Sarvodaya-Fusion partners Google to launch ‘Be Internet Awesome’
Sarvodaya-Fusion, the ICT for Development arm of Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, is working with Google to bring the ‘Be Internet Awesome’ programme to Sri Lanka. Be Internet Awesome is Google’s free programme designed to teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety in a fun and engaging format so they can explore the online world with confidence. It also includes resources for educators and families. The programme is set to be carried out nationally, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).
Maithree Malwattegoda, General Manager of Sarvodaya-Fusion said, “With learning moving online during the pandemic, the need for children, parents and teachers to have a better understanding of safe and ways to use the internet is greater than ever. This is why we are thrilled to be able to introduce this global programme to Sri Lankan children, with this collaboration with Google.” ‘Be Internet Awesome’ is an activity-based programme with fivelessons on being Internet Smart, Internet Alert, Internet Strong, Internet Kind and Internet Brave. The programme will be conducted online and offline due to the uncertainties currently faced by the nation.
A web game called ‘Interland’ has also been developed to test the children’s knowledge on the lessons provided in the programme. Nick Bauer, Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager for Google, said, “At Google, we believe that technology can be a force for good - unlocking creativity, fostering expression, and imparting skills that help children and young people build their futures. But at the same time, we recognize that technology can also create risks. We are happy to partner with organisations like SarvodayaFusion to help protect children while also enabling them to play, express themselves and learn online.
We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Ministry of Education and ICTA for their collaboration.” Sarvodaya-Fusion has been educating children and youth on ethical and effective use of digital devices and tools since 2015 through multiple initiatives. Once such initiative is ‘IT yahamaga’, which was designed to disseminate knowledge to different communities around the country, while constantly revising content to keep up with rapidly changing technology. The initiative paved the way for Sarvodaya-Fusion to introduce these communities’ ways to overcome the ever increasing social and economic challenges faced.
Now, with the introduction of ‘Be Internet Awesome’, SarvodayaFusion can aim at one of its most important segments, the 7-to-14- year age group who has been introduced to the online world due to the pandemic. The need to educate these children on safe, ethical use of the online world is of paramount importance, and this collaboration and programme is dedicated to pass on that knowledge based on real world scenarios in a very child friendly manner.