Facebook has announced a partnership with leading Central Otago-based anti-bullying organisation, Sticks ‘n’ Stones to take its commitment to online safety into high schools across New Zealand.
The initiative will scale Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ youth-driven programme to offer secondary schools access to Online Safety Advocates – young people trained to provide peer-to-peer support and lead online safety initiatives.
Facebook’s commitment will see 500 Online Advocates from more than 40 schools trained by Sticks ‘n’ Stones to support 15,000 young Kiwis.
With recent New Zealand studies highlighting education as one of the most critical drivers of change in positive online behaviour, Facebook’s commitment will significantly scale Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ existing work in schools to improve teen safety and well-being through peer-to-peer support and learning.
Live and thrive
Karla Sanders, Founder of Sticks ‘n’ Stones said: “We believe everyone has the right to be their real selves and that this diversity makes our world a better place to live and thrive.
“Facebook’s support will enable us to upscale our work and empower hundreds of Online Advocates to support thousands of young people stand up to all forms of bullying and protect their friends.
Facebook’s partnership with Sticks ‘n’ Stones will build on its augmented training approach combing in person workshops with online modules through the organisation’s It Starts with You platform to empower teens to create positive change for time online and offline.
Safe and supportive communities
Antigone Davis, Director and Head of Global Safety Policy at Facebook said: “This partnership is the next step in our ongoing effort to help young people build safe and supportive communities.
“Over the last decade, we have developed a wealth of innovative resources on Facebook that enable young people to look after themselves and their peers, from our updated Safety Centre, to our online reporting tools.
“We are thrilled to take this commitment offline and into schools by offering trained online advocates to every high school in New Zealand. The Online Advocates programme aims to bring young Kiwis together to explore online safety issues in the real world in a safe, supportive environment. We look forward to getting feedback and input from students that can add even more peer-led ideas and initiatives in the future.”
More at sticksnstones.co.nz