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AWARE/OWARE Game for Female Empowerment.

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

❝ To reap you must sow ❞ and ❝ to receive, you must learn to give ❞

Today, we are going to present a game. Yes a game ¡

Oware is an abstract strategy game among the Mancala family of board games (pit and pebble games) played worldwide with slight variations as to the layout of the game, number of players and strategy of play. Its origin is uncertain but it is widely believed to be of Ashanti origin.

AWARE or OWARE has been adapted from the ancient 7,000-year-old African board game Oware. Large calabash gourds — found regionally and typically used for carrying water in Senegal — are used as game bowls. The gourds, painted by children, become a vehicle for storytelling, including to share, explore, and challenge existing misconceptions and misinformation, stigma, and stereotypes surrounding health and social issues.

Reflecting traditional African values, players of Oware encourage participation by onlookers, making it perhaps the most social two-player abstract. In recreational play, it is normal for spectators to discuss the game in progress and to advise the players. Games may provide a focus for entertainment and meeting others. The game, or variations of it, also had an important role in teaching arithmetic to African children.

The traditionally played game focuses on two central principles “to reap you must sow” and “to receive, you must learn to give.” As such, this game is not only played for enjoyment but has been passed down from generation to generation as a useful educational and empowerment tool. Furthermore, researchers are discovering that we can learn valuable lessons through games for social change or ‘games for good’. Qualities come forth that often exemplify our best selves as we become motivated, optimistic, focused, collaborative, and heroic in the face of ‘empowerment and success’ as well as ‘failure’ thereby cultivating strength and resilience, qualities which can affect how we live in the real world. The game itself is designed to explore the challenges and the successes in moving towards aspects of female empowerment to include: education, economic, health, stewardship, human rights and politics.

The aware or oware : A Game for Female Empowerment Project promotes the human rights, health and wellbeing of women and girls, so that they can be empowered to effect change within their lives, their households and their communities.

Share the game with your colleagues and relatives. Let's start ¡

Pic by Annie Sprat.

Curator munllonch

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