Bulgarian Cyber Scouts learn the ropes of safety

Telenor’s campaign aims to raise public awareness of children, parents and teachers on the main risks of using Internet and ways to overcome them.

Last updated: 13 September 2016

The Cyber-scout programme organized in partnership between Telenor, the Safer Internet Centre and the Ministry of Interior involves 12-14 year-old students from five Bulgarian cities. The objective is to increase awareness of potential risks on the Internet and provide students and teachers with tools and advice to overcome this challenge.

‘Ensuring safer internet is one of Telenor’s key priorities in the corporate responsibility area on a Group level and we do various initiatives related to this topic in all the countries where we operate in. Our efforts are aimed at education but also at prevention of online risks’, says Chief Executive Officer Stein-Erik Vellan

An interactive programme for cyber-scouts, parents & teachers

The programme consists of two-day interactive training, which includes games and role-play that helps future cyber-scouts to recognize risky situations and learn how to cope with unpleasant experiences online. A significant part of the training covers tools for passing on their knowledge to peers in formal and informal set-ups.

In some of the towns, local teachers are being trained by the Safe Internet Centre team, so they can efficiently support the kids in their efforts to raise awareness and understanding among their classmates.

In addition, children and parents are getting advice on how to avoid inappropriate content and communicate safely on web via mobile devices.

During 2015 more than 120 children successfully completed the training and committed to pass on the knowledge to their peers. The program continues in 2016 covering another 6 regions of Bulgaria.

“This is the most successful safe internet initiative in the last 10 years,” according to the National Centre for Safer Internet. Kids enthusiastically participated in the training and quickly got into their new roles of “cyber-scouts”, assisting and advising their peers who faced risks on internet.

A partnership inked in letter and spirit

On the occasion of the International Safer Internet Day 2016, Telenor Bulgaria and partners reiterated the commitment to continue their educational campaign dedicated to the safety of children online. Chief Executive Officer Telenor Bulgaria Stein-Erik Vellan and the Executive Director of the Applied Research and Communications Fund, which coordinates the activities of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre, Mr. Nikolay Badinski signed a partnership agreement to mark the commitment.

To further raise the awareness of parents and teachers, Telenor launched a cyber-bullying guide, explaining the different types of online harassment, as well as a guide to social media for parents, providing explanations of the basic terms used by kids nowadays.

Telenor was the first telecom in Bulgaria to introduce a filter that blocks web domains containing child sexual abuse materials, at the end of 2014. The company also supported the launch of the first Bulgarian hotline for online safety in 2011. The emergency line offers consultation on issues related to the safety of young people on Internet.

Digital Classroom – Telenor Bulgaria modernizing the school environment in Bulgaria

stein-digitalclassroom-1

The goal of the ‘Digital Classroom’ initiative is to encourage the use of modern technologies and methods which will improve working conditions in schools and will increase the efficiency of the educational process.

Telenor contest is open to all public schools in the country and in 2016 we have its second edition. The prize fund of the contest is BGN 200,000 as the selected proposals will receive funding of up to 90% of the total project’s cost. The maximum amount that will be provided for each winning project is BGN 100,000.

Each state or municipal school may participate with only one proposal. The criteria for participation includes detailed description of the idea, goals, expected benefits, budget, communication and time plan for the project’s execution, brief summary in the form of presentation, etc.

The ‘Digital Classroom’ initiative is part of the Telenor’s long-term commitment to support Bulgarian education and young people. As a socially responsible company, Telenor is aimed at encouraging youth to use modern technologies in order to facilitate their access to information and knowledge.

Among the projects which were implemented so far, was the modernization of the Leadership Center in the 19th Elin Pelin School in Sofia. In the end-2014, Telenor donated BGN 107,000 to the school for the renovation process, which in February 2016 obtained the award for IT project of 2015. The other beneficiaries of the program are the secondary school of Koprivshtitsa «Lyuben Karavelov» and the Highschool of Mathematics «Dr. Peter Beron» in Varna. Furthermore, the company has supported the entire renovation of the Antennas and Microwave Communications Laboratory for the students of the Technical University of Sofia.