Ayiti: The Cost of Life is a social economic development game based on preventing poverty in Haiti.
You get to help a Haitian family in their efforts to obtain an education for their children and improve their quality of life, during a 4 year period, involving Rainy, Summer, Hurricane and Dry seasons. Situations will develop which will change the conditions of the family. Ayiti” is “Haiti in Haitian Creole.
The game shows the significance of education in reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and social well-being, being the cornerstone for sustained economic growth, facilitating the building of democratic societies and globally competitive economies and the means by which people can attain basic human rights and equal opportunities. It provides an overview of poverty in Haiti and the affects of living in poverty in Haiti and a family’s struggles to obtain education and improve its overall quality of life.
Players select strategies from 4 categories:
Health – the most important factor to take care of. If the whole family dies, you lose the
Happiness – is attained by watching your health, getting some education and working hard
Education – is of primary importance. It is how you acquire better jobs and win the game.
Money – the way to win the game. Try to make as much money as possible.
Each family member has a set of statistics in 3 areas of significance: Wellness – general health; Happiness – emotional well-being and Education – current education. Players work through all seasons dealing in these 3 strategy areas. Due to unexpected illnesses, accidents or the death of a family member, children may have to skip school to earn money to help support the family due to prevailing hardships.
Work choices are: Farm Hand; Volunteer by helping NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in community service projects trying to alleviate poverty in Haiti; Mechanic Assistant and Construction Worker. Some jobs are unpleasant, and some you are unqualified for or lack the necessary educational requirements. Players also make choices involving areas such as:
Family Farm – working the farm to make money so that you are not living in poverty
Rest at Home – which helps avoid illness and stress but doesn’t have you earning
School – making choices about schools Private ‘Lottery’ School, as opposed to Protestant School and their varying qualities of education
New Shoes – to make work significantly easier
School Uniforms – to help your children get into a better school
Radio – to obtain news and entertainment
Bicycle – to travel a greater distance in a day which will open up new opportunities to alleviate living in poverty in Haiti
Bed – a family bed will give the family better rest and improve your quality of life
Livestock – generates extra family income, easing poverty in Haiti
Interior Plumbing – improves sanitary conditions
Home Computer – facilitates education and improves
New House – which will be in better shape than the old home, provide more space for your family, improving quality of life
The family also has a monthly budget total of expenses involving: school tuition; living conditions; and items in the store. Running out of money has serious consequences, since the family runs out of food and a downward spiral ensues. Your mission is to try to keep the family healthy and happy for the 4 year period. The game is over if both parents die. However, if they survive, your success is measured in terms of the education your family receives. The more baccalaureates in your family the better you were able to assist them.
After each season players a breakdown of their: Starting Money, Earned Money, Spent Money and the Grand Total
Players acquire information about:
school facilities and resources are prevalent. Often parents themselves are poorly educated and therefore, unable to assist their children with their school work, and usually unable to afford tutoring.