"I had the instinct. I knew how to give people objectives and let them know how to effectively use their time. Since I was young, I decided that when the day comes and I go back to my creator, I want to leave an impact in this world."
Hidayet El Ayadi, the founder of SgharToon and 2022 Halcyon MENA (Middle East/North Africa) Intensive fellow, was born in Egypt to Tunisian parents. They taught her to embrace differences from a young age. Inspired by her sister’s challenges in the classroom, Hidayet founded SgharToon, a telehealth platform leveraging video games to detect and treat learning difficulties in children. Her venture is the first and only provider of its kind providing digital tools for therapists in Arabic.
Read her story below.
“When I was in second grade the main teacher pulled my mom in and said, ‘Come quickly–you have to see what your daughter is doing’. It was recess and she saw me coming out of the classroom with a very big boy standing beside me and I was ordering everyone in the class. ‘You get to go get your food. You get to go out and play. You can go do whatever you want to do.’
So, from the time I was really little, I had the instinct. I knew how to give people objectives and let them know how to effectively use their time. Since I was young, I decided that when the day comes and I go back to my creator, I want to leave an impact in this world.
My sister has dyslexia and two other learning disabilities so she had a really, really bad learning experience in school. So I was looking for a project to get my diploma at graduate school and my mom said ‘if you could do something to help people like your sister that would be really wonderful’. That’s when I decided to create my platform.”
The idea behind SgharToon is to help parents understand when their child has signs of learning difficulties and helps link them to a therapist. We offer a tool that allows therapists living anywhere in the world to be linked with any child using what children love most, video games. The idea is to create therapeutic tools based on video games and data allowing us to detect and treat learning difficulties.
We’ve seen a lot of bad things happen in this world, from war to Covid-19, and we all understand that this earth needs people that work for more than just money. The time for businesses that work only to earn money is over. Having a structure like Halcyon that’s helping impactful startups is so important because impactful startups are feeling alone, for whatever reason, in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We need to find each other. We need to work together because our impact will not show in one or two years. But you’re investing in groundbreaking products and change.
Next for us is expanding to Saudi Arabia, raising 1 million dollars and hitting our objective of reaching more than 5,000 children by 2024.”
The Voices of Halcyon
The Voices of Halcyon series is part of Halcyon’s end-of-year campaign in which we fundraise to support entrepreneurs like Hidayet El Ayadi of Halcyon’s MENA (Middle East North Africa) Intensive. With your support, Halcyon can reach its goal of $25,000 to continue providing a stipend, free housing, leadership coaches, consultants, legal support, and more to entrepreneurs driving communities into a brighter, more equitable future. Please support Halcyon by clicking the link below.