Internet safety Archives - Watoto Watch Network



Date   : 7th February 2017

Venue:  Statehouse Girls High School

Theme: ‘Be the change- Unite for a better internet’.


Safer Internet Day is a day set aside to highlight positive use of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. Safer Internet Day 2017 was celebrated globally on Tuesday 7th February with the slogan ‘Be the change: Unite for a better internet’.

In Kenya, Watoto Watch Network organized Safer Internet Day 2017, which was held at Statehouse Girls High School. This year, the celebration brought together children and young people, teachers and various stakeholders. The organizations that took part in this year’s event includes; Communications Authority of Kenya, Facebook, Terres des Hommes Netherlands, Safaricom, Childline Kenya, Cellulant, U-Tena, Lawmark Partners and TESPOK. Schools present included; State House girls, Precious Blood Secondary-Riruta, Nova Academies, Moi Educational Center, Makini School, State House Primary and Ndurarwa Primary.

The event brought together 350 students from various schools, both public and private. The schools present participated in an open competition where they came up with ideas on how to make the internet better for all children and young people in Kenya. The competition ran from January. School children, both from primary and secondary took part in the competition and the winners were awarded during the event. Teachers were not left behind as they were also present and they got a chance to mark the day with the students and the stakeholders present.

The event also showcased talent among the students who had come up with various tech innovations. Nova Academy made a presentation on the ‘Burst a nerve’ innovation project that would make studying among students easy and more interesting. Precious Blood Riruta gave a presentation on the award winning M-safiri application that would transform the transport industry. Moi Educational Centre emerged position one with the best idea on how to make the internet better.

The organizations present played a part in ensuring the success of the event. They highlighted their role in promoting online safety for the children. They also brought merchandizes for the students who took part in the competition as well as all members present for the event.

Watoto Watch Network wishes to thank all who took part in Safer Internet Day 2017, for making the day a success.


Evolution of bullying.


The number one issue that young people always bring to our attention every time we interact with them during training sessions is CYBER BULLYING and this is how they define it …

when I post a photo on the net which I believe is my best photo, all well dressed up, awaiting awesome comments and so many likes; it’s never the case; there’s that one or two people who write nasty and heart breaking comments which take my self-esteem to zero.

Another definition they give as cyber bullying is someone (bullies) downloads your awesome photos, alters them by putting humiliating texts on the images and reposting them to the web.

Ten years ago internet in Kenyan schools was almost inexistent, bullying did exist but in different forms like being told to give up all your school cyber_bullyingshopping by the senior students, being told to wash senior student clothes, being forced to do crazy things like -imagine the floor was a swimming pool, dive into it and swim….good thing this stopped after closing boarding school and going home for holidays.

First forward to this day and time if “any bullying occurs’” in schools the joy of going home and forgetting about it for a couple of hours or holiday weeks is no longer there because bullies have now taken on the internet to continue with the bullying.

Dealing with Cyber Bullying in Kenya has been a losing battle because of lack of a clearly spelled out law against this, the introduction of the Computer and Cyber Crime bill 2016 once passed to a law will come as a relieve to young people who are being bullied online. The bill clearly outlines bullying as a cyber crime which holds a hefty penalty of be a fine not exceeding twenty million shillings or to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both. Our hope is that this will discourage harassment and negativity on online platforms and encourage awesome online experiences without fear of using online platforms by young people.


Worst Kenyan Online Culture!

Worst Kenyan Online Culture

Something very unfortunate occurred a couple of days ago a child in primary school came across very terrifying images of one of the parents who had passed on through a tragic accident. The images were splattered online by strangers, people who wanted to be recognized as being the first ones at the scene and witnessing the ordeal first hand. But what has this done to this child who is currently undergoing counselling.

My question is to the people who take these photos, post them and share them on our social network platforms; Do you know once a photo is posted online it will forever be there? do you know how tormenting it can be for family members to access and revisit these photos over and over again throughout the years?

We have talked about this online practice during our programs with the parents, child protection workers and other partners, but now this has to be screamed out loud.

This Kenyan Online Culture is very worrying, when a road accident occurs people rush to the scene to take photos of the grisly incident and immediately start posting them online. For the past two years, it has been increasingly common occurrence.

As a parent / guardian have you ever exposed these photos/videos to your child unknowingly? Children as young as two years of age can navigate through a phone and access the photos. Question is before you give your child your phone to play games, do you remember to scan through the photos and see if they are appropriate? If you use a social network platform you are well aware that some of them automatically save photos on your phone!

So how do we stop this? Is it through policies and laws being put up against the posting of such photos and video’s online or is it just the humanity in us that will break this habit out of respect for the family members and respect for the departed.

We are writing on behalf of the children in Kenya who use ICT technology. Let’s lead by example and not scare them from an enjoyable online experience.


The Internet we want!

Held at Strathmore University on 16th Sept, 2016.

The internet we want!

On the 15th of September 2016 Watoto Watch Network brought together children and young people from 9 different schools, between the ages of 13-18 to give their views on the proposed Computer and Cyber Crime Bill 2016.

The aim of the forum was to engage the public (children) in the process of policy formulation as required by the Kenyan constitution. It gave the children a platform to voice their cyber crime related issues being they are very heavy users of the internet. The session was guided by various policy organizations, namely; Watoto Watch Network, Department of Children Services ,Communications Authority, KICTANET, Department of Criminal Investigation – Cyber Crime Unit, Law Society of Kenya, KEPSHA, KSSHA, Strathmore-School of Law, Diplo Foundation, Access Now and Kenya Law Reform Commission.

