Safer Internet Day in Madagascar: together for a better Internet

Publication date: Feb 17, 2020
As part of the IT Cup project in the Itasy region of Madagascar, TSF organised for the first time an event in Miarinarivo, to celebrate Safer Internet Day (SID). The event was organised in collaboration with the Alabri center, and gathered nearly 500 participants.
Safer Internet Day in Miarinarivo - © Parany

In 2004 the European Commission launched the Safer Internet Day initiative, coordinated by the Insafe network, with the aim of promoting “a safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones by children and young people across the world.

Safer Internet Day: an international day for a more responsible use of the Internet

It is an international day, celebrated in over 140 countries, and this year TSF decided to join the celebrations with an event in Miarinarivo, aimed to raise awareness among the local community on the opportunities and risks of the Internet. Even though this international event is mostly targeted to children and youth, everyone can participate and that’s the approach we chose for Miarinarivo. “When we talk about the Internet, for most young people it is only Facebook, uploading pictures, audio or watching videos. For adults, all they know how to do is send emails and most have a hard time with it and ask for help! In general, for young people the Internet is only a means of distraction”, explains Olive who comes from Miarinarivo and is doing a Civic Service at our headquarters.

The event took place at Place Be in Miarinarivo, where interactive workshops were offered to visitors. This day mainly targets young students in junior high and high school, and their teachers were keen on allowing their classes be a part of this day. “The Internet and social networks are now part of our daily lives. I am proud as President of ITCUP to see the centre participate in this day of celebration, and to highlight the great successes of the local team and the children’s learning process in Miarinarivo. We will continue to invest in making the IT CUP centre a showcase for the development of the Itasy region ", Karim Mokhnachi, President of IT CUP.

There were six workshops, which provided a global vision of what the Internet is, detailing certain points such as digital identity, truthfulness of information, and free software. All of the workshops were equipped with tablets which allowed all participants to have an interactive experience.

A photo exhibition to show our local anchoring

TSF has been present in the Itasy region for 8 years through its IT Cup Project, focused on the development of a multi-sectorial centre aimed to be a vector of social links facilitated by digital technologies and focused on different topics relevant to the local population with a sustainable development perspective. The SID celebration perfectly fits in this vision, to make sure the local community has the tools and knowledge to harness the potential digital technologies provide while being aware of their risks.

 Children looking at the photography exposition

A photo exhibition about our partners and beneficiaries has been set up to show the local anchoring of the centre in Miarinarivo and its region: the Alabri centre, the Urban Municipality of Miarinarivo, the general high school of Miarinarivo, the CRFPA (Regional Centre of Professional and Agricultural Training), Agrisud, and Open Street Map Madagascar.

The latter give us their impressions on the day: “We are not used to such young targets (primary and middle school), however I find that the children were really interested in our workshop. Many children had never used a digital tool and were very interested in the use of the tablet and the possibilities of these tools, for example locating their house on the map! Even adults who have never used the Internet have been able to discover Internet uses that they did not imagine."

The attention of young people and visitors and their questions show the importance of such an awareness day in Miarianarivo. TSF remains committed to continuing its engagement with the population of the Itasy region to make the Internet an increasingly useful tool from a participative and sustainable perspective.

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