Home > International > Save the Children and Meta (formerly Facebook) to expand ‘I Am Digital’ educational initiative into seven Pacific Island countries

Save the Children has again partnered with Meta (formerly Facebook) to expand the ‘I Am Digital’ educational initiative into seven Pacific Island countries.

I Am Digital is a digital literacy and safety initiative that first launched in February 2021 in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga. It aims to deliver targeted and localised information to educate and empower Pacific Islands teenagers, youth and parents on how to have safer and more positive online experiences. The pilot phase of I Am Digital ran for five weeks and during that time, reached 7.1 million people and was viewed 12.65 million times on Facebook alone.

A new, expanded phase of the I Am Digital social media campaign is launching today, across seven Pacific Island countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Running until 12 January 2022, the campaign will share a series of educational fact sheets, videos, quick tips and advice addressing a range of digital literacy and safety topics, including account security, communicating respectfully, and online bullying, harassment and abuse.

Three new topics have also been added to the suite of I Am Digital resources, on online safety for women and girls; online safety for people living with disability; and promoting online acceptance. These resources have been developed in consultation with civil society organisations, including the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement, Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation, Diva for Equality, and the Rainbow Pride Foundation. They aim to address the heightened risks that certain communities can face offline as well as online.

A range of additional I Am Digital resources has also been produced to increase the accessibility of the initiative for audiences with vision and hearing impairment. This includes sign language interpretation and closed captions for videos based on the educational fact sheets, and the inclusion of alternative text on social media posts. 

Since its inception, the development of I Am Digital has been shaped and guided by a Pacific Islands Advisory Group established by Save the Children and Meta in mid-2020, comprising government and youth representatives from the region, as well as child and online safety experts.

Jackson Miake, Director of the Vanuatu Internet Governance Forum said that: “I am pleased to see the ‘I Am Digital’ initiative expand into Vanuatu. The internet offers many opportunities for our communities, and we must ensure that people know, understand, and manage these online risks, especially our children and youth. I Am Digital is an important project that I hope will boost digital literacy and safety across the Pacific Islands and we are grateful for the support that Meta is providing to this initiative.”

Shairana Ali, CEO of Save the Children Fiji said: “We are delighted to work with Meta and our partners in the Pacific region to scale up the ‘I Am Digital’ campaign to seven Pacific Island countries.  In Phase 2 of the campaign, we were able to develop key inclusive messages and deal with sensitive and difficult issues that children and young people face while engaging online.

The campaign materials have been designed in close consultation with differently-abled individuals and children and those from the marginalized communities to address the harassment and bullying these groups face both online and in the real world. We hope that families and communities will follow the campaign messaging and will learn from it and, as a result, make positive changes in their homes and communities so that children and young people are safe and protected from online bullying and abuse.’’

Save the Children Papua New Guinea Country Director Fiu Williame-Igara said: “Promoting a safe and positive online environment free from cyberbullying and harassment will give young people, especially young women and girls, those with disability and minorities the opportunity to have respectful and empowering online experiences and to be able to add their voices to encouragee appropriate behaviours amongst them and their peers. Save the Children in Papua New Guinea is looking forward in continuing to play its part in creating awareness about online safety with youth in the country and the Pacific.’’    

Nick McDonnell, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands said: “Across the Pacific Islands, young people continue to increase their online presence and activity, in particular on social media. We’re delighted to continue our partnership with Save the Children to expand the ‘I Am Digital’ initiative into Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. We had great feedback when we first launched this campaign in February this year, so we’ve created new resources especially aimed to support women and girls, people living with disability and minority communities. We hope that this initiative will further help to empower more young people across the Pacific Islands to have more informed, secure and positive experiences whenever they go online.”

All I Am Digital fact sheets, including the online safety quick tips and advice, will be delivered in English as well as nine local languages: Bislama, Fijian iTaukei, Fijian Hindi, French, Kiribati, Samoan, Solomon Islands Pijin, Tok Pisin and Tongan.

In addition to the social media campaign, four new I Am Digital radio scripts will also be piloted in Fiji, PNG, Samoa and Tonga, focused on setting strong passwords, how to share mindfully and protect yourself online, and cyberbullying. These will be broadcast in English as well as in Fijian iTaukei, Fijian Hindi, Samoan, Tok Pisin and Tongan.

The complete set of I Am Digital educational resources, including language translations, will be permanently housed and accessed free of charge at the following link: https://wethinkdigital.fb.com/pc/en-us/iamdigital/

The I Am Digital campaign material may be accessed on dedicated Facebook pages for each country:

The radio campaign will be broadcast on the following stations:

  • Fiji: FM96, Legend FM, Radio Navtarang, Radio Sargam and Viti FM
  • PNG: YumiFM (93FM)
  • Samoa: Malo FM
  • Tonga: AM Radio Tonga 1

For more information please contact:

Fiji/Samoa/Tonga: Afsrin.Ali@savethechildren.org or Vika.Ramara@savethechildren.org
Papua New Guinea: info@savethechildren.org.au or emma.david@savethechildren.org.au
Meta: robert@pursuitpr.co.nz