Press release: European government agencies and industry combine to combat bullying
Brussels, 29 October: The first pan-European collaboration between public agencies and businesses to combat bullying has been launched in Brussels. Enable (European Network Against Bullying in Learning and Leisure Environments) is an EU-funded project to combat bullying and contribute to the wellbeing of young people through their social and emotional development.
Enable will conduct research into bullying activity, provide resources for schools and organise peer-mentoring schemes. More than 2 million teachers and 6 million young people aged 11-14 are expected to benefit from the project, which runs until September 2016.
Enable will be implemented by six core partners based in five different countries across the European Union: the Centre for Digitale Paedagogik (Denmark); the Princess Diana Awards (UK); the South West Grid for Learning (UK); Partners in Learning (Croatia), and For Adolescent Health (Greece). It is coordinated by European Schoolnet, a not-for profit consortium of 31 Ministries of Education.
The founding industry partners are: Ask.fm, Facebook, Twitter and Vodafone. Industry will play an important role in Enable, by providing insight, funding for supplementary activities and resources, and through improved dissemination capacity throughout all phases of the project.
“In Enable, partners from the education, social and youth sectors will work alongside associate partners from the social media and telecoms industry through schools, family and youth communities. The complementary expertise and a multi-disciplinary approach will not only contribute to preventing bullying episodes in schools but will also empower children and teens by developing self-esteem, social skills and respect for others,” says Janice Richardson, Senior Advisor at European Schoolnet.
“The five countries involved - Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Greece and the United Kingdom - have all tested broadly contrasting means to tackle bullying. As part of Enable they will be able to share best practice and develop new approaches to positively addressing the causes of bullying in different contexts”, she continues.
Lisa Felton, Head of Consumer Regulation for Vodafone commented: “Enable is a good addition to our existing Digital Family programme which supports families with tools such as the Vodafone Guardian App and our Digital Parenting website. Enable will help young people to support each other and use new technology in a positive way.”
Whilst Ask.fm's newly appointed Director of Safety in Europe Annie Mullins OBE stated this week: "Enable is taking positive action to address bullying by putting the emphasis on empathy and respect. Ask.fm supports this important initiative to play a part in the wellbeing of young people and change negative behaviours online."
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About European Schoolnet
Co-funded by the Daphne Programme of the European Union