Safer Internet Day in Ukraine in wartime

While simultaneously facing the war in Ukraine, schools, youth centres, libraries and non-governmental organisations recently took part in the traditional annual Safer Internet Day celebrations. The Ukrainian Safer Internet Day Committee has been working all year long to reinforce the efforts of all stakeholders to bring the celebration of Safer Internet Day to each region of Ukraine.


"In Ukraine, as a result of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation to Ukraine, every seventh school was damaged," said Deputy Minister of Education and Science Yevhen Kudryavets during the forum "Ukraine. Year 2024", which took place on Sunday, 25 February 2024. "More than 3,500 educational institutions have been destroyed in one way or another. Almost 14 billion USD is needed to restore the educational infrastructure according to the latest World Bank estimates," Kudryavets said.

Despite the war in Ukraine, rocket and drone attacks, and lack of internet connection and electricity, 510 Ukrainian organisations officially registered their activities for Safer Internet Day and received an Open Badge as a SID 2024 supporter. Over 43,000 children, young people and teachers participated in these local offline, online and hybrid activities. Some of the activities were cancelled or postponed on Tuesday, 6 February 2024, as air alerts took place across Ukraine, and 11 reports on explosions were reported in the media.

Taking part in SID activities, children and young people in Ukraine discovered the internet as a tool and a space for development, becoming familiar with how to protect themselves from online threats. Training, extracurricular activities, games, web quests, lessons online and offline, board games, and the creation of newspapers were all part of the celebrations across the country. At the national level, in addition to the hashtags  #SID2024 and #SaferInternetDay, the Ukrainian version of #ДеньБезпечногоІнтернету  was also used to give visibility to the celebrations across the country.

The Ukrainian Safer Internet Centre organises preparatory work for the Safer Internet Day celebrations throughout the year. Ukrainian citizens can see their work through the SID in the Ukraine Facebook page, the official site of the Ukrainian Better Internet Centre, and an online bulletin on online safety education, including news, informational and educational resources, and activities related to online safety for children, young people, parents, and caregivers.

Since April 2022, our centre has been sharing its educational resources and games for free. The games Universe of Opportunities, Start, and Souvenirko assist children and young people in overcoming traumatic events and creating a safe space to talk and play. Non-formal education methodology and youth participation were widely implemented on Safer Internet Day by a variety of supporters.

In addition, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) invited educators to hold an educational event on the importance of adhering to the security rules of online payments and settlements. For the educational event, materials on payment security developed by experts of the National Bank of Ukraine within the framework of the All-Ukrainian Information Campaign on Combating Payment Fraud (#ШахрайГудбай) were proposed. In response, 2,565 educators conducted educational events on payment security, meaning 110,000 pupils and students gained valuable knowledge about online security

Also, on the occasion of Safer Internet Day, various state and civil society organisations created various articles, podcasts, and events. For example, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deepfake technology was covered by NGO #stop_sexting, and the organisation's YouTube channel hosted different animated videos, podcasts, and webinars for children, young people, parents, and educators.

During the evaluation of SID 2024 activities and feedback from organisers of SID activities in schools and libraries, the Better Internet Centre identified the need to develop and design tools, games, and manuals on online safety for activities in an online format for future editions

Find out more about Safer Internet Day celebrations in Ukraine by visiting the Ukrainian Safer Internet Day Committee profile page.

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