Slovak Awareness Centre - www.zodpovedne.sk
eSlovensko is a non-governmental organization that operates the Slovak Awareness Centre. The establishment of the Centre was co-financed by the EU Safer Internet Programme. Its goal is to raise awareness among wide public, especially children and youth in order to teach them to behave responsibly when using new online technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones. The Slovak Awareness Centre is the only centre of its kind in Slovakia. It initiates various activities and social events for children, as well as it produces a plenty of promotional materials which serve as a source of knowledge and guidance for the wide public in the field of safer use of new online technologies.
One of eSlovensko‘s main partners in the project is the Slovak Committee for UNICEF with whom we co-operate free helpline for the general public (www.pomoc.sk
) that provides consultation about responsible use of the Internet, mobile communication and modern technologies. The consultations are provided 24/7 via phone, online chat and e-mail. UNICEF also participates on Slovak Awareness Node lecturing activities. Further we cooperate with Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic which provides professional counseling on relevant Slovak legislation, significant PR support and promotes joint events such as Police Day, Safer Internet Day. eSlovensko also cooperates with members of the Internet industry in Slovakia and the Union of Cities and Towns of Slovakia.
The Slovak Awareness Centre initiates and coordinates all activities associated with the celebration of the Safer Internet Day and the Data Protection Day. In cooperation with its partners, eSlovensko prepares media plans as well as produces outputs for the national campaigns and competitions, as was the TV show Cookie (9 episodes, 15 min. each) which was repeated 5 times on the national TV and can still be viewed on Youtube and project website. eSlovensko also produced 2 TV spots “Where is Miro?” and “Cyberbullying” which were aired on the national TV throughout 2008 and encouraged parents’ interest in what their children do in the Internet. In autumn 2009 the Slovak Awareness Node launched first 4 episodes of the animated stories OVCE.sk. Further 5 episodes (financed by the EU Programme Fundamental Rights and Citizenship) were aired during the Safer Internet Day celebration in February 2011. The animated stories address topics like racial hatred, grooming, paedophilia, providing personal data in the Internet and their misuse, chain letters, beauty recipes on the Internet, cybestalking, phishing and others. New 12 stories are under development and to be premiered in by the end of the year. The stories have been broadcasted in the national TV and the featured characters have been used in further campaign activities (prevention texts in text-/workbooks, colouring books, key rings, comics in youth magazines etc.). During the Safer Internet Day 2011 also the new Internet portal www.Sheeplive.eu has been launched in several EU languages and the languages of minorities living in Slovakia. It has didactic and playful content. The portal is designed to be user-friendly for the visually impaired and its rules also accept other handicapped group.
Reaching the target group
In order to fulfil its commitment, the Slovak Awareness Node set not only children as target group but also teachers, parents, preventists and other people working with children. Obviously, each group needed to be addressed in a different way, thus our organization developed several tools to reach the goal to teach children how to use the Internet and mobiles responsibly.
With strong links to over 100 municipalities across Slovakia and good relations with law enforcement bodies, we trained informaticians from municipalities and policemen-preventists to deliver trainings to elementary school teachers about threats that Internet and mobiles pose on children. We also organize similar trainings for parents free of charge.
A lot of attention is paid to children, thus we adopted a differentiated approach towards young children and teenagers according to their understanding of the virtual environment. We have prepared short prevention texts which were printed in workbooks and textbooks that pupils use at elementary schools. These texts feature do’s and don’ts for children that they should follow to avoid harms caused chiefly via inaccurate use of Internet and mobiles. As support for this, we have produced a series of posters and information sheets which have been distributed in schools and can be found on project website www.zodpovedne.sk.
Teenagers were targeted via TV show Cookie and the accompanying competition and also via 2 TV spots “Where is Miro?” and “Cyberbullying”. Young children are targeted via animated stories Ovce.sk which has been aired on the national TV and regional TVs. Ovce.sk have got a large media coverage and have been presented nationwide.
For the children in need eSlovensko co-operates with the Slovak Committee for UNICEF, which runs the helpline www.pomoc.sk
, where children can get an advice from professionals with their problems occurred on the Internet and elsewhere. Since its launch in February 2008 the helpline operators served over 20 000 calls.
In addition, people can report on illegal content and conduct on the Internet using the online service operated by eSlovensko. This Slovak hotline, called Stopline.sk has been launched in February 2010.
eSlovensko has produced various educational materials to match the interest and level of understanding of the target groups:
- 600,000 copies of textbooks/workbooks for schoolchildren printed with prevention texts
- 18 documents, incl. 3 in Roma language (Internet Glossary, Prevention – specialized publication (over 100 pages), leaflets, posters, brochure for teachers how to use www.zodpovedne.sk), guide books for parents and teachers
- 2 researches ´Internet Behaviour and Safety of Children Online´ in cooperation with the Research Institute for Child Psychology and Patopsychology
- 2 video spots (Where is Miro?, Cyberbullying) broadcasted on the national TV
- TV show Cookie – 9 parts, broadcasted on the national TV
- Competition for children Cookie
- 9 animated prevention stories Ovce.sk aired on the national and regional TVs
- 24/7 free helpline for children in need
- Articles in both national and regional magazines and newspapers, entries in radio and on TV
- trainings for teachers, parents, policemen-preventists, municipal informaticians
- 4 websites www.zodpovedne.sk, www.sheeplive.eu, www.stopline.sk, www.ovce.sk
- 11,000 DVDs OVCE.sk
- 109,000 brochures for teachers and parents on safer use of the Inetrnet
- 45,000 EU maps for schoolchildren using the Sheeplive.eu characters for educational purposes
eSlovensko takes part in various international events and conferences, In December 2008 eSlovensko attended the Ministerial conference on Safer Internet for Children in Prague. eSlovensko staff also attended INHOPE Advanced Tracing Course which took place in Prague in June 2009.
In cooperation with the Research Institute for Child Psychology and Patopsychology the Slovak Awareness Centre carried out a research that examined vulnerability of children in respect to modern technologies. The results have been taken into account in preparing child-oriented awareness raising activities of the Centre.
The Slovak Awareness Node further elaborated paper “Prevention - Protect Your Children in Cyberspace” (106 pages) which serves teachers, parents, policemen-preventists as a guide for identifying harmful behaviour of children. Additionally, we prepared a Glossary of Internet Terms for adults fo become familiar with Internet jargon.
The Slovak Awareness Centre
In February 2008, the Slovak Awareness Centre (www.zodpovedne.sk
) established National Free Helpline Pomoc.sk
) where children and other people can raise concerns about illegal and harmful content, harmful conduct and distressing experiences related to their use of online technologies. The Helpline is run via 3 channels of communication: 24/7 free phone line 116 111, online chat, e-mail advice at firstname.lastname@example.org
In February 2010 eSlovensko will also launch the National Hotline for Reporting Illegal Content and Conduct Online
). The Hotline receives and processes information from the public relating to illegal content in the Internet which under Slovak legislation constitutes basis for criminal offence.