game designed to teach children about domestic violence, tackling the negative gender attitudes that feed genderbased violence, helping children to make positive choices and building empathy along the way.
The story draws on characters, environment, dialogue and voices from the Caribbean and has been designed specifically with Caribbean young people in mind. It tackles many different issues including the influence of alcohol, the effects of domestic violence on children (including child violence), gender inequality, positive male role models, intergenerational violence and, through its characters, models conflict resolution skills.
In July Professor Adele Jones (Co-Director of Ni3) and Dr Ena Trotman Jemmott (Independent Consultant) visited Saint Lucia to meet with the Acting and Deputy Chief Education Officers, Ministry of Education, who expressed total commitment to the roll-out of JESSE across all schools in the country. In light of a recently introduced rights-based curriculum module (Education for Democratic Citizenship), the intention is for JESSE to be embedded within schools' timetables and sustained year on year. Initial roll-out in the seven schools is being conducted by Ni3 Consultant and International Advisory Group Member, Dr Morella Joseph.
Providing teachers with a new child-centred intervention for raising awareness of the impact of domestic violence and what can be done about it is important because violence in the home is closely linked to violence in schools.
“The research is clear: when children play aggressive computer games their behaviour can become violent but when they play socially conscientious games, their behaviour correspondingly improves. Trials of JESSE show that when children play the game as part of a class lesson, levels of awareness of the impact of domestic violence and empathy are increased. These results are important because, as the UN states, educational programmes which challenge attitudes that contribute to violence against women are an important strategy in preventing it,” said Professor Adele Jones.
JESSE is designed primarily for working with young people in education settings. However it is also valuable as a training tool for professionals. It comes with a user manual and is available for free download on PC & Android devices and also for webplay at: http://noneinthree. hud.ac.uk/barbados-andgrenada/jesse/.
Professor Adele Jones and Dr Ena Trotman Jemmott in a workshop for principals and teachers from participating schools in Saint Lucia.