Google has given two Kenyan organizations, ChildFund international and Epuka Ugaidi Sh11 million each towards the development of child-safe content that will spur learning while deterring the recruitment of children into crime networks.
Google issued a statement saying Childfund will be mandated with carrying out research on a national level, conducting community, school, and media-based training. The organization is also expected to engage in policy development with the aim of preventing online sex trafficking.
Epuka Ugaidi has been tasked with enhancing its platform’s visibility. The organization promotes youth creativity in short films, poetry, and music through workshops, training, and hosting an annual competition to deter counter-recruitment by violent extremists.
In the quest to keep children, young people, and safe families online, Google has extended Sh1 million each to Lonamac, PAJAN Kenya, SheHacks Kenya, Sote Information and Communication Technology as well as Winam Wezesha Accelerator. The tech giant has partnered with a number of organizations across the continent with the aim of boosting education efforts and developing online safety programmes.
“With an estimated 346 million users that came online for the first time in the last year and 376 million new social media users, there is no better time than the present for us to help people stay safe online,” Google’s Public Policy and government relations manager for Kenya and Eastern Africa Michael Murungi said.
Mr. Murungi also said that the Africa Online Safety Fund will benefit educational institutions, non-profits, social enterprises, and governments across Sub-Saharan Africa to keep the internet safe for children.
Google said it was fostering partnerships that ensure children stay safe online especially with more subscribing to home-schooling since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Google has also collaborated with the Communications Authority of Kenya and the Kenya Films Classifications Board to develop the Digital Parenting Programme for teachers, parents and guardians with the aim of keeping children safe.