The Vanuatu Cricket Association through its Social Impact and Inclusion Program (SIIP), 'Appeal Against Violence' and in partnership with the Vanuatu Police Cyber Crime Unit, addressed the widespread issue of cyber violence in Vanuatu at Ecole Publique de Centre Ville in the month of February 2021.
The program was facilitated with the aim to share messages about safe practices when online and how to identify and report cyber violence. A total of 68 students in years 4 and 5 where the key recipients of the awareness program. The program was presented in the form of short skits that highlighted the use of social media especially Facebook which is the largest platform in Vanuatu.
The skit was performed by the VCA’s SIIP ambassadors and was titled ‘Friend Request’ which highlights the concept of adding or accepting people on Facebook. The key message for safety is “Talem No Long Strangers” (say no to strangers) which encourages children to add or accept friend requests only from people they know and trust and say no to friend requests from strangers.
In addition to the skit, the cyber crime unit of the Vanuatu Police Force explained the risks of social media and ways in which children and anyone who is active online can protect themselves from cyber violence and how they can ensure that they are not contributing to cyber violence when using social media platforms.
Four of the key messages delivered by the police were that children should understand what they are signing up for and if they do not understand to ask an adult before signing up for anything on social media, to only talk to people they trust and know online, learn how to block and report people online and make sure to secure their social media privacy settings with support from an adult to reduce the risk of strangers taking advantage of then or their content online.
During the awareness program, short cricket activities were also delivered to the children to teach them basic cricket skills for batting, bowling, and fielding and to encourage sport as a vital part of children’s development and learning in school or in their communities.
The Vanuatu Cricket Association would like to acknowledge the Vanuatu Police Cyber Crime Unit for their participation during this program and the Australian Government for funding the VCA’s SIIP through the Team Up program.