Safer Internet Day 2021
On Tuesday, 9 February 2021, we celebrated the 2nd edition of Safer Internet Day With a campaign slogan “Together for a better internet” with a theme of the Fight against Online Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), the day called upon all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for children and young people.
As always, Safer Internet Day aims to create both a safer and a better internet, where everyone is empowered to use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. The campaign aims to reach out to children and young people, parents and carers, teachers, educators and social workers, as well as industry, decision makers and politicians, to encourage everyone to play their part in creating a better internet.
This year edition was celebrated in 2 schools located in Bugesera district, eastern province where everyone was encouraged to join the movement, to participate, and to make the most of the internet’s potential to bring people together.
Emmanuel Mfitumukiza, Rwanda Safer Internet Day (SID) Committee Coordinator, said;” Children and young people deserve a safer and a better digital environment where they can create and innovate. this can’t be possible if many people use internet to spread Child Sexual Abuse Material, it is our responsibilities as a community to stop sharing harmful content and equip Children and young people with digital skills that enables them to make good decision whenever they meet such content online”.
Head teacher at G.S NYIRARUKOBWA, Theophile Nkundingabo added that” Digital skills are essential for both children and teacher especially in rural areas to develop their critical thinking skills, which will allow them to better navigate the online world”.
Jules Nizeyimana said that “Parents play a crucial role in empowering and supporting children to use technology responsibly by ensuring an open dialogue educating them to use technology positively and by becoming role model in considering end to end Encryption “.
In Celebration, children have expressed the need for guidance from parents and teachers as effective tool to inform their decisions.
John Buntu said “We need guidance in the digital realm in order to navigate positively, we need valuable information from our parents and teachers so that we can make good decisions, they know a lot by experience, they can teach us how to be responsible and respond correctly to any circumstances that can be in our way”.
Parents have expressed the need for digital literacy to keep children safe online.
Delphine MUREKATETE,parent said that “In order to help children we must admit that we need help of digital literacy too in order to know how we can continue to play our role in the new world”.
In closing Remarks, Emmanuel requested everyone to play their part making a positive difference online. “We can all promote the positive by being kind and respectful to others and by seeking out positive opportunities to create and connect” he added.
Join us for the next edition of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday, 8 February 2022.