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Child Focus and Proximus collaborate to ensure children's safety online!

On Thursday 26 October, around 120 Proximus volunteering employees, trained by Child Focus, will visit more than 260 primary school classes in Belgium to increase pupils' awareness of the Internet's advantages and its risks.

It is by highlighting the advantages of using the Internet responsibly that we will make youngsters aware of the traps.

We must empower children and invite youngsters to think about the consequences of their behavior on the Internet so they learn to protect their privacy on social networks and make the most of the opportunities of their online experience.

Prevention therefore remains imperative. Young Belgians, like their peers from other European countries, are passionately devoted to the Internet but don't always exercise the necessary caution when using it. The European Commission explains that one in three Internet users is a child and that children spend more and more time on social networks, online gaming and mobile applications. "Browsing the Internet offers thousands of interesting opportunities, but also exposes young people to dangers such as cyberbullying, hate speeches and manipulative advertising". The aim of this day, therefore, is to promote safe, more enriching and creative digital use among children.

Education about new technologies is a key element of Proximus' social responsibility policy. Thanks to our partnership with Child Focus, we have been helping to raise children's and teaching staff's awareness on responsible Internet use for seven years now. The success we encounter in schools confirms that we are fulfilling a true need for guidance and information in this field, and every year our employees are happy to put their expertise at the service of the youngest users. I believe that with this project, we have an example of an excellent collaboration between a company, Proximus, and civil society.

A unique and effective intersectoral partnership in action for six years

Since 2011, twice a year, volunteering employees from Proximus coached by Child Focus visit close to 300 classrooms in Belgium to raise awareness among thousands of fifth- and sixth-year pupils in primary school. Inspired by these interactive lessons, the children are made to think about their own online behavior through the questions they are asked. In total, more than 77,000 children have received the training given by Proximus employees.

Teachers are required to take part...

Raising awareness is the first step; changing online behavior is the ultimate aim. To achieve this objective, one hour is not enough. That is why the teachers are asked to actively participate in the lesson given by the volunteers in their classroom. They are presented by the trainer as a reference person, someone to whom the children can turn if they have any questions or problems. In addition, every teacher will receive a brochure published by Child Focus with all the available tools to help them broach the matter of online security, and to deal with certain aspects in greater depth in later lessons. The teaching material is available online on the Child Focus website.

A helpline for everyone

As the Belgian Center for Safe Internet, Child Focus operates an e-Safety helpline. This service is for all Internet users: children, teenagers, parents, education professionals (teachers, school directors, educators, social workers, etc.) who have questions about safe and responsible Internet use and/or who have encountered a problem online. This helpline can be reached by dialing the Child Focus emergency number 116.000.

For more information, surf to www.clicksafe.be, the Child Focus prevention portal for Internet safety

Practical information

Would you like to visit a school participating in this initiative?

Discover the list of the schools that Proximus employees will be visiting on Thursday 26 October.

To find out the exact time schedule and a contact person, please contact the Proximus Press Relations department or Child Focus.

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