PRESS RELEASE embargo 14.1.2021 07.00 am
Minister of the Interior, Maria Ohisalo to become the guardian of the project
”Various types of digital services are a part of our lives, often already since childhood. It is our job to ensure that each child has a safe environment to grow in, both physically and on the internet.” Minister of the Interior, Maria Ohisalo, Guardian of the Project
Traffic safety has been part of our everyday life for decades and traffic safety skills have been taught to children starting from a young age. Even young Finnish children possess good traffic safety skills, but with regards to digital safety skills it is clear that children need better media education and digital safety skills. Because the digital media has become such a vital part of our everyday lives it is important that we know how to navigate safely also in the digital environments.
“Younger and younger children are using devices that are connected to the internet. Important part of the safe use of these devices is that the users have sufficient skills to use them. Throughout this project, we will be developing important tools for teachers, parents as well as children, through which we will be teaching important rules and safety measures for the digital environment. We want to do our part to support this important work.” Sauli Pahlman, Director, Cybersecurity Center.
Protect Children has received a 1,5- year funding from Google.org.
"It is of growing importance to ensure the safety of both children and their parents in the digital environment. Due to the increased digitalization of our society, children and young people need more information and skills in order to make use of the opportunities provided by the internet. We are glad to share that this important ”Online Road Safety”- project has been developed with the funding provided by Google.org and because of it, Finland and Finnish children will be more skilled in the digital environment”. Antti Järvinen, Country Manager, Google.
Google.org , a branch of Google, is a non-profit organization established in 2005. It supports organizations that tackle societal and environmental issues with the use of technology, as well as organizations that further the availability of high-quality educational material. Every year, Google.org provides grants worth 200 million US dollars to non-profit organizations and social enterprises.
The project, spanning the Nordic countries and Estonia, is supported by a vast group of organizations and specialists, such as the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, Traficom’s Cyber Security Centre, the Regional State Administrative Agency (AVI), Fun Academy, an international organization specialized in early childhood education and the creation of teaching materials, and Havu Gaming, an eSports organization. Other supporting organizations include FiCom, the Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics, DNA, ZOAN, Zoturi and Protect Children’s mentor, internationally acclaimed Peter Vesterbacka. Our international partners include ECPAT Norway and Lastekaitse Liit from Estonia. Organizations from Denmark and Sweden will join the project later in the spring.
Our partner, the Regional State Administrative Agency plays a significant role in educating early childhood educators and teaching staff. They aim to develop the well-being, safety and social skills of all individuals in learning environments, as well as ensuring equality with regards to digitalization. “By collaborating in this project, we have a fantastic opportunity to reach a wider group of adults who are important to children, namely teachers and other experts in early childhood education.” Marja-Liisa Keski-Rauska, Director of Education and Culture Department, Regional State Administrative Agency.
In the upcoming weeks, Protect Children will be announcing more about the project, including details about the launch. Protect Children welcomes everyone interested in this project to join, we aim to make concrete and long-lasting changes by collaborating with a wide range of partners.
For more information and interview requests, please contact:
Hanna-Leena Laitinen, Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy, Senior Specialist
Hannaemail@example.com +358 443022394
Markus Helaniemi, Communications Consultant for Google Finland, Vapa Media
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