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Keeping children and young people safe online one workshop at a time

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.

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