“Youth who are bullied may retaliate through violence”
South African based Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC are embarking on a new capacity building programme, #THEMBA (formerly #hashtagISAIDNO), to empower and equip civil society with the necessary tools required to eliminate cyberbullying.
“Who better than our local community protectors i.e civil society to address this growing epidemic head on? It is important to teach parents, educators and youth swiftly on the dangers relating to cyberbullying, and NPOs have the direct link to all three” says Sam Posselt, who is based at the Cape Town office and heads up the Marketing and Training Divisions for the NPC.
“Daily, I speak to nonprofit representatives about the dangers of the internet for our youth and how the landscape has changed and continues to change drastically. As a digital marketing trainer, I recognized early that our youth are not equipped enough to use social media and the likes responsibly. Having recently been made aware of online “SLUT LISTS” in schools (boys add girls to these lists and typically a form of abuse follows), I along with the NPC Board, have recognized how important it is to tackle this issue head-on and with Technology. Our daily function is to equip civil society with tech donations and discounts to help them streamline their day-to-day activities and we now welcome the responsibility of equipping them with the necessary tools to empower communities to stop cyberbullying.”
To launch the programme, an event is being held in Cape Town on the 9th March 2018 titled: ‘How Your Organisation Can Help End Cyberbullying’
Thereafter, nonprofit organisations are invited to attend 4 hour events across Southern Africa, free of charge, and will be given a range of tech tools and strategies to further educate the youth in their direct communities.
“When I started developing this programme I felt it necessary to create a unique train-the-trainer system that is easy to understand as a parent, educator or youth. The people that are closest to us and love us the most are often best equipped to help end (or deal with the effects of) bullying. When taking into consideration the fact that many nonprofit organisations have personal and long-standing relationships within their communities, it was only natural to want to equip them, as trainers, first.”
Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC’s hopes are that every nonprofit organisation across Southern Africa will have access to the #THEMBA resources and will simply pay-it-forward.
The NPC is currently reaching out to National and International stakeholders to partner and welcomes any invitation to address nonprofits on cyberbullying in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
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Definition of bullying
Aggressive, repeated actions that implies an imbalance of power
Toothpaste and Toothpick
Ask 5 delegates to join you in front of the group | Ask each delegate to squeeze out toothpaste from a brand new tube provided onto a piece of paper | Once each person has done so, hand each of them 1 toothpick | Ask each person that put the toothpaste they squeezed out of the tube back in by using the toothpick only | Explain to the group how this is a visual representation that our words or actions are quick to come out but very difficult to take back
Ask one delegate to join you in front of the group | Hand that person a clean piece of paper – A4 size | Ask the person to crumple it up as best they can and then stomp on it | Ask the person to give the crumbled ball to other delegates and get them to stomp on it too | Ask the person to then open the crumpled ball in front of the group while you as the trainer say: “This piece of paper is a visual representation of how the scars of being bullied will forever remain, often unseen. The piece of A4 paper is still intact and can still be used and written on, but it has been damaged and scarred forever”
Cellphone vs Laptop
Split delegates into two groups | Name Group 1 – THE BULLYS | Name Group 2 – THE VICTIMS | Ask the bully group to draw a large laptop on an A3 white piece of paper that is provided | Ask the victim group to draw a large cellphone on an A3 white piece of paper that is provided | Ask each group to write down words that best describe how a bully or victim feels before, during and after a bullying incident
-1 in 3 children aged 9 – 13 have been or are currently either being cyberbullied or are the cyberbully
-All children will at one point in their schooling career witness an act of bullying
-Bullying leads to low self-esteem
-Bullying leads to 15% increase in absenteeism
-Bullying leads to depression
-Bullying is not the direct cause of suicide but has a direct link to depression and anxiety which is a cause of suicide
-Cyberbullying adds a new dimension to the above – children can no longer escape the bully, they cannot go home and forget about the abuse because cyber follows them – they cannot switch off
Common Forms of Cyber-bullying (beyondthebully.com)
Flaming and Trolling – sending or posting hostile messages intended to “inflame” the emotions of others
Happy-Slapping – recording someone being harassed or bullied in a way that usually involves physical abuse, then posting the video online for public viewing
Identity Theft/Impersonation – stealing someone’s password and/or hijacking their online accounts to send or post incriminating or humiliating pictures, videos, or information
Photoshopping – doctoring digital images so that the main subject is placed in a compromising or embarrassing situation
Physical Threats – sending messages that involve threats to a person’s physical safety
Rumour Spreading – spreading gossip through e-mail, text messaging, or social networking sites.
Presentations for download and use in the classroom
Tech Tools to help end cyberbullying
Google Alerts | Google Search | Whatsapp Groups | Social Media – KNOW YOUR APPS FIRST! | Email | In-app search function | BLOCK, REPORT, DELETE function | Screenshots | Protected accounts | Online monitoring apps