Safer Internet/Webrangers at 2017 Goge Africa Foundation (GAF)

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On the 8th of June 2017, Safer Internet/Webrangers Program supported by Google Nigeria for the first time, partnered with Goge Africa Foundation (GAF) to train over 3500 students from over 68 schools across Lagos State.  The event which was themed “Youth Against Violence” was held at the National Art Theatre Lagos with various other partners of GAF in attendance.

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The 9th edition of career guidance and counseling seminar 2017 was organised by GAF to ensure that youths are empowered, educated and guided towards making best choices in their everyday lifestyle.

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The event kicked off with a brief welcome remark and introduction from Ambassador Isaac-Moses, president GAF and Ambassador Nneka Isaac Moses, Vice president GAF respectively.

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The event was fun packed with several activities such as; interactive hubs, dance and drama. There were also presentations from the organisers where the students were advised on ways the youths can assist in peaceful resolution of conflict and saying “No” to Violence now and in the future.

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Webrangers program is geared at grooming teenagers to become online super heroes by creatively coming up with online positive messaging campaign that will drive the safer internet message across the country to ensure that their peers are safe online while enjoying all the benefits the internet offers.

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Ms Fatima Yunusa, the first ever Nigerian Webranger Ambassador from Queen’s college Yaba Lagos narrated her success story as a webranger. A short clip documentary of her story was shown to the students. Fatima addressed the students with an encouraging speech on internet safety and how to become a Webranger. According to her it was full of  fun and adventurous.

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Mrs. Titi Akinsanmi, the Public Policy & Government Relations Google addressed the students on the importance of staying safe online, she shared online safety tips with them and reminded them that whatever goes on the internet stays on the internet as the internet never forgets.

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According to Titi, the internet offers numerous number of good opportunities, however the intent of a person changes the way they act or react while using the internet.

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Therefore, this means that the internet is not bad but rather people use it to cause a lot of danger. However it’s paramount to remember that the internet never forgets. Stay safe online and enjoy all the goodies it offers. WhatsApp Image 2017-06-13 at 11.32.30

Many students showed great interest and applied to become webrangers. Anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 years old can also be a webranger. The following are easy steps on how to become a webranger

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The event was a success and the aim of the event was achieved as we continue to empower and build young  Ambassadors that will safeguard the internet.

See below more pictures from the event:

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REASONS WHY ATTENDING THE EMEA CHILD SAFETY SUMMIT WAS SIGNIFICANT

Back when I was in school at University of Wolverhampton, I always wanted to travel around Europe to see other countries but I never got the chance so imagine my excitement when I got the invitation to attend the EMEA child safety summit in Dublin. I was finally fulfilling one of my  dreams ☺ .

I immediately filled out the application and submitted for a visa but days turned into weeks till it was a day to the summit and I still hadn’t gotten my passport back. I had already lost hope when my husband said “why don’t you send them an email?” and long story short I got a call to come to the embassy and there I got my stamped passport yay!!

So you are probably thinking it was just a summit so why all the fuss? I’ll tell you why I thought attending the summit was so important.

First of all it was my first time in Ireland and even though I had been to England it was a different experience, for one I love their accent! plus I think they are bubbly friendly people I also think that the stereotype of the Irish loving alcohol is totally true (in a good way!). Only next time I’m in Ireland, I would be bringing a bit of the Nigerian sun with me…I was freezing!

Secondly as a mother of two boys my ultimate wish is that my kids develop well both mentally and physically and above all are safe. Children benefit enormously from the communication and information potential of the internet, however there are many issues which need to be addressed relating to the content on the internet which can be damaging to kids.

                                                                       My Boys and I

The two day summit focused on showing frontline practitioners how to protect children from online dangers. The summit which was organised by Google and facebook brought together academics, NGOs, charities and politicians to share their expertise and progress as well as new plans and products for child online safety.

The first day of the summit held at Google’s stunning office. entering into the office, the first thing I noticed was my name and names of other participants beautifully scrolling on the stairs  and I thought it was the coolest thing. We were then welcomed by their friendly and well dressed staff and after the registrations we were treated to a gorgeous display of tea and finger foods.

The day started with a speech by the Irish Minister for communications Denis Naughten. The minister gave a welcome speech and thanked everyone for their tireless efforts in making sure that young people are protected online.

There were a number of inspiring and motivating speakers who spoke about various skills, tools and products that can be used to ensure that kids are safe while using the internet, but one of my favourite moments that really resonated with me was a presentation by Ms Rachel Madden (Google public policy team) she presented about a new application created by the Google team for parents called “family link”.

With Family link parents can stay in the loop as kids explore their devices, the application was designed to help parents set digital ground rules that work for the family like managing apps that kids can use, keeping an eye on their screen time and setting bed time on kids device. The application was designed for kids under 13 and it allows parents control and monitor their children’s online activity till they turn 13.

