“The Smile of the Child” receives Changemakers Award at Pioneers in SDGs Awards 2023

04 October 2023


Athens, 4 October 2023

“The Smile of the Child” receives Changemakers Award at Pioneers in SDGs Awards 2023

"The Smile of the Child" is honored to receive, for a 3rd year in a row, this award from the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) for its innovative research on anonymous chat platforms.

The research findings are the result of a coordinated effort between student volunteers from the European Student Volunter Network - YouSmile, and members of the Organization’s Child Rights Team.  On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, this team highlighted the critical challenges social media platforms impose on minors and presented the dangers lurking behind internet navigation in Chat Apps. 

Watch the survey here: https://youtu.be/T5hgcuzCJsU

Social Media has become a part of everyday life - positively and negatively impacting youth. “The Smile of the Child’s” premise is, and has always been, to protect children’s rights.  This survey on anonymous chat platforms assists us in monitoring and creating a safer digital practice for minors. 

Georgina Tsagka, YouSmile's coordinator, spoke about the research process: "The research was conducted by student volunteers, with the consent of their parents and guardians, but also with strict parallel supervision by specialized staff of the Organization. These volunteers signed into anonymous chat platforms and chatted with adults and unknown users.  These chats and experiences were filmed and analyzed.  Eighty eight (88) conversations were monitored and recorded with the results showing that 1 in 6 of the men the children chatted with attempted to make the conversation a sexual experience.”

"From these results we determined that an instructional video must be created to educate children about safe online interactions and it is now available on YouTube. The video went viral within the first 24 hours of its release, demonstrating the demand to have more internet safety tools for children, parents and guardians.”

Watch the award ceremony here: https://youtu.be/xtwokByXyqw?si=3NqzHo2IHpPQZQDLIt

It is important to mention that “The Smile of the Child” has received awards in all three of the years it participated in the Pioneers in SDGs Awards:

  • Pioneers in SDGs Awards 2021: We secured 3rd place for the Odysseas Mobile Lab of Information and the mobile voluntary blood donation program, designed to address blood shortages at Greek hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Pioneers in SDGs Awards 2022: YouSmile, the Organization’s European Student Voluntary Network, received the Stakeholder Engagement Award.  YouSmile was created specifically to increase children's participation in all decisions that affect them, while educating them about their fundamental rights and strengthening their capacity to respond to any violation of these rights.

We thank the Pioneers in SDGs Awards for giving us the opportunity to annually showcase our work  and activities designed to advance child well- being.  Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, the Organization’s President of the Board of Directors,  stated at the first award ceremony: "'The Smile of the Child' was founded by a 10-year-old child in 1995. Today it is the largest voluntary organization fighting for the protection of children in Greece and intends to continue to do so..."

Watch this year's awards here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6QsyTek4ok

More information:
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