As part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children(25 November 2017 – 10 December 2017), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and Lead SA will launch a series of Instagram stories created by Web Rangers to highlight the abuse and violence faced by young people online.
Web Rangers is a digital literacy programme comprised of children aged between 12 – 17 who champion issues of digital safety amongst their peers and through digital campaigns. These are centred on spreading awareness around protection from cyber-ills and positive use of the internet amongst others.
As we all know, the internet & various social media platforms present many opportunities such as accessibility of information for all and have the potential to act as a platform for voicing one’s opinion, learning and addressing inequality. The sad reality is that with great potential comes great risk and especially for children.
The dark side of the internet and social media is that it is less explicit, covert, harder to distinguish and can take place any minute. Every time a young person goes on Facebook or WhatsApp, they face the risk of being cyber-bullied or being exposed to sexual and inappropriate content which inhibits them from taking full advantage of the internet to better their lives and those of others.
This year, the Web Rangers will raise their voices on Instagram and harness the potential of positive digital influence to spread awareness about what young people can do to protect themselves against cyberbullying, grooming, sexting etc.
Phakamile Khumalo, Web Rangers Programme Coordinator in South Africa says, “This initiative works to educate youth about how to protect themselves from online violence, in a way that involves meaningful children’s participation and empowers them to act to stop the cycle of online abuse.”
Under the theme of #16PLUS, the Web Rangers have developed 16 stories – each to be released every day of the 16 Days of Activism.
The #16PLUS theme also encourages other young people to tell their stories and share their tips to help their peers stay safe even beyond the 16 Days campaign.
For enquiries contact:
Web Rangers Coordinator (MMA)
Or Ayabulela Poro
Head of Children’s Programme (MMA)
011 788 1278 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com
2017 Web Rangers Award Ceremony – the campaign winners are announced!
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is proud to announce Khutlo-Tharo Secondary School and Park Senior Primary as the overall winners of the 2017 Web Rangers Digital Literacy Campaign competition in the high school and primary school categories. MMA made the announcement during an awards ceremony held at The Pyramid Conference and Venue Centre in Johannesburg on 23 September 2017.
Web Rangers is an international programme implemented in various countries such as New Zealand, India and Kenya. In South Africa, the initiative is led by MMA in South Africa together with local partners, Google SA, Facebook, the Film Publication Board (FPB), MTN, PPM Attorneys and Digital You.
Web Rangers encourages young people to champion safer internet behaviours within their schools and communities through the creation of innovative campaigns that promote their rights and active participation in the digital world.
This year 160 children were recruited from 16 schools in Johannesburg and trained on how to navigate and take advantage of the digital space. According to the Web Rangers Project coordinator, the theme for this year was centred on using the internet to create a better South Africa. “Being a Web Ranger ambassador is not only about being informed about online safety. We hope the Web Rangers will continue to work towards a national call to action to ensure that young people take charge of their knowledge and extend it to other younger people so they too can realise the potential of the internet when used responsibly.”
The Web Rangers campaigns submitted for this year’s competition was adjudicated by a panel of judges including social media experts and children from MMA’s Children’s News Agency. According to Khumalo, both of the overall winning campaigns scored highly in terms of clear objectives, social impact and engaging content. “The campaigns showed a combination of technical skills and innovative and thinking in the execution of the campaign.”
Madibane Comprehensive High School came second and Thaba Jabula Secondary School’s campaign was awarded the third prize winner in the high school category. Both schools are based in Soweto. Parkhurst Primary was named runner-up in the Primary School Category.
Director at MMA, William Bird congratulated the winners, “not only have the winners shown great commitment to online safety and making SA a better place, they have also shone a bright light on the skills of our young people. Giving us hope for our future.”
Nondumiso Shange and Keenan Adams, START PACKING THOSE BAGS! YOU GUYS ARE GOING TO San Francisco!
Congratulations! You have been selected to represent the 2016 South African Web Rangers at the Google Global Summit taking place in USA, Mountain View San Francisco. You TWO have been chosen because of the outstanding leadership potential you have demonstrated in the written motivation given to us as part of the competition. The International Web Rangers Summit will take place on 30 September 2016.You will traveling from the 29 September 2016 and returning on the 01 October 2016. With the gracious financial support of Google, this is offered to you as a fully paid for trip including flights, accommodation and all meals while in San Francisco. During the trip, you will join other Web Rangers from across the world to enjoy a unique learning experience.
The Google Global Summit took place on 30 September 2016. Here is an update on all the exciting things that happened:
Web Rangers arrived at the Google offices in California to meet other Web Rangers from 14 countries across the world. The day was filled with excitement as Web Rangers got to interact with each other and discuss issues of Digital Literacy from across the world, drawing from each country’s experiences!
The day started with an awesome intro by the Vice President of Global Policy at Google, Caroline Alkinson. She spoke about the importance of digital literacy in the 21st century and the role that Web Rangers play in bringing awareness around issues of internet safety.
The panel and question and answer by student voice: Merit Jones, director of Partnerships, Andrew Brennen, national field director, Mohammed Mduko, student voice. The discussion highlighted the different of using the internet to be the voice of change among the youth globally. The discussion is facilitated by Anne Collier, founder of iCanhelpline.org and Executive Director, The Net Safety Collaborative.
Storytelling session: Web Rangers tell their inspiring journeys as digital literacy ambassadors!
The Web Rangers ended the day with a mini tour at the Google offices!
Children from Park Senior, McCauley House and Kenilworth schools took part in various activities on Safer Internet Day, 9 Feb 2016. One of the activities was to design a concept that would become the Web Rangers South Africa logo.
Each group produced amazing pieces of art that our designers turned into the Web Rangers logo you see below. It was exciting and encouraging to see the innovation and creativity shown by these young people and if this is an indication of things to come from the Web Rangers, we can look forward to seeing some very innovative campaigns from the South African programme.
To celebrate the 2016 Safer Internet Day, MMA together with programme partners successfully launched and piloted the Web Rangers programme in South Africa, with the aim to promote online safety, digital literacy and cyber-security for 150 young people in 13 schools around Gauteng.
Web Rangers unpacked
The potential of the internet is endless and presents many opportunities for interactions and communication that transcends both time and space. It also allows for a platform for children to be informed and voice their opinions on issues that affect them, provides room for learning and addressing inequality, creates an opportunity for enormous creativity to spread!
However, the internet poses some real dangers, especially for young people….. these include
Cyber bullying, sexual and emotional abuse online are some of the risks faced by young people in the country EVERY TIME they access the internet WHICH may inhibit them from taking full advantage of the internet to better their lives and that of others!
Web Rangers is the solution to the many ills faced by young people! to the development of digital literacy and digital citizenship skills. Web Rangers is a digital literacy programme that focuses on the participation of children who will champion the right to access the internet and online safety.
Below are quotes from programme partners talking about the importance of online safety!
“The safety of children is of utmost importance especially with the growth of digital technology. As an organisation, the FPB also seeks to protect children from exposure to harmful materials,” says FPB spokesperson Janine Raftopoulos.
“In South Africa, we know that rangers traditionally guard parks and other areas of natural beauty. At Google, we also want to recognise modern day rangers – we call them Web Rangers – and their aim instead will be to keep the Internet safe for themselves and other young users,” says Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, Public Policy for Google South Africa.