After listening to her I thought “wow! how awesome is that” I was  excited about this because I had an incident with my 6 year old son were he asked for my phone to do his homework and when I picked it up to use, I tried to search for something online and realised that he had searched for the word “breasts”.  That incident left me constantly thinking of ways to ensure that he was safe and responsible while using the internet.  

Imagine my disappointment when I found out that “Family Link” was only created for the United States. I began to think about the fact that the Minister in his speech mentioned that Ireland had a minister for children and he also listed some legislations that were enacted regarding child safety. At that moment I realised that Nigeria and indeed Africa has some major obstacles to overcome in the area of child safety.

This brings me to the motivational speech by barrister Taiwo Akinlami, a total child development expert who advocates for securing a friendly and protective environment for children . Bar Akinlami shared his heartbreaking childhood experience and used it to illustrate why child protection should be given top priority in our societies. In his words “Children are not created to raise themselves”. His speech reflected the fact that he had a bad upbringing because of the kind of society in which he grew up in. he didn’t get adequate love and attention as a kid and that led to a whole lot of issues in his adult life.

Another focal point of the summit was the emphasis of making sure that parents are involved in their children’s online life. Like I mentioned about my son earlier, I couldn’t even scold him about what he did because I knew I hadn’t really given him the “internet safety talk”. I think it’s very vital for parents to ensure that the same values they give their kids offline should also be applied online.This is important  because children look up to us as their guide in life and making sure that they are safe is our topmost priority.

The second day of the summit organised by facebook held at its headquarters. There were talks on child sexual exploitation imagery, nudity, human trafficking and exploitation. It was interesting to see that facebook has done a lot to come up with policies and tools to ensure that kids are protected on social media.

There was another very important topic of discussion on bullying and resilience by Dr Sameer Hinduja. He showed us ways in which to prevent bullying and how to build resilience in kids using activities, movies and books. Bullying is another topic that is often neglected in this part of the world, we held a workshop recently on educating parents on online safety for their kids and one of the parents talked about her son that was being cyber bullied in school and he never had the courage to tell her about it, she only found out about it  from her friend’s son.

All issues regarding children should never be taken for granted because children are the future of our nation   what are we as parents, teachers and as a country doing to protect children from sexual material sexual solicitations, threats, and harrassments they encounter online?

Safer internet Nigeria is working tirelessly to ensure that this internet safety message is out there, we have celebrated safer internet day for two years running and we are also grooming webrangers in various schools across the country in becoming web ambassadors. But we can’t do it all so we have put together strategies that we intend to implement to ensure the government’s participation in this project.

Another great work from Africa is that of Child helpline an organisation that helps to establish, promote and strengthen child help lines everywhere so that children’s voices may be heard and their right to protection, provision and participation can be ensured.  Richard Ombono their sub-saharan representative took us through their inspiring website  (click here to watch their amazing video)

The summit had no long speeches, it was simply child care practitioners around the world connecting, sharing and helping each other to tackle child safety challenges.

The presenters spoke passionately and  brilliantly shared their expertise and best practice on key policy as related to child online safety which will enable participants and child care practitioners to become more effective in promoting a child protection focus in relation to the internet and new and emerging technologies.

Attending this summit has helped me gather crucial information, tips and ideas that will help my organisation and country in coming up with practical steps that will increasingly guide children’s online activity.

The speakers, the venue, the food and on-hand staff made my stay away from my kids worthwhile. I didn’t pay to attend this event and the credit goes to my Organisation Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) and Google. I am glad i was part of such a rewarding experience.

 

This article was first published on medium and was written by Mbanan Mku

Mbanan Mku is a Safer Internet Fellow with the Nigeria Integrity Film Awards (Homevida) and is passionate about creating an online safe haven for kids.

Webrangers!! Raising Online Super Heroes In Nigeria

Since I was a child I’ve always loved taking care of my younger ones. I come from a family of five girls and a younger brother. Having no older male sibling gave people the impression that they can intimidate my siblings and I any how they see fit. That impression gave me the courage and push to always stand up and defend my siblings against bullies both at school and in our neighborhood.  Although very quiet, I managed to use my quietness to really strategize on the best ways to protect my younger ones without being violent. At school I would hear whispers like “don’t look for her trouble or that of any of her siblings, only God knows what she is thinking”’. That made my classmates call me some unpleasant names that I can’t even write down.

My early experience  of having to protect myself and my siblings led me  down the path of always looking out for children both informally and formally. As a pharmacologist by degree, I adopted a new skill which enabled me carry out my volunteering work in different child care centers. I also worked as an Au pair not just for the money but because of my love for children and my desire to keep them safe.