Some of the topics discussed were cyber bullying, sexting, online grooming, child pornography, online privacy, online gaming and reporting. On all the issues mentioned, cyber bullying received a strong reception by the children in regards to the penalties highlighted in the bill, that is; a fine not exceeding 20 million shillings or imprisonment of a term not exceeding 10 years, or both. Their view on this was that it was too harsh of a sentence. They recommended if minors below the age of 15 could get a less harsh penalty eg. Rehabilitation.

They also mentioned cyber stalking as an issue they are facing every day but they did not understand the clear definition of the crime as highlighted on the bill. i.e. when does liking someone’s photos and commenting nice things on their social network pages become an offence-cyber stalking?

They also requested for security as incidents are being investigated i.e. threats

All the other crimes were also discussed in detail, suggestions and recommendations made by the children were taken into account and forwarded to the relevant government ministry.

Something that came out very clearly in regards to reporting online incidents, 85% of the children were not open to approaching their parents for help if they faced online issues i.e. cyber bullying. Reasons given were; fear of being reprimanded, some felt parents are not conversant with trending social network sites therefore they will not understand what support to give, lastly embarrassment over the crime committed e.g. sexting gone wrong. On the day they learnt on various ways to report and to which government body to report these cybercrimes to.

Issues that had missed out and were seen important by the children were also included i.e. online gaming, where children are asked their personal information before they play a game; what is the information gathered used for?

This was a great learning session for both the children and policy makers that were in attendance. Children’s forums like this one will be ongoing as we move forward in ensuring the safety of children online.





Watoto Watch Network conducted a successful Child Online Protection training exhibition in Meru on the 27 th and 28 th of April. A large turnout of young people and parents came to learn more on how to increase their children’s safety online, they also learnt safety tips and tools on how to keep themselves and their children safe. All this took place at The Meru Technical Institute. The Governor of Meru County; Honorable Peter Munya also graced the stand and was able to hear more about Child Online Protection from the Executive Director Ms, Lillian Kariuki.



A Girl is tormented by her Facebook ‘lover’ kills herself

Ms Mercy Bundi, 19, left a suicide note, naming the man and giving details of where he assaulted her and why she took her life.

A college student committed suicide after a foreigner lured her through Facebook and assaulted her, the family revealed on Monday, ending two weeks of silence.

Ms Mercy Bundi, 19, left a suicide note in which she named the man and gave details of where he assaulted her and why she took her life.

“The day we met was the day my problems started. He was not the man I knew on Facebook,” Mercy said in her suicide note.

She said she was traumatised after the man, who identified himself to her as Marco Ritz, threatened to post her naked photos online for the whole world to see.

“He took my nude pics and told me if I say (sic) this to anyone he will sell them on the internet and say I am a prostitute,” she wrote.

Mercy was too afraid to wait for that moment. On September 12, she was found dead in her bed, a bottle of poison by her side. Her Sh3,190, the suicide note and her phone were all by her side.

Although she was born in Tanzania, she attended primary school in Kisii, joining Nyakach Girls High School but later transferring to St Michael’s School in Nakuru where she sat her KCSE exams in 2013. This year, she joined Bugema University in Uganda, where she died.


Police are investigating the incident amid reports that there is an increase in insidious crimes that have left thousands of Kenyans suffering in silence.

Mercy joined the Facebook page, “Love beyond skin colour (white men and black women)”, where she met Marco.

On September 9, he travelled to Kenya and sent money to Mercy, who was then in Kampala. Marco had claimed that he was from Trittenheim but lived in Berlicht, Germany.

Mercy’s sister, Ms Sarah Mauya Bundi, on Monday told the Nation that Mercy had travelled to Mombasa and met Marco there.

She said she had warned Mercy against meeting the man and, in her suicide note, Mercy said she regretted not listening to her sister.

“As I am writing this, I cannot sit, eat or walk as normal. I am regretting not to listen to my sisters (sic),” says the note.

On the day Mercy travelled to Mombasa, Marco posted a photo on Facebook, indicating that he was at the Kinondo Poa Hotel, near the Galu Kinondo Beach.


On Monday, an assistant director at the hotel, Ms Laura Nanyuli, said Marco had been to the hotel twice — in April and September this year — with a woman whom he described as a lawyer and model. On his last visit, she said, Marco did not spend the night in the hotel.

On September 11, Mercy travelled to Nairobi and spent a night in her sister’s house in Embakasi. She could hardly walk and was in pain but when asked what was the problem, she told her sister that she was having a bad dream.

In her suicide note, however, she revealed that she was sexually assaulted for two days at a Mombasa hotel.

After she travelled back to Kampala, she tried to contact Marco so that he could help her pay for treatment, in vain.

“I have tried to contact him for help to treat myself, he has blocked me in everywhere. I cannot face my sister and tell them I must rest because of him (sic),” says the suicide note.

After her family was informed of her death, they flew the body to Nairobi on September 14 and reported the matter at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport police station. They also gave police a photo of the suspect, hoping that he would be arrested before he could leave the country. He wasn’t.

Courtesy of Nation Newspaper:


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