The Kenya Scouts Association, with the support of Google, have launched the 2019 edition of Web Rangers, a youth programme for online safety during the Safer Internet Day that was marked on Tuesday.
The initiative has been implemented in over 15 countries and was launched in Kenya in 2015.
This year, Web Rangers is expanding its reach and is targeting 90,000 scouts and 50,000 scout leaders in the country.
Approximately 1.4 million scouts and 50,000 scout leaders and trainers are expected to receive the Kenya Scouts Association Online Safety Learners’ Handbook and Teachers’ Guide, which will provide counsel on how to safely navigate online platforms.
“I consider the safe and responsible use of the internet to be a vital skill for the virtuous and patriotic youth of the 21st century… Programmes such as Google’s Web Rangers and its partnership with the Kenya Scouts Association are a very welcome complement to the work that parents, teachers, guardians, and the Government do in building a better world for our children,” said Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Youth & Gender Affairs in a speech presented on her behalf by Dr. Francis Owino, Principal Secretary in the State Department for Youth Affairs.
Also speaking at the event, Google’s Policy and Government Relations Lead for East Africa Mr. Michael Murungi noted that the company was proud of the partnership with the Kenya Scouts Association in scaling the Web Rangers program to empower an even greater number of young people to be safe and responsible users of the Internet.
According to McAfee Security, 87 percent of youth today have witnessed cyberbullying, while nearly 69 percent have experienced it.
This year, the Safer Internet Day theme was “Together for a better Internet”. The slogan is a call to action for all stakeholders to join together and play their part in creating a better internet for everyone, and especially for younger users.
From cyberbullying to social networking, each year, Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging issues connected to the usage of online platforms.
Google is also collaborating with the Kenya Scouts Association, CODE-IP Trust and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to launch an online safety manual.