The day was officially declared with the intention to engage young people as future leaders in community activities that embrace cultural differences and promote international understanding and respect through friendship.
Each year, in observance of the International Day of Friendship, the United Nations encourages governments, international organisations and civil society to actively contribute to promote dialogue among civilisations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.
At Better Internet for Kids (BIK), we believe in friendship as a catalyst for human well-being. Our primary focus revolves around addressing issues related to online friendship, fostering the connection between generations, and celebrating diversity online. Indeed, with the rise of social media platforms and the transition from offline interactions to online engagement, the internet has become a primary channel to connect children and young people with their peers and stay in touch with friends and family. However, this change also exposes the youth to harmful content and inappropriate conduct. Therefore, raising awareness and paying attention to how young people use digital devices that facilitate social interactions is crucial.
The Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) has created educational material for parents, caregivers, teachers and educators in different European languages. You will find some resources to get started on online friendships and relationships below:
- The Latvian Internet Centre has created a tool for children and specialists working with children, parents, and caregivers. It is an online test to recognise dangerous online friendships and encourage them to seek help. Available in Latvian.
- Child Focus created a learning tool called Sextooh. The tool encourages young people to become aware of the dynamics they are involved in during sexting and the influence of their choices. Available in French.
- Explore our article, which delves into the importance of consciousness and education regarding online communication and relationships.