The purpose of the visit was to learn about the activities of the awareness centre Safe.si and the helpline TOM telefon. Elizabeta Gjorgievska is very interested in projects covering safer internet use among children and teenagers.
Elizabeta Gjorgievska, besides being First Lady of the Republic of North Macedonia, also holds a position as a professor at the Faculty of Dentistry and is the Head of the Department of Paediatric and Preventive Dentistry at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje. She has conducted several research visits at universities in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the United States, and has been associated with several international research projects.
After welcome greetings, the Slovenian awareness centre provided some background information about the organisation and the functioning of the Safer Internet Centre (SIC). The second part of the presentation focused on activities and materials that were created in recent years: handbooks, leaflets, practical guides, awareness-raising videos, workshops for primary and secondary schools, lectures for parents and trainings for teachers. Elizabeta Gjorgievska was especially interested in Safe.si's workshops for young people. Safer Internet Day was also introduced, as well as the activities and the organisation of the TOM telefon helpline.
Elizabeta Gjorgievska expressed her enthusiasm for the project. She believes that topics such as peer-to-peer violence online, child sexual abuse, hate speech and fake news need to be addressed continuously and effectively. Since such projects are lacking in North Macedonia, she will endeavour to encourage establishing similar projects in North Macedonia as soon as possible.
Safe.si is honoured that the First Lady of the Republic of North Macedonia has shown interest in their work, and is always prepared to share their knowledge and experiences with others. They also welcome any expression of interest from countries that do not currently have projects or organisations working on the topic of safer internet use among children and adolescents. The internet is global and parents, teachers, children and young people face the same problems all over the world.
For more information, visit safe.si and the website of the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Social Sciences (both in Slovenian).
Find out more information about the work of the Slovenian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.
Photos by Primož Hrvacki