Child Helpline International and Telenor Team up to Help Children in Pakistan Stay Safe Online

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A record number of nearly 24 million children and young people across the world contacted a child helpline in 2016. In response to this growing need for support, Child Helpline International and Telenor Group have partnered to build capacity among child helpline counsellors and are launching their first online training module on child online protection. This module is available to child helpline counsellors and volunteers around the world as of today.

New online training module launched
The module will introduce child helpline counsellors and volunteers to the essentials of child online safety and digital skills, building competence of frontline support staff. It includes practical learning scenarios that child helpline counsellors encounter when talking to children about cyberbullying, inappropriate and illegal content and online sexual abuse. The module has been developed in collaboration with child helplines in Telenor markets and Child Helpline International’s Youth Advisory Council, #Youth. It is currently available in English.

“This is the first time we are able to provide an online ‘learning by doing’ experience. The module is designed to reflect the daily working experiences of child helpline counsellors and volunteers to make sure the learning can be applied directly in their work,” says Magdalena Aguilar, Co-Chief Executive at Child Helpline International.

The partnership complements Telenor Pakistan’s existing safe internet programmes including iChamp, in collaboration with Faceook and Safe Internet and School Outreach Program. We have educated over 350,000 childern on safe use of internet through both these initatives. Employees have been the flagbearers of this agenda and through employee volunteer program, Humqadam, and Customer First Day over 5,000 children were made aware of how to stay safe online.

“While it is our ambition to ensure a digitally connected Pakistan and bring the benefits of internet to the masses, we are also educating our children on safe use of internet. Telenor Pakistan has made orchestrated efforts to ensure safety and security of children in the virtual world.” Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan said. “We are spreading awareness as well as facilitating measures to make the online world a safe place. Through continued efforts, we will ensure that the internet remains a useful and enabling tool for the society.”These initiatives along with the recent partnership with Child Helpline International strengthens Telenor’s commitment towards UN SDGs 10 & 16.2, Reduced Inequalities & eradication of abuse and violence against children.

“In the age of the internet, it is essential for all the stakeholders to come together and plan for the collective safety of our children online. I am very happy that this e-learning module has taken shape after a large consultation exercise, especially from the youth who are pivotal in the digital world,” says Divyansh Dev, member of Child Helpline International’s #Youth.

More children seek help related to online issues
“The data shows an increase in children reaching out for support regarding online issues such as cyberbullying or online sexual abuse. At Telenor, we see the importance in ensuring that this need is met with high quality support from well-trained counsellors. This is why are investing in building capacity at an institution designed to be a safety net for children in distress. We are strengthening existing mechanisms through digital means,” says Mai Oldgard, Head of Sustainability at Telenor Group. “Along with experienced partners, we aim to stimulate a supportive ecosystem that addresses risks and grows resilience,” she added.

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