Child Safety Department outreach raises awareness of community members with 19 workshops

More than 2,800 children, youth and parents were educated on cyber safety and protection from abuse, among other topics through the virtual sessions

As part of its continuing mission to raise awareness among community members about child safety issues, the Child Safety Department (CSD) in Sharjah, an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), organised 19 virtual workshops over the past month that saw the participation of more than 2,800 children, youth and parents.

The interactive and engaging sessions included 11 workshops focused on delivering information to children and youth, and 8 for parents and professionals. Delivered by experts, the workshops covered several topics, including cyberbullying and online safety to mark Safer Internet Day, observed by the UAE in February every year.

One of the month’s highlights was a young CSD cyber safety ambassador who stepped up to conduct two workshops on cyber safety. 18-year-old Rashid Al Katbi, a hearing-impaired student from Al Amal School for the Deaf in Sharjah, did a sterling job of educating his peers and classmates at the sessions delivered in sign language. This was part of CSD’s Cyber Safety Ambassadors programme, a peer-to-peer initiative that aims to equip Sharjah’s children and youth with skills and training required to guide their peers towards best practices in cyber safety.

The department also held a series of workshops on the importance of using child car seats as part of their ‘Strap them Safe’ campaign. The sessions aimed at educating parents and guardians on UAE’s federal traffic laws relating to seatbelts and child car seats.

In collaboration with the Sharjah Social Services Department, CSD organised a workshop titled ‘When and how to say no’ to empower children and youth to protect themselves against abuse. Another workshop, ‘With awareness, we protect our children from abuse’ was dedicated to parents to discuss their role in supporting and protecting their children.

Activities also included a series of reading sessions for kindergarteners, featuring stories published by CSD, including Nuzha fil souq, Hekayat Jaddati Al Shajara, and Masood Al batal. Through the narrations, the sessions served to introduce the topics of child safety and rights, and home safety to young listeners.