The ERGO foundation “Jugend & Zukunft” (Youth & Future) has honoured four projects in its #Internetkannich competition. From the large number of entries, the jury picked four outstanding projects that promote positive online behaviour amongst children and adolescents.
The foundation was looking for non-profit schemes and projects throughout Germany that raise awareness amongst children and young people about online safety and digital media awareness. These projects help to build online skills, promote positive behaviours, in addition to raising awareness of specific topics, such as privacy or cyberbullying.
“All the winning projects take a preventive approach to this crucial issue, and in doing so help to stop cyberbullying or invasion of privacy from occurring in the first place”, says Harald Christ, Chairman of the Board of Management of the ERGO Foundation and a member of the jury. The winners use very different methods and focuses to reach out to young people and in some projects also educators and parents.
The winner in the North region is WERTE LEBEN – ONLINE, a programme organised by JUUUPORT e.V. from Hannover. In this project young people work to promote respect and fairness in online interactions; they run webinars and social media campaigns to provide tips on good online behaviour for their peers.
In West region, the winner was the mentoring programme Digitale Helden GmbH, an organisation based in Frankfurt. The project targets eighth and ninth-grade students, and trains them to become mentors who then coach younger children how to use digital media safely.
In the East region, the jury picked the project Whats up WhatsApp by Aktion Jugendschutz Sachsen e.V. in Dresden; the project works with school students to design and run a fun learning quiz that teaches children the safe use of WhatsApp.
The winner in the South region was the Medienfahrschule project developed by Erzbischöfliche Kinder- und Jugendheim St. Kilian in Walldürn. The project promotes safe online behaviour and also defines set rules for the use of online media, with the programme culminating in an exam.
The winners will receive cash prizes and a weekend in Berlin with coaching and workshops on digital issues. The total value of the prizes is 40,000 euros.
“It is very encouraging to see how many projects use digital tools to engage with children and young people and help make their digital lives safer, and also how many actively employ the skills of youngsters in educating younger children”, says Mark Klein, a jury member and ERGO Chief Digital Officer. The peer-to-peer approach, which coaches youngsters to train their younger peers, is a particularly effective way of reaching out to young people.
Profiles of the winners can be found here.