|Project Title:||Discipleship App & Curriculum Digitization Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To develop a mobile app and animated video curriculum for mentoring children and capable of being used in 20+ languages worldwide.|
Alongsiders International is a proven grassroots discipleship movement mobilizing thousands of young Christians in 16 countries across the developing world to walk alongside those who walk alone – their own neighbours (vulnerable orphans and children in their village/slum).
AI partners with church networks in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to equip young Christians to disciple one child each (called a “little brother” or “little sister”) and take them through a 3 year, locally-contextualized, comic book based discipleship curriculum, that teaches Biblical principles and life skills.
The curriculum is made up of 27 lessons over 3 years (based on the Circle of Courage framework for working with at risk children and youth). Lessons cover topics such as God’s love, prayer, dealing with abuse, goal-setting, drugs/alcohol, gambling, pornography, servant leadership, creation care, encouragement, community organizing, and many more.
Our impact assessment in Cambodia showed that children who have an Alongsider mentor are much more likely than the control group of similar children (from the same village with no Alongsider) to express hope for the future (99% vs 59%), believe that God cares for them (92% vs 34%), be attending school (99% vs 55%) and receiving help with their homework (97% vs 38%). We are seeing similar results in new countries and are ready to scale up further to meet the demand.
In order to move into the next level of growth, we hope to create a system whereby any Christian youth anywhere in the world can become an Alongsider. To this end, we are developing an App that can be used by Christian youth anywhere, which will take them through the process of becoming and serving as an Alongsider. This App uses the latest in gamification principles (eg. points, teams, levels, prizes, etc) to engage youth in a way that they respond to.
For launch and promotion, we have formed a relationship with YouVersion (Bible App with more than 300 million downloads) – who have agreed to help us promote the Alongsiders App via their Bible Plans platform which reaches millions of Christians in multiple languages (eg. 6 million Hindi speakers who read a chapter of the Bible each day through YouVersion).
This is more than just an app that supplements our work, it is a fundamental shift in the way we are able to mobilize and equip youth – allowing the movement to move up into the next level of global growth.
Our innovative comic book curriculum which has previously been delivered as printed books will need to be converted to a digital version (Webtoons) in order to be accessible through the App, allowing us to reach more youth/children and at a much lower cost (virtually zero) in the 20 languages we have developed.
- Create, test and launch a new discipleship App in 2019 based on the Alongsiders model, allowing us to equip Christian youth anywhere in the world to participate in the movement as disciple-makers
- Convert all our comic book curricula (5 curricula in 20 languages serving Africa, Middle East and Asia) to be deliverable via the App (as Webtoons)
- Produce a series of 10 training animations that are unlocked as an Alongsider works their way through the App