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More children are learning and socialising online than ever before. While this brings about new opportunities for children, it also brings some risks.

In Timor-Leste, many families do not have regular access to internet or smart phones and tablets. This also means that there is limited information on how to keep children and young people safe online.

“I think not all children use internet, especially how to find information or how to do searching which can be a challenge, another challenge is also children in Timor-Leste some they are not accessing to computer and internet,” said Sergio, ChildFund Timor-Leste Officer.

ChildFund is working with Western Sydney University to run the Living Lab workshops about online safety that will educate participants about online opportunities, risks and protective factors for children and youth across the Asia-Pacific region. They also identify training and capacity needs.

The workshops are run in the Lautem Municipality and focusses on educating children and young people about the impacts of technology and how to use the internet safely.

Natalisia, aged 17, shared that the workshops have given her a better understanding of how she can safely use the internet for school and to connect with her friends.

“Yes, young people have obligations for online safety because we can only understand the advantages and disadvantages of the internet if when we use it, and this workshop help me to gain insight on my responsibility as a student,” she said.

For one father Honorio, the workshops have taught him the benefits that technology can have for his child’s education. “I did not allow my child to have a phone because no money to buy until when they asked for phone because of their school requirement, to do research on the internet, so I need to save money to buy phone.”

At the workshop, Honorio learned how to support his child to use the cellphone, while protecting them from online risks. For many families that take part in the training, this is their first time learning about online safety.

“I hope that we can come up with the good quality data about online safety for children and young people also we may know some input from the parents as well because parents play important roles in helping their children to avoid possible negative consequences of accessing through internet online,” said Sergio.

Learn more about ChildFund Timor-Leste.

ChildFund Rugby today launched “Play for ImpACT,” a campaign urging the global rugby family to support women and girls to have equal opportunities to play, learn, and lead on and off the pitch.

Play for ImpACT aims to raise awareness for gender equity in rugby and beyond, as well as raise funds so that ChildFund Rugby’s partnerships can impact more communities by challenging discrimination and negative gender stereotypes in rugby and communities.

“By supporting ChildFund Rugby and its partners, you can create positive impact through rugby. Your support will help young people to learn and practice skills that lead to positive decision making, gender equity and it will inspire the next generation of community leaders through rugby,” said Chris Mastaglio, ChildFund Rugby Director.

Over the last 10 years, ChildFund Rugby’s partnerships have ensured that more than 50 per cent of players and coaches are girls and women.  Through integrated rugby and life-skills learning, children and young people have become more than future rugby champions, but future leaders, challenging harmful gender norms in their communities. To date, more than 50,000 children and young people have learned through ChildFund Rugby’s partnerships.

The launch of Play for ImpACT coincides with the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2021 to be held this October in New Zealand.  ChildFund Rugby is the first ever Principal Charity for the women’s edition, following on from partnerships that delivered social impact across Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 in South Africa.

Funds raised as Principal Charity will support gender equity and leadership learning for women and girls in New Zealand and Oceania through rugby partnerships.

“Through the public’s generosity, partners will be able to deliver rugby and life skills learning, tackling violence against women and girls. We will also support the development of new leadership networks by connecting female community leaders in rugby across the globe,” said Mastaglio. “Donations will also ensure that sport is safe and inclusive for everyone, something that is particularly important for the long-term participation of girls and women.”

With a campaign tagline of “Every act makes an impact,” ChildFund Rugby looks forward to the support of the global rugby family to shape the future of the sport.

ChildFund Rugby is led by ChildFund Australia, an independent international development organisation that works to reduce poverty for children in developing communities and a member of the ChildFund Alliance – a global network of 12 organisations which assists almost 23 million children and their families in 70 countries.