App developed by students to promote kindness in children

Software Engineering students developed the Kindness Passport

24/01/2020 - 09h38
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Photo: Personal archive

As stated in the dictionary, kindness is the “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate”. But it can also be a quality to be developed, especially in children. This is what Passaporte da Bondade (Kindness Passport) is about. The app has been developed by Software Engineering students of the School of Technology of PUCRS. In the form of a game, it encourages children aged 6 – 10 to do good for people, animals and the world, in an effort to help them become healthy and caring adults.

The Passaporte has been used as a psychotherapy tool, in a hard copy. Now, the app is available online to children, teenagers, parents, psychologists and schools. This is how the system works: through a playful world map, children are encouraged to “conquer” countries after completing challenges, which include activities such as being kind and offering help ; making new friends; and teaching something to someone. Jaqueline Malheiros, the project designer, is a clinical psychologist who realized the need to encourage kindness in children. “Some studies have shown that kind people have a better quality of life and better emotional health. We thought about making the project using technology for children”, he says.

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App layout

The app was designed at the Experimental Agency of Software Engineering – AGES.  Professor Alessandra Costa Smolenaars Dutra, coordinator of AGES and project adviser, commended students’ active engagement and the importance of learning as it is a real tool used in psychology practices. “Jaqueline challenged us to transform printed material into digital apps. Students learned a lot from this project, they got actively engaged, they studied hard, they developed the app on Android for mobile phones and together with Jaqueline they took part in all stages of delivery, from screen development to programming and customer validation”, she recalls.

The following students got involved in the project: Douglas Paz, Enzo Russo, Gabriel Fanto, Giuseppe Menti, Guilherme Deconto, José Goulart, Julia Dorneles, Luiza Pereira, Mariana Borges, Matheus Hrymalak, Pércio Reinert, Rafael Cardoso, Victoria Azevedo and Virgilius Santos. The app is available for Android and the iOS version is being developed.