UNICEF’s Innovative Digital Platform will Help Teens Protect themselves from Cyber Attacks and Online Bullying

‘Cyber Survivor’ will be the digital compass that the adolescents will use to navigate and develop their potential

Sofia, 01.06.2021.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to spend more time online and changed the way we work and communicate. The new normal has brought new opportunities but at the same time exposed teenagers to risks in the digital world such as cyber-attacks, bullying, fake news. To identify and cope with these threats, the adolescents need a set of specific skills, knowledge, attitudes, and values. Aiming at helping teenagers develop digital literacy and enable them to survive and navigate safely in the digital environment, UNICEF Bulgaria launched a campaign “A New Generation of Critical Minds”.

In addition to raising awareness and encouraging children and young people to develop their critical thinking, the campaign presents possible solutions to address they challenges they face in the digital world.  Based on the ideas of young people and with their participation, UNICEF Bulgaria will develop an innovative digital platform which will help children and young discoverers of the digital world in their navigation and a compass to develop critical thinking and skills necessary for functioning in the 21st century. The platform, ‘Cyber Survivor’ aims to teach adolescents how to protect themselves from cyber-attacks and online harassment, and how to identify fake news. The platform will also empower teenagers to create their own content and provide their own solutions and how to make informed decisions online.

Numerous interactive features – online game, quiz, videos will support teenagers to learn by playing, to create safe social media profiles and avoid cyber attacks, to recognize and report fake news, and to avoid and react to online bullying. It will also help them learn how to avoid being involved in incidents that can be unethically reported and  how to create their content without putting themselves in danger. These problems and the possible solutions were identified and prioritized by young people in Bulgaria in the framework of the innovative digital hackathon that UNICEF and partners conducted in 2020. “The UN Children’s Fund continues to work with young people and will also reach out to their peers and influence groups. Through live trainings UNICEF plans to reach and engage young people from vulnerable communities to develop their digital skills”, said Sanja Saranovic, Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Bulgaria.

The campaign is supported by the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors – the actress Elena Petrova and the singer Vladimir Ampov – Grafa, as well as a number of other celebrities and influencers – Alex and Danny Petkanovi, Joanna Temelkova, Niki Iliev, Pavel Kolev, Itzaka, Mihaela Fileva etc.

On the occasion of the Day of the child – June 1st, and throughout June, when we mark the ‘Parenting Month’, UNICEF will also  learn from the experiences of parents who continue to ‘survive’ online every day and raise young critical minds of a digital generation. Within the digital literacy and online safety campaign, fundraising to support the platform is also under way. Support for the creation of the platform, ‘Cyber Survivor’ can be made by donating to UNICEF in the following ways:

  • Online at dari.unicef.bg
  • With monthly SMS donations of BGN 5 or BGN 10, by sending an SMS with text 5 or 2×5 to number 1021. (VAT and fees are not charged to subscribers of all mobile operators).
  • By bank transfer to the donation account of UNICEF Bulgaria: IBAN BG34RZBB91551065034919.

 

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

For more information, please contact:

Krasimira Antimova, Communication Officer, UNICEF Bulgaria, +359 882344553, kantimova@unicef.org

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