The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
The Smile of the Child: Safer Internet Day 2019
“The Smile of the Child” organized an interactive meeting with the participation of middle school students. The aim of the meeting was the exchange among students on experiences and views, as well as ways in which the Internet can become a better, friendlier and safer place with fewer risks for children.
The event was held at the premises of the European Student Volunteer Network “YouSmile”, where the scientific personnel of the Organization discussed with students about the negative consequences and the risks hidden on the Internet, such as online addiction and cyberbullying, as well as ways of protection through the right use of technology.
The students were welcomed by the President of the BoD of “The Smile of the Child” Mr. Costas Yannopoulos who said: 23 years ago my young son, Andreas Yannopoulos, founded “The Smile of the Child” giving us a clear order: whatever we do should have an impact on the lives of children”, while he added: “Today is Safer Internet Day and we should not forget that we ought to teach our children how to stay protected in the digital life, like we teach them how to stay protected in their real lives. Regrettably most parents are digital illiterate and, therefore, unable to help children protect themselves from the Internet’s risks. In addition, as adults we have to train ourselves as well as listen to our children on how they understand nowadays technology and communication and give them an active role in this process”.
During the meeting, psychologists of “The Smile of the Child”, based on videos created and realized by student–volunteers of the European Student Volunteer Network “YouSmile”, organized an interactive intervention around the following main idea: “the Internet is a good or a bad thing depending on the way we use it and how we let it influence us”.
Students shared personal experiences, as well as experiences of friends, highlighting the important risks behind a screen like the alienation of children and the online addiction on social media where the “likes” and the “followers” have the power to influence the real life of children and young people on a daily basis.
Useful tips were shared on how children and young people can protect their data, whereas the positive aspects of technology that children can utilize while maintaining their online identity fully safe were also thoroughly discussed during the event.
“The Smile of the Child” recognizes the crucial role of the school community in the field of Prevention and organizes nationwide interactive and experiential workshops targeted to students, teachers, parents and guardians all across the country.
The interventions are realized by a specialized team of Psychologists of “The Smile of the Child” in the framework of a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Hellenic Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs first signed in 2009 and in cooperation with school counselors, Health Educators and the competent Prefectures and Municipalities. You can find more information on this action here.
At the same time, the Organization has set at the disposal of the entire society all its actions, infrastructure and services such as:
● the operation of the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056
● the operation of the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000
● the operation of the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111 (all lines are interconnected to the European Emergency Number 112 of the Civil Protection Secretariat)
● the interventions of prevention and awareness at schools across Greece through the Mobile Lab of Information, Education and Technology “ODYSSEAS”
● The European Student Volunteer Network YOUSMILE, which allows children to have their voices heard.
You can watch one of the videos created by students–volunteers of YouSmile here.