Safer Internet Day 2022

Publication date: May 24, 2022

On the “Place Be”, under white stands coloured by banners gently waved by the light wind, many young people gather around the tables. Others are waiting under the mild May sun, wearing green, blue, beige or pink uniforms, depending on their school. At the stands, attentive ears, laughter from time to time: the exchanges are lively and the expressions full of curiosity.
We are in Miarinarivo, Madagascar, on 12 May 2022, and Télécoms Sans Frontières is organising a "Safer Internet Day" event as part of its IT Cup programme, in partnership with the Alabri centre.

The watchword of this day: interactivity. In each of the 8 workshops, the visitors, including 500 pupils from the village's schools, are invited to take part in quizzes, role-playing games or search online, in order to experience for themselves this internet to which they have little access, a mixture of mystery and apprehension.
Among the 8 workshops proposed, 6 concern the discovery and awareness of the internet and the 2 others present the IT Cup centre and Sayna. Young people and adults were able to learn more about usages of the internet other than just entertainment: education and culture, but also peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, made the link with priority issues of the Itasy region, such as agriculture. Two workshops were dedicated to internet safety: young people discovered digital identity and basic safety principles. Other topics discussed were software and free cartography, which have been part of the IT Cup Centre’s activities for 5 years, in partnership with Open Street Map Madagascar.

The Technical Club of the IT Cup Centre presented the stand "Learn to program". 5 young students presented to their classmates, to the other participants, but also to their teachers, the educational robots that they use every Saturday afternoon to learn about the basics of programming with the Scratch and mBot platforms. The pride of the students was palpable when they presented their workshop to the school headmaster!

Next to the 7th workshop dedicated to the IT Cup and Alabri centres, a last stand welcomed the special guest of this 2nd edition of Safer Internet Day in Miarinarivo: the company Sayna. Created by a young Malagasy entrepreneur, Sayna offers a very innovative training formula for digital professions. In relation wi
th client groups, Sayna integrates real projects for these clients into the training. The students can thus practice with real-world examples what they are learning, while receiving a financial compensation that helps them pay for the training.
In a context of professional orientation where it is difficult to find the information to decide on a training course after the high school diploma, the presence of Sayna has provided an essential link between digital knowledge and the professional world. This new element was highly appreciated by the participants.

The IT Cup programme in Miarinarivo will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary. Throughout these 10 years, the IT Cup centre has become a dynamic and important associative player in the village of Miarinarivo, putting digital technologies at the service of local issues to contribute to the development of the region. In this perspective, the Safer Internet Day is the ideal opportunity to attract the curiosity of young people and raise their awareness on these issues. Thus, through the daily interaction with local actors, the team is able to measure the extent to which the relevant and informed use of digital resources can contribute to creating social ties and improving the resilience of populations.

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