There is general agreement that the best hope for environmental responsibility lies with the next generation. With that in mind, entrepreneur Paul Franco, a Brazilian native who now lives in Hawaii, has developed a smartphone app that teaches children to be eco-friendly.
The app, called Teeba and Friends, is an animated adventure for children age 3 and up. It’s about a boy, Teeba, and a monkey, Sawi, who go fishing in an Amazon river but aren’t able to find any fish. They discover that a large corporation has built a hydroelectric dam that is destroying the natural flow of the river, which kills the fish and disrupts all the other species that feed on them.
After learning more about the ecology of the river and surrounding rainforest, Teeba and Sawi talk to animals they meet and try to convince the corporation to seek other ways to generate energy.
Teeba and Friends is based on the real-life story of a similar project, the controversial Belo Monte Dam in Para, Brazil.
“Teaching children is most effective when they’re unaware that they’re being taught,” said Franco. “This app is a fun, interactive game but it also educates kids about some very important ecological issues.
“It’s essential that they learning about animals, the environment and the impacts that our growing civilization brings to the world.”
Franco has assembled a creative team to design and script the app. The basics are in place but the project needs additional funding for animation, programming, voice talent and educational consultants. About $8,000 is required to finalize the app and bring it to market.
In order to generate this start-up capital, Franco has launched a Kickstarter campaign, which can be viewed at www.kickstarter.com/projects/666727093/teeba-and-friends . So far, more than $2,000 has been raised.
Donations of any amount are welcome. Those who contribute $50 or more are eligible for perks, such as digital downloads of the game, T-shirts and signed canvas prints of the game scenes.
“Our greatest aspiration is to inspire a future generation of eco-warriors, creating scientists, engineers, and even conscientious CEOs who are dedicated to improving our future,” Franco said. “The best way to do that is to educate and inspire the children of today.”
For additional information, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/666727093/teeba-and-friends or the Teeba and Friends website, www.teebaandfriends.com
Franco can be reached directly at [email protected]