Cybersafe Yuhself! highlights the importance of empowering Jamaican children, their parents and their teachers to better protect themselves online.
More than ever, connected devices have been woven into society as an integral part of how our children learn and communicate. Cornerstone Jamaica believes that Cyber Safety for Jamaican children has become paramount. With the growing access of the internet for online learning, there has come an increase in children’s social communications through platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, YouTube, TikTok and Gaming. Data collected from your children’s devices, profiles and online activities can detail highly specific information, which can be exploited by bad actors, namely stalkers, bullies, blackmailers and hackers, for their personal gain.
What is Cybersafe Yuhself!?
In September 2020, Emma was trained in CyberSafety by CyberSafe Kids, an Irish charity that was set up some six years ago with a mission to empower children, parents and teachers to navigate the online world in a stronger, smarter and safer way. To date, they have reached 25,000 children in Ireland.
During the following few months, Emma worked fervidly and arduously at writing and building a CyberSafety programme, CyberSafe Yuhself!, which has become an important part of Cornerstone Jamaica’s Cornerstone Connex initiative. Meanwhile, Emma and the Director of Cornerstone Connex, Jessica Davidson, put together an online survey to find out which games and social apps Jamaican students in Grades 3-13 used the most, and to get a sense of their understanding of cyberbullying. Using information from this survey, her expertise in CyberSafety, and her acute sensitivity to the culture of her fellow Jamaicans, Emma designed hundreds of slides for five different workshops specifically for: (i)Grades 1-2; (ii)Grades 3-6; (iii)Grades 7-13; (iv)Parents; and (v)Teachers.
With the approval of numerous stakeholders and the endorsement of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, initial pilot sessions were well received in January 2021 by a large handful of Jamaican primary students. After fine-tuning several aspects, Emma tested the programme once again on First Form students at Manning’s School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland and teachers at Lennon High School in Mocho, Clarendon. CyberSafe Yuhself! was officially launched on April 13, 2021, beginning with Broughton Primary School, one of Cornerstone Jamaica’s official partner schools. Over the next nine weeks, Emma held online CyberSafety workshops for students, their parents and their teachers in the eleven partner primary schools, along with high school students at Manning’s School and Lennon High School.