The user plays Mamadou, a child beggar who has to cross 16 levels of water bodies, forests and—what’s hardest—city traffic, to get home in one piece. Through the game, he can get gifts that increase his strength, as well as encounter further perils, such as land mines. At the end of this little hero’s journey are his parents.

“Avoiding traffic is just one of many difficulties that [Talibé children] face,” Bèye says in a video presenting the game. ”As in reality,” he says, Mamadou’s “chances of surviving such a journey aren’t quite in his favor.” So far, Cross Dakar City has been downloaded nearly 50,000 times across platforms. It’s a finalist of Best of Online Activism awards in the section Tech for Good.

Bèye—who, Reuters reports, created the game in his free time while working at an energy firm in Paris—says he wants to use Cross Dakar City prod international NGOs as well as the Senegalese government to help the child beggars. The engineer, who plans to develop a 3D version of the game, wants to capitalize on the visibility gained by this project to build a game design studio that creates games inspired by African culture.

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