International Competition Discovers Young People Using The Internet To Tackle Major Global Issues

Posted on 25 February 2005

Poverty in Africa, teen pregnancy and global terrorism are just three of the major issues being tackled by the winners of an international web development competition for young people, announced today.

The competition, open to young people (aged 18 and under) is part of the Cable & Wireless Childnet Academy 2005 - an initiative run by children’s internet charity, Childnet International, in partnership with Cable & Wireless. 

www.childnetacademy.org

The programme aims to recognise the outstanding creativity of children and young people who are developing exciting online projects that bring positive benefit to other young people worldwide.

This year’s winners receive a grant from a special US$55,000 web development prize fund and a chance to attend a week-long internet Academy to be held next month in Jamaica.

The winners, selected by a panel of international judges from a field of 225 entrants from 49 countries, include young people from UK, Nigeria, Jamaica, Trinidad, Canada and Uzbekistan – all of whom demonstrate that the internet can be a powerful and inspiring tool when used safely and creatively.

The competition also includes a ‘New to the Net’ category, for young people who have limited access to internet technology but have a new idea for the web.

‘New to the Net’ category winners include 14-year-old Abraham Ferguson from Trinidad & Tobago who is currently developing a website to allow young people to share personal experience of being involved in natural disasters, such as Hurricane Ivan and the Asian Tsunami.

Abraham will be joined at the Academy by 18-year-old Jamine Armstrong from Northern Ireland, one of the creators behind It’s all in the Mix – a proposed website designed to allow young people living in divided communities to share their experiences and demonstrate the benefits of tackling division and conflict.

Stephen Carrick Davies, Chief Executive at Childnet International said:

“The winning projects showcase the positive power of the internet – to give young people a voice and a chance to create their own online learning tools. It is significant that so many of the projects challenge adults and other young people on important global issues. By bringing the winners together with young people from Jamaica, we hope to inspire others to use the internet constructively to share knowledge and make a difference.”

Joe Franses, Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Cable & Wireless said:

“Cable & Wireless is delighted to support the important work of Childnet International and encourage young people to use the internet safely and positively. This year’s winners offer an excellent example of how young people are using the web to express their own creativity, raise awareness of key social issues and share experiences with others. ”

During the week-long Academy, specialist web support, leadership training and technical advice will be provided, with winners being given exclusive access to a team of internet experts and mentors drawn from the world of education, business and the public and voluntary sectors.

To coincide with the Academy, Cable & Wireless, Childnet International and the British Council will be holding a special one-day conference to review the impact that the internet is having on children and young people. The conference, Releasing Potential, Minimising Risks, will be held in Jamaica on 31 March.

Members of the public can view all the websites and vote for their favourite project at www.childnetacademy.org/winners. The winner will be announced at a special celebratory event to be held on 31 March.

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About Childnet International

Childnet International is a registered charity, set up in 1996 - with the mission to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

The vision of the organisation is to ensure that all those involved in developing, producing, controlling, using and regulating international telecommunications (current and future), recognise and implement policies and programmes which prioritise the rights of children so that their interests are both promoted and protected. For more information about Childnet International go to

www.childnet-int.org

About Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless is one of the world’s leading international communications companies. It provides voice, data and IP (Internet Protocol) services to business and residential customers, as well as services to other telecoms carriers, mobile operators and providers of content, applications and internet services.

Cable & Wireless’ principal operations are in the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Panama and the Middle East.

For more information about Cable & Wireless, go to www.cw.com

For more information or to arrange an interview with one of the winners, please contact:

Stephen Carrick-Davies

Childnet International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7639 6967

E-mail:

[email protected]

Joe Franses

Cable & Wireless

Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7315 4489

E-mail:

[email protected]

Errol Miller

Cable & Wireless Jamaica

Tel: +1 876 929 2194

E-mail:

[email protected]

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