Few years ago I got harassed and bullied online by one of my facebook friend called Victor as i still recall. He sent a friend request which i accepted and months later he started sending annoying messages and calling me all kinds of disturbing and horrible names. Due to the fact that am sometimes on/off on facebook, one of my cousins called me to inform me that someone is posting some nasty comments on my pictures and Facebook page. As at that time, i knew nothing about internet safety and cyber-bullies and that made the experience so devastating for me. He threatened to trace my whereabout and hunt me down but unfortunately for him i wasn’t in Nigeria at the time of the incident. The mistake I made was responding back to the bully, trying to defend myself which made the situation even worse for me. I managed to delete all the nasty comments and eventually blocked the bully. However i now know better that whatever goes online stays online no matter the years to come. Because I hardly responded to Victor’s constant annoying messages, i came to conclusion that he decided to be mean and bully me in order to get my attention. I recovered eventually but took a longer time for me to recover  psychologically.

After my National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), I got a job and was excited when I was told that part of my job responsibility is to engage teenagers on Internet safety measures. For a little over a year now, I’ve been part of the team training students on how to stay safe on the internet while still enjoying all the benefits the internet offers and also building them into becoming Webrangers;online super heroes safeguarding the web to help make it a safe space for all users. They do this by developing positive messaging campaigns by themselves on cyber-bullying. This year, we kicked off our first wave of Webrangers training on the 13th of May and trained about 1000 Lagos State Model College Students on Internet Safety and the need to become a Webranger.

It was indeed an interactive, informative and educative learning experience not just for the students but also for their principals and teachers present. They got to understand that the best way to respond to cyberbullying is by Ignoring, Reporting and Blocking (IRB) the person.

The students watched various short films centred around online safety and cyberbullying. They also watched  Fatimah’s documentary; our 2016 Webranger who narrated her journey as the first Nigerian Webranger. The students opened up on their personal cyber-bullying experiences while committing to become Webrangers to protect themselves and others online.

There were lots of fun activities. The students were given the opportunity to showcase their creative and artist positive messaging campaigns on cyber-bullying. Each group boldly presented their work and took pictures with their designs. One group initiated a slogan “No bullying” More buddies”.  The rest of the students were excited as they joined the bandwagon in staying no to cyber-bullying.

There’s nothing wrong with the internet neither is the Internet bad  but the problem is when people use the Internet to do bad and terrifying things. So it’s everyone’s responsible to help make the internet a safer space for all users. Yes, let’s Say No To Cyber-bullying.

This article was first published on medium and was written by Chidimma Udeh

Chidimma Udeh is a Safer Internet Fellow with the Nigeria Integrity Film Awards (Homevida) and is passionate about safeguarding kids and teens online.

MOVIE REVIEW: OKAFOR’S LAW

 

 

Hey Guys,

Today we bring to you a movie review on Okafor’s Law. A movie produced by Nollywood actress Omoni Oboli which made it’s cinema debut on the 31st of march 2017. Okafor’s law features top Nollywood actors including Richard Mofe-Damijo, Blossom Chukwukekwu, Ify Omene amongst others.

The film  tells the story of a young man who had a bet with his two bosom friends over proving a law known as Okafor’s Law. This holds that once a man has had sex with a woman and did it remarkably well (such that she enjoyed it), he could have sex with her again irrespective of the circumstances of their break up or of the woman’s status when they later meet.

In the experimental process he falls in love with one of the women chosen as a specimen and the flow goes sore. The film’s genre can be classified as romance and drama.

Cinematography
I have seen the film three (3) times on three (3) different cinema screens (One being the IMAX at Filmhouse Lekki). The picture and sound quality was great. The editing was near perfect with an exception of a quirky sound I heard repeatedly at the middle of the film. At the beginning (where Blossom jogged on Lekki bridge), the attempt to balance His voice volume over MI’s Chairman song did not come out perfectly, however it was not alien to Nollywood’s standards. But for the pictures to appear as sharp as they did on the IMAX screen (despite not being mastered as an IMAX content), I can say kudos to the editor. The drone aerial shots were also fantastic sights to behold. On cinematography it is 8/10 for me.

Casting
The cast selection was near perfect. I only had a little challenge with Halima Abubakar’s mechanical approach to her first scene. It was so obvious she had a hard time memorizing that part of the script and synchronizing spoken words with body language. The rest of the acts did justice to their roles; my best being Gabriel Afolayan. He nailed every part of it; covering up for a few of Ken Eric’s predictable “nwa teacher” approach to his dialogues.
Next to Gabriel for me was Blossom. I particularly fell in love with the speaking in tongues and the “Sister Ejiro…” after the sex. Then, the maestro himself – RMD killing it as the “full area…” in his confrontation with Chuks. Generally, I will give the casting a 7/10. The declines will be attributed to a few hiccups with Halima Abubakar and KemiLala’ Akindoju. Please someone should give her a more serious role next time – to allow her an opportunity to prove she is not overrated.

