DIGITALISATION SUPPORTS CHILDREN DURING THE PANDEMIC
Digital resources and services can prevent domestic abuse and create safe spaces for children who face an increased risk of anxiety and stress during the pandemic.
We tend to overlook the challenges children face in their daily lives. Especially during pandemic, the socially isolated environment has brought about specific obstacles for children. At Bumbuku Creatives, we have been contemplating how digital storytelling and digitalisation of information can help children at this time.
Some of the benefits include:
- Since so many children tend to spend relatively more time online during the pandemic, online information can reach them more easily than face-to-face,
- The online spaces can create feelings of safety, even if virtually, for children who lack safe environments at home,
- Due to remote work, those advocating for child protection can expand their network and find similar professionals and organisations to work together,
- These advocates can more easily share digital resources amongst one another to increase the quality of their own campaigns.
CASE STUDY: Child Helpline International’s digital campaign
One of the webinar’s participants was Child Helpline International (CHI). It is an international collective organisation that brings together 173 child helplines across 142 countries to advance the common agenda of strengthening child protection systems. It creates and advocates a support network for children who experience different forms of violence and abuse. The network is made up of governments, child protection services, helplines, schools, and telecom companies.
CHI ran a campaign in 2014 called ‘Free Our Voices’. They found data from 2004-2014 that one in two child helplines globally go answered due to a lack of resources. So, CHI ran this campaign to put an end to the problem and “ensure no child is left unheard”. They tried not only to improve access for children to helplines, but make calls toll-free; foster partnerships between helplines, telecom companies, and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector; and inform children about their rights to be heard.
The campaign was very successful, and in order to communicate its achievements and create a source for advocacy and campaigns by helplines, we created a ‘Multimedia Toolkit’ for CHI. It includes a set of digital tools, guidelines, and skills that CHI’s network of 173 child helplines across the world can use.