A virtual safehaven.
Plan International’s mission doesn’t stop at the borders of our analog reality. They're very well aware of the necessity of their work in the digital realm, too. But how to go about that is another question altogether. Enter yondr. We helped them translate their mission—to advance children’s rights and equality for girls—into an immersive safe space on Roblox, to inform, support and invite dialogue. A space built with the support of some bright kids who helped us navigate their future. Because they are the future.
Teaming up with University Antwerp and de Aanstokerij, we decided to create a safe space in the metaverse for kids to learn about gender equality. There, we educate them about transgressive behaviour and how to react to it, both as a victim or as a bystander. A true virtual safe haven. Right now, it’s a stand-alone space with a couple of minigames that can be accessed via other worlds, like the Pukkelpop festival on Roblox. In the future, it could easily be attached to other spaces or translated and used by other Plan International chapters around the world.
Working with Gen Z
We kicked the whole thing off with a workshop about the metaverse, inspiring our partners about the possibilities. After which we gave a workshop for the kids who were to be our audience, sanity check, and main source of information. That workshop was quite different from what we’re used to. Working directly with Gen Z is inspiring, and something we plan on doing more often in the future—after all, it’s them we’re trying to reach.
Some of the topics were a tad sensitive, but thanks to the right methodology and Plan International’s guidance, everybody could safely have their say. Using the concept of the ‘gender cookie’ during all three workshops, we answered questions about gender, online behaviour, and how the young ones experience virtual reality.
Even though we at yondr are experts in the matter, we don’t have a lot to tell these young ones about virtual worlds. For them, the metaverse is a seamless extension of their reality. They are like fishies in the water. And pretty smart fishies too. We learned a lot from them, about the technical side of things, but also about their experience with Plan International’s mission.
Going forward, all this information and these learnings will be processed and bundled in a whitepaper by the University of Antwerp. We’ll also work with Plan International to unlock this world for as many kids as possible, looking for other collabs and partners in Roblox.