Smilegate Foundation, the charity arm of South Korean gaming giant Smilegate, said Wednesday it has opened two new community learning centers on Nov. 28, to support literacy education for women and children in Bhutan.
According to the foundation, the centers, which were built together with UNESCO and Bhutan’s Education Ministry, seek to provide women and children in remote areas with access to education, with the hopes of increasing their overall quality of life.
The charity foundation ran a campaign for three months, starting in September 2020, to collect funds for the centers' construction. A portion of in-game purchases made by users playing Smilegate's global hit mobile game Epic Seven was automatically donated to the cause.
The funds were used to build two new learning centers across Bhutan and renovate two preexisting centers. It also provided vocational training programs and educational supplies.
Bhutan’s Education Minister Jai Bir Rai met with Smilegate officials during their trip to the South Asian kingdom to participate in the centers’ opening ceremonies. Rai expressed his gratitude to Epic Seven users and Smilegate officials for supporting programs to increase Bhutan’s literacy rate.
“Through the voluntary participation of Epic Seven users, we were able to successfully end the campaign,” said Kwon Yeon-joo, director at Smilegate Foundation. “Smilegate Foundation will continue to expand our good influence as a diverse game content (provider) and a donation platform in which users can participate whenever they want,” added Kwon.
Meanwhile, South Asia has the highest illiteracy rate at 49 percent, according to data provided by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.