FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 June 2021
Auckland, 9th June 2021 – Government representatives from Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have joined the Pacific Islands Digital Citizenship and Safety Advisory Group, a digital literacy initiative first convened by Facebook and Save the Children in July 2020.
The new Government representatives join Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga member countries, alongside youth, academic and NGO representatives from the region.
The Advisory Group met virtually on Tuesday to welcome the new countries, and to launch the official ‘I Am Digital’ website. They also reflected on the impact and lessons learned from the ‘I Am Digital’ initiative and discussed opportunities for its future expansion in the original four countries, as well as Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
‘I Am Digital’ is an online safety campaign delivered in English and local languages which began as a pilot in February. Delivered over five weeks earlier this year, the campaign is designed to empower Pacific Island teenagers and young people to have safer and more positive online experiences.
The Advisory Group shares knowledge and experience to help inform and shape the direction of future digital citizenship and safety initiatives specifically developed for Pacific Island communities.
Shairana Ali, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Fiji said, “It was an absolute privilege working with Facebook on the pilot campaign in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. When the campaign launched, the initial reaction from the general public was very positive. So many parents and children reached out directly to Save the Children Fiji and thanked us for such a campaign, as it has really helped families to understand the importance of safer online practices and given them important tools to navigate social media in a responsible way.
“The important next step for us was to ensure that the safety campaign resources could be readily available to the target groups for their ongoing learning and therefore, the new ‘I Am Digital’ website is a great way of ensuring digital safety learning continuity. We are also delighted that the success of the pilot campaign may lead to expansion in other Pacific countries like Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Kiribati and we are excited to support these countries.”
Rosario Sam, Deputy Country Director of Save the Children PNG, said, “Digital transformation is fast becoming the culture of our young people with everyday social media, smart phones and internet. It expands their learning and keeps them connected to the changing environment. But while digital connectivity brings opportunities for our young people and children, it also comes with risks and threats. We want to ensure and encourage their safety online, ‘I am Digital’is greatto support this. Save the Children is happy to be collaborating again to expand further across the Pacific.”
Nathan Powell, Business Development Manager of the Suva-based creative agency, Webmedia South Pacific, said “It was a pleasure to have been part of such an impressive regional effort in helping to make a difference in children’s lives and to protect them online. The campaign which resulted in more than 18 million impressions in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and PNG, was a strong indicator that the campaign elements were viewed multiple times by the right audiences.”
Across the four pilot countries, on Facebook alone, I Am Digital achieved a reach of 7.1 million people and achieved 12.65 million impressions.
“‘I Am Digital’ is an important project and we’ve been proud to see the success of the pilot in Fiji, PNG, Samoa and Tonga. We’re excited to keep building on this momentum in partnership with Save the Children, the Advisory Group and the young people who informed and shaped the campaign messaging to educate others in the Pacific Islands on how to have safer and more positive online experiences,” says Mia Garlick, Facebook’s Regional Policy Director for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
“The launch of the new ‘I Am Digital’ website will ensure that the educational resources developed for the campaign can continue to be accessed free of charge by audiences across the region.”
Tel: +64 9 913 7520
For more information:
I Am Digital Website: https://wethinkdigital.fb.com/pc/en-us/iamdigital/