On 7 February, the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre (SIC), operated by the Applied Research and Communications Fund and Association Roditeli (Parents), organized a special event in Sofia Puppet Theatre to mark the Safer Internet Day and to launch this year’s awareness campaign “Connecting generations”.
Mr. Kalin Kamenov, the deputy chair of the State Agency for Child Protection, gave an opening speech to the audience. Then, they were greeted by Mrs. Galina Bankovska, deputy chair of the parliamentary Commission on education, culture, children, youth, and sports and chair of the Public Council on Safer Internet. Special guests of the event were Mr. Yavor Kolev, chief of the Cyber Crime Unit at the General Directorate for Combating Organized Crime at the Ministry of Interior, a long-term partner of the Bulgarian hotline, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.
Now in its ninth edition, Safer Internet Day has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar across Europe and worldwide. In our part of the world numerous events took place this year due to the initiatives of the 30 Safer Internet Centres that comprise the INSAFE network. This year’s campaign is centered on the theme "Connecting generations and educating each other", where young and old users are encouraged to "discover the digital world together...safely!”. This was also the theme of the national competition for student playwrights, announced by Bulgarian SIC in order to give opportunity to children to create together with peers and adults a scenario for a short play. Over 150 children and 30 adults from 15 cities around the country participated in the challenge. The teams behind the three best playwrights, selected by the jury chaired by Milena Damyanova - Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Science, were invited to perform on stage at Sofia Puppet Theatre on 7 February. They rehearsed their plays with senior students from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts.
During the event the young actors charmed the audience with talent and creativity. The jury, chaired by the director of Sofia Puppet Theatre, announced the final ranking. The first prize, Android-based smart phones for the entire team provided byMobiltel, went to the participants from the student theatre group “HIT” at “Geo Milev” School – Varna. The second prize went to a very artistic family – a grandmother, a mother, a daughter (8 yr.) and a son (4 yr.). The third prize went to high school students from the Natural Science and Mathematics School- Vratsa. The second and the third prize were multimedia kits for the entire teams, provided by Microsoft Bulgaria. All winners received vouchers for online training of their choice from Kabinata.com. The winning teams will be included in the national selection for the European e-Skills Week 2012.
At the closing of the ceremony the new educational 3D game Zone of Risk, developed by SIC, was presented. It is focused on the story a teenage girl Marina who was kidnapped as a result of a number of online and offline mistakes she had made. The objective of the game is to retrace Marina’s actions and track her down. In order to popularize it among young people, SIC announced a month-long competition for highest scoring gamers who can win a tablet and antivirus software.
SID 2012 was marked by various initiatives across Bulgaria. Over 60 schools from 20 cities received posters, brochures, games, sample lesson plans, presentations and other awareness raising materials provided by SIC and INSAFE. All mobile data users in Bulgaria received SID greeting by their mobile operator.