An emphasis on local initiatives for Safer Internet Day 2019 in Poland
- Polish Safer Internet Centre
February is a very busy month for online safety organisations in Poland. In 2019, as in previous years, a main Safer Internet Day (SID) conference in Warsaw marked the beginning of a month of awareness raising around SID in the country.
For this event, the Polish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) decided to go big and invited over 700 participants, which made the SID 2019 conference the biggest event on children's online safety ever in Poland.
Marek Zagórski, Polish Minister of Digital Affairs, gave the welcome speech. He was followed by nine TEDx-style presentations from recognised experts in the field of online safety in Poland. The presentations covered the history of online safety education in Poland, hate speech on the internet, applications that can be used in schools, fake news, online pornography.
The conference was livestreamed to enable more people to participate. Moreover, all the presentations were filmed and shared on Facebook to reach even more people.
Since November 2018, the Polish SIC has been active in promoting SID 2019 at the local level all around Poland. For the 15th time already, the organisation has engaged with local partners to encourage them to undertake online safety-related initiatives on the occasion of SID. Already in December 2018, a number of SID promotional articles and ads appeared in numerous magazines for educators.
On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, various organisations and institutions (schools, centres for informal education, libraries, NGOs working with children, local media) could join in and register their ideas for SID celebrations at the www.dbi.pl website hosted by the SIC. The most commonly conducted activities featured online safety training sessions for children and parents, competitions, school theatres performances, happenings, radio broadcasts produced by the students.
In previous years, many of the actions have been based on the awareness material made available by the SIC (such as videos, cartoons, lesson plans, posters). To encourage local initiators to undertake educational actions, the organisers sent educational packages to everyone who registered their initiative on www.dbi.pl.
Since the SID date (Tuesday, 5 February 2019) clashes with winter holidays in many parts of Poland, the SIC team traditionally welcomes the submission of initiatives throughout the entire month. All initiatives registered by the local organisers via the www.dbi.pl website could be viewed. They are organised by region, which raises the visibility of local activists, enhances their efforts and offers a possibility for partners from the particular region to join forces for any future bigger scale campaign. Additionally, showcasing a variety of initiatives undertaken at the local level encourages local journalists to visit and talk directly to the organisers in the region they operate in and cover their involvement in the media. Making an online platform available for all national SID organisers allowed them to gain a valuable insight into what's going on at the local level and what the needs and expectations of local partners are.
Over the years, this decentralised approach in SID celebrations has proven very successful in engaging a variety of stakeholders in online safety celebrations in Poland. For many of them, this involvement marked the beginning of regular online safety-related activities in their respective regions. Each year, the "general SID mobilisation" across Poland brings a higher number of initiatives. The SID 2019 celebrations have gathered 3,971 registered initiatives. Until the end of March 2019, all local organisers are expected to send in a report of their local happenings to be able to participate in a contest and win valuable prizes. Besides, all local organisers can receive a certificate of their SID involvement, acknowledged by the SIC team.
For further information on Safer Internet Day 2019 in Poland, visit the saferinternet.pl website.
Find out more information about the work of the Polish 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.
- BIK Team
On Tuesday, 5 February 2019, the Safer Internet Day campaign turned 16 – and what a great day it was! Under the unifying slogan of "Together for a better internet", we called upon all stakeholders to join forces and bring their contribution to making the internet a safer and better place for all – especially for children and young people.