What is the Digital Safety Ambassadors & Digital Citizens Programme?
The Muslim Digital Safety Ambassadors initiative is an interactive mentoring, technical and peer-led, classroom-based training programme that gives young Muslims the confidence to challenge hate, react positively and build resilience amongst peer groups. The training and support are provided online through a secure portal and in the classroom through face-to-face training.
This project is being supported by Google and the London Mayor’s Office and will conclude with a presentation ceremony in London to highlight and celebrate the work of our pupils in creating a productive, yet safe, online environment that future generations can benefit from.
The Muslim Digital Safety Ambassadors programme fits into the wider Health and Wellbeing part of the school curriculum, to be rolled out in September as it focuses on online safety, mental health, and safety of children. The programme focuses on empowering and encouraging peer to peer support which we have found to be the most impactful way of making a positive difference.
The Core Practice Areas of The Programme
- Introduction to Digital Citizenship
- Media Balance
- Privacy and Security
- Fake News
- Relationships and Communication
- Cyberbullying and Hate Speech
2019 Muslim Digital Safety Ambassadors Pilot Conference
On the 13th November 2019, Faith Associates in partnership with Facebook hold the first of its kind ‘Keeping Young Muslims Safe Online’ Conference at Facebook HQ London.
During the conference we officially launched a pilot scheme of the Muslim Digital Safety Ambassadors Programme. We selected the first 15 ambassadors from 6 Muslim schools from across London.
The role of the digital safety ambassador is to take the learning from the conference and carry it on in helping assist their friends become model digital citizens and be a point of contact for advice, support and guidance. In the modern age of social media there comes a lot of challenges, through this programme we have created that peer to peer support and encouraged pupils to support one another.
As part of the 2020/2021 programme, we are developing an online portal that ambassadors can log into and find new content from social media giants, tech companies and other experts that will help assist them in supporting their fellow pupils with any issues they may have online. We are working with six schools from across London.
Muslim Digital Citizens Animated Guide (2018)
Muslim Digital Citizens Infographic Guide (2018)
The importance of Digital Safety Ambassadors
New research from specialist youth research agency, ResearchBods, reveals the critical role that peer-to-peer support and learning plays in helping young people to tackle online safety issues, like cyber-bullying:
- 13-17 year-olds are more likely to confide in a peer (72%) than a parent (60%) or teacher (34%) should they experience online bullying
- More than half (55%) would deal with the problem alone rather than turn to an adult figure
- Fellow pupils are more likely to have dealt with similar experiences (40%)
- They don’t want to worry their parents or guardians (38%)
- 60% of 13-17 year-olds say they have supported a friend who was being bullied, online or offline
Becoming a Digital Safety Ambassador will ensure you are engaged with new up to date safety content and resources from the big social media companies and allow you to be a leader in your school bringing about change and making the digital world a safer place for yourself and your peers.
What is the legacy of the programme?
We are aiming to develop a new generation of digital leaders who are willing, able, motivated and trained to tackle all forms of hatred and promote online safety to their peers.
This programme will create a community of young leaders that are part of something practical that makes a difference.
Being a Muslim Digital Safety Ambassador or Model Digital Citizen and being involved in the process will provide these young Muslims in London with new life skills and provide them with opportunities that will only elevate their confidence and standing.
If we have a pool of talented young leaders who have taken on the task of becoming Muslim Digital Safety Ambassador or Model Digital Citizen for their schools and youth clubs – that will have an enormous impact on the wider community.
We want to help ensure young people are looking out for one another, are improving peoples life’s and ensuring less people are victim / or involved in hate, bullying, intolerance and extremist behaviours in our communities.