A record number of nearly 24 million children and young people across the world contacted a child helpline in 2016. In response to this growing need for support, Child Helpline International and Telenor Pakistan have partnered to help Pakistani children stay safe online.

The two organizations will build capacity among child helpline counselors and are launching their first online training module on child online protection. This module is available to child helpline counselors and volunteers around the world as of today.

New online training module launched

The module will introduce child helpline counselors and volunteers to the essentials of child online safety and digital skills, building competence of frontline support staff. It includes practical learning scenarios that child helpline counselors encounter when talking to children about cyberbullying, inappropriate and illegal content and online sexual abuse. The module has been developed in collaboration with child helplines in Telenor markets and Child Helpline International’s Youth Advisory Council, #Youth. It is currently available in English.

“This is the first time we are able to provide an online ‘learning by doing’ experience. The module is designed to reflect the daily working experiences of child helpline counselors and volunteers to make sure the learning can be applied directly in their work,” says Magdalena Aguilar, Co-Chief Executive at Child Helpline International.

“While it is our ambition to ensure a digitally connected Pakistan and bring the benefits of the internet to the masses, we are also educating our children on the safe use of the internet. Telenor Pakistan has made orchestrated efforts to ensure safety and security of children in the virtual world.” Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan said.

“We are spreading awareness as well as facilitating measures to make the online world a safe place. Through continued efforts, we will ensure that the internet remains a useful and enabling tool for the society.”

More children seek help related to online issues

“The data shows an increase in children reaching out for support regarding online issues such as cyberbullying or online sexual abuse. At Telenor, we see the importance of ensuring that this need is met with high-quality support from well-trained counselors. This is why are investing in building capacity at an institution designed to be a safety net for children in distress. We are strengthening existing mechanisms through digital means,” says Mai Oldgard, Head of Sustainability at Telenor Group. “Along with experienced partners, we aim to stimulate a supportive ecosystem that addresses risks and grows resilience,” she added.

“In the age of the internet, it is essential for all the stakeholders to come together and plan for the collective safety of our children online. I am very happy that this e-learning module has taken shape after a large consultation exercise, especially from the youth who are pivotal in the digital world,” says Divyansh Dev, member of Child Helpline International’s #Youth.