Google launches Webrangers, an online Child safety campaign

Google Celebrated its 12th Safer Internet Day with the launch of a Webrangers Campaign in Kenya. (PIX: Courtesy)

Google has partnered with seven high schools in Kenya to design a Child Online Safety campaign known as Kenya Webrangers.

The schools include Precious Blood Secondary School Riruta, Dagoretti High School, Lenana High School, Moi Girls School Nairobi, Buru Buru Girls High School, Brookhouse School and Makini School.

The campaign aims to empower teachers, parents and teenagers as well as students with the knowledge and tools for safe and responsible use of the Internet.

“The Internet provides us with varied benefits. However, to make it a safer place for all, everyone including the young internet users have a role to play in ensuring a better cyberspace,” said Michael Murungi, Google’s Head of Policy and Government Affairs for East Africa.

Other Google partners in the campaign are CODE-IP Trust, a non-governmental organisation that supports local content and new media, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Ministry of ICT, the Communications Authority of Kenya, the Kenya Film Classification Board, the participating schools, teachers and parents.

Today is the Safer Internet Day (SID)

The Safer Internet Day (SID) is celebrated every February since 2004 and seeks to promote safer and more responsible use of online technologies, now including mobile Internet.

Safer Internet Day was born in Europe and has grown rapidly, now spreading to over 100 countries worldwide, with thousands of people involved in events to promote safer Internet use.

Each year, the SID network chooses a different theme. The previous years have focused on a variety of topics such as cyberbullying and social networking.

Safer Internet Day events are always organised around one major event in each participating country, accompanied by a press conference. 2015 will mark the 12th anniversary of SID and the theme will once again be “Let’s create a better Internet together,” following the success of last year’s campaign.

During the event at Precious Blood Secondary School, information was shared with education administrators, teachers, parents and students from High Schools in Nairobi on the safe and responsible use of the Internet especially by young people.

Besides Kenya, other countries that are celebrating Safer Internet Day with similar events in Africa are South Africa, Nigeria and Senegal. Today, Google has partnered with more than 20 key organisations across the continent to address the issue of Internet safety.

The cross-continent event comprised of workshops on Internet safety with learners, teachers and parents with the different countries then joining together virtually over Google Hangouts to discuss their learning and celebrate the day