Scripting
When Omoni Oboli said she wrote the script, I chose to see the movie first before concluding. This is because I saw The First Lady and Wives on Strike and from them, I can say a lot about her prowess. I don’t really think that the dialogues of the Okafor’s Law script I saw, were the best for such a story. However, Omoni is undoubtedly getting better by the day.
She just needs to put it more reality into her dialogues. I believe the smoothness of the movie should be attributed to the cast and not the dialogues. A less professional crew would have messed it up big time…. All the same I celebrate Omoni Oboli. At scripting, I will say 6/10.

Plot (Spoiler alert)
We all know that the story is an everyday one – Guys in da hood betting that a click member can’t do girl(s) and the guy takes steps to prove them wrong. However, Omoni made it special by aligning the everyday plot with Okafor’s Law – that I consider a brilliant approach. Everything went smoothly, except placing Ejiro’s reaction to Chuks on his way to meet up with Ify (Chief Omeni’s Wife) – before her call to him on wedding plans. That was definitely not super.

Also why did Tomi have to meet them at the end where Chuks went to test his wedding suit? That simply insinuated that she was right to infer at first that Ejiro wanted her out of the way, so that Chuks would be hers…

Anyway, generally speaking, it was a good way to plot an everyday story; the projectile flow is worth applauding. The film succeeded in proving box office worthy through scenes that were quiet entertaining. Kudos Omoni! – 7/10.

 

THIS MOVIE REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON BELLA NAIJA BLOG AND WRITTEN BY JUDE MARTIN.  

JUDE MARTIN IS A GIFTED WRITER, FILM CRITIQUE AND PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERT.

ONLINE SAFETY: WHY YOU SHOULD CARE!

Walking in from work the other day i met my six year old son hurriedly trying to close a tab he had opened on the computer while doing his homework and when i moved closer i realised he had been watching a film that wasn’t age appropriate for him . In that second different thoughts ran through my mind of the benefits/dangers the internet might have on him and i made a conscious decision to teach my kid on how to be safe, smart and make responsible choices online

We live in an age where almost everyone is connected to the internet in one way or the other. We are either connected through laptops, Computers, mobile phones or tablets. The potential for the internet to be beneficial and valuable is huge but as long as you use the internet you could be at risk of abuse and illegal activity.

Even though some users are genuine it is very easy to hide your identity online so it is possible to come in contact with people you would normally avoid. Some examples of cyber abuse and crimes include Sexting, Cyber Bullying, Cyber stalking, Identity theft, fraud just to mention a few.

Even though we often overlook or ignore these crimes there are real life unfortunate situations that have happened as a result of these issues. There is therefore need for internet users (especially young people) to be educated about online safety so that we can create a safe online environment for users.

Today’s generation of Children are very cyber savvy, they can do amazing things with the computer and most of them get to use the internet for their take home assignments. But they might not be able to handle the overwhelming situations and online problems that arise from making uninformed decisions.

To remedy this, Parents, Teachers and guardians are tasked with the responsibility of understanding how kids/young people use technology and social networks.They also need to learn about technology literacy, online reputation and social awareness as a guide to protecting kids against bullying, reputation, identity theft, and cyber crimes.

One example from the numerous internet crimes that has happened in Nigeria is the case of 24 year old Cynthia, the only Daughter of General Frank Osokogu (rtd). Cynthia was reported to have been chatting with two undergraduates on facebook for two months and in this short time disclosed personal information to them and also agreed to travel to Lagos to meet with them. The young lady ended up getting drugged and killed. Click link below to see story

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/08/how-ex-generals-daughter-cynthia-was-killed-by-facebook-friends/

As Webrangers around the world fight against cyber bullying and verbal abuse let’s all join in the cause and be digitally responsible. Our security on the internet is a collective responsibility even though we might never be able to eradicate the danger of interacting online we can reduce it so let’s exercise safety online and encourage our kids to do the same.

This article was first published on Medium and was written by Mbanan Mku

Mbanan Mku is a Safer Internet Fellow with the Nigeria Integrity Film Awards (Homevida) and is passionate about creating an online safe haven for kids.

WE HAVE BEEN NOMINATED!!

 

Hey Guys,

Yay!! We have been nominated! Whoop! Whoop!!

Safer Internet Nigeria was borne out of the urgency to educate and empower young people to be safe and responsible while using the internet.

Owing to the fact that everybody is connected to the internet in one way or the other ,Safer Internet Nigeria has been committed to protecting kids against cyber crimes especially cyberbullying hence the #stopbullying campaign that was launched over 3 months ago.

As a result of the work we have done in creating a safer internet space, We have been nominated by the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) in the 2017 .ng Awards for the “Making the Internet a Safer place” category.

Voting is already on and it ends on the 3rd of April 2017.

Kindly click here to VOTE for saferinternet.org.ng in the “Making the internet a safer place category”