Within one month of kicking off the Child Online Safety Program by Grameenphone, Telenor Group, and UNICEF, the initiative has already reached more than 200,000 children. The initial target for the outreach program is reaching 400,000 children, aged between 11 to 16 years, and sensitizing 50,000 parents, guardians and teachers across the country on how to facilitate a safer internet experience.
This nationwide initiative titled ‘Be Smart, Use Heart’ involves training in schools across the country focusing primarily on building awareness on the safety measures for digital learning. With a view to creating awareness and understanding of a safer internet environment for the youth, the initiative has also included the Child Helpline hotline (1098) service which has been expanded to incorporate Child Online Safety issues. Through the helpline, the youth and guardians can directly receive counseling and other support.
Expressing his excitement on shooting over the halfway point of the program in such a short time, Grameenphone CEO said, “With the rapid changes in technology, we have to adopt many changes. It’s our duty to guide our young ones to embrace the new realities and our Child Online Safety program is one such initiative. If we can ensure a safe online environment for our children, they would be able to use it more creatively and reap its benefit. I’m happy to see the progress of our program made so far.”
Grameenphone has been actively advocating safer internet messages amongst children since 2014 and reached out to 130,000 students nationwide until last year. In 2015, Grameenphone and UNICEF had also launched a parent’s guidebook for responsible internet usage and best practices. This initiative will help Grameenphone and Telenor Group support their global commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10 – Reducing Inequalities.