Google has announced a $1M pan-African Google.org fund to support innovative ideas around privacy, trust and safety for families online across sub-Saharan Africa. This is in the recognition of the Safer Internet Day.
Ordinarily, The Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year. It seeks to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. It also aims to inspire a national conversation on digital technology.
Additionally, The company also launched its landmark child online safety programme, Be Internet Awesome, in South Africa, the Netherlands and Nigeria.
Be Internet Awesome teaches kids important skills for surfing the internet, like how to recognise potential online scams. Using the internet securely and safeguarding valuable information. How to identify and refrain from cyberbullying. As well, teach them what to do when coming across questionable content on the internet.
“Children are being exposed to the internet at their most vulnerable age. It is important for us. at Google, to ensure that they do so as safely as possible. At the same time. Teachers and parents will have the chance to use these resources in order to support and guide children as they navigate the Web,” continues Mgwili-Sibanda.
Basically, the program aims to help minors explore the internet safely and confidently. The Google.org grant will also provide funding to help develop further programmes that aim to help children be safe online.
“Google is committed to a safe internet for children. We are also passionate about the empowerment of organisations who share this commitment. The fund will be administered by a third-party partner on behalf of Google.org. and we will be sharing details on application criteria and deadlines soon,” says Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, head of public policy and government relations at Google Africa.
Google has worked hand-in-hand with the South African Film and Publications Board (FPB) as a key policy partner in implementing the programme locally.
“The FPB has a responsibility to protect children from exposure to harmful content. Thus plays a leading role in creating awareness around the dangers of the internet,” says Abongile Mashele, Acting Chief Executive Office, FPB.