Facebook today announced a new dedicated youth online safety programme in partnership with Digify Africa. Aiming to train 1000 South Africans between the ages of 13 to 18 across high schools and youth groups nationwide, the programme will challenge students in understanding how they can stay safe online, provide practical tips and guides, whilst creating a number of youth ambassadors to provide peer-to-peer support.
Titled Ilizwe Lam —Xhosa for ‘My World’— the launch of this programme underscores Facebook’s ongoing local commitment to youth safety and education. Created in consultation with youth groups, the dedicated online safety curriculum will feature interactive and engaging learning modules which will provide advice in how to make the most of the opportunities on the Internet, whilst protecting themselves from issues such as scams and harassment.
“The Internet is a gateway to a world of economic opportunities, educational possibilities, fun, and friendships for many young South Africans,” says Emilar Gandhi, public policy manager for the SADC region at Facebook. “But it is also important for them to learn how to protect their personal information and to safeguard themselves online. Increasing awareness and ensuring that young people feel empowered is important and something we're committed to. That is why I'm proud to be launching Ilizwe Lam to form part of the work Facebook is already doing in South Africa.”
The training programme will include modules featuring content such as:
· Looking after your digital footprint and managing your privacy online.
· What to do when you encounter inappropriate content or behaviour on social media.
· How to decide what you share online.
· What to do when you share something online that you regret.
· Dealing with cyber-bullying, harassment and scams.
· Examples of young digital hustlers furthering their studies and careers by accessing content and making connections online.
“The digital economy is growing fast in Africa, opening up a world of opportunities for young South Africans to connect with content, other people and create sustainable livelihoods for themselves” says Qhakaza Mthembu, head of Strategy at Digify Africa. “We're really proud to have co-created this programme with young South Africans, to enable them to safely tap into all the resources of the online universe.”