TikTok, Zindagi Trust launch 2nd phase of online safety awareness drive


ISLAMABAD: TikTok and Zindagi Trust have announced an extension of their collaboration aimed at driving digital safety awareness with the support of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications. 

The renewed partnership, which is a part of TikTok's global endeavours during Safer Internet Month, will impact over 50,000 beneficiaries across 100 public schools across all provinces in Pakistan.

Additionally, the Pakistan Telecom Foundation has also become part of this partnership and will provide access to an increased number of schools for this campaign, said a press release.

A signing ceremony took place between TikTok and Zindagi Trust in the presence of the MoITT, who endorsed the Digital Safety programme.

During the first phase of this partnership that was launched last year, over 20 workshops were conducted in the two adopted government schools of Zindagi Trust: SMB Fatima Jinnah and Khatoon-e-Pakistan benefitting around 1800 students, teachers and parents.

The workshops contained comprehensive information on becoming digitally safe, including TikTok's Community Guidelines and safety policies.

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque said: "To commemorate the Safe Internet month, the government deems it a priority to actively work towards providing safer digital spaces. The partnership between Zindagi Trust and TikTok is a step in the right direction for disseminating necessary awareness and guiding young people towards digital safety. We are looking forward to adding value to this partnership for the benefit of our younger generation."

Farah Tukan, Head of Government Relations and Public Policy - Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Pakistan and South Asia at TikTok, said: "We are happy to extend our partnership with Zindagi Trust, especially after the impact we were jointly able to create around digital safety awareness during the first phase. This extension is another step in the right direction for ensuring our TikTok community in Pakistan remains digitally safe."

Aisha Humera Moriani, Additional Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the National Information Technology Board, said: "We are fully committed to building a cutting-edge digital infrastructure in Pakistan which promises a safe cyberspace and a conducive regulatory environment for everyone.

By supporting this partnership between TikTok and Zindagi Trust, we aim to nurture e-governance, transparency and financial inclusion, despite many challenges and threats associated with the internet including data privacy, security, cybercrimes and fake news."

Dr Aamna Pasha, the Chief Academic Officer of Zindagi Trust, added: "At Zindagi Trust, we recognise that with opportunities come risks and it is important when providing access and possibilities to our students that we also prepare and support them to understand and mitigate potential risks. This is why we are particularly proud of this collaboration and lucky to have found wonderful partners like TikTok that enable us to continue our efforts of impacting public schools."

In the second phase of this collaborative programme, a digital safety toolkit will be developed to help raise awareness regarding digital safety among students, teachers, and parents.

The toolkit will be a comprehensive guide incorporating necessary guidelines to navigate the digital realm responsibly through theoretical knowledge and interactive activities.

Specific approaches will be provided to counter different problems online such as cyber harassment, bullying, scamming, fake news etcetera alongside teaching them responsible reporting and protection mechanisms.

These toolkits will be disseminated during the digital safety workshops that will be conducted at different schools across Pakistan and will be available digitally as well.

Zindagi Trust's team, in partnership with TikTok, will further provide training and consultancy to public schools that wish to launch the safety toolkit to ensure awareness and learning continue beyond the current scope of the project.

Another essential component will be building trusting relationships between parents and students to ensure students have trusted adults to rely on in case they find themselves in cyber trouble while parents have a transparent view of their children's online lives.

The workshops also aim to educate teachers and parents on using safety features on platforms like TikTok to ensure their children remain safe on social media.

For instance, they will be guided about TikTok's Family Pairing features, which allow parents to link their TikTok account to their teens' and set controls, including Screentime Management, Restricted Mode and Direct Messages.

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