Child Helpline Georgia’s Facebook page reminds children and young people that they are not alone, and that they can make contact whenever they need support.
Some months ago Child Helpline Georgia created a Facebook group for young people, to hear their opinions, understand their thoughts and get their ideas concerning the helpline. In particular, they wanted to hear from them what they thought would be the most useful and comfortable communication technology with which they could interact with the helpline.
And why use Facebook for this? Facebook remains one of the most popular social networks among children and youth in Georgia (in fact, Facebook is widely used by children under the age 13 across the country). Young people in are actively using Facebook to look for the information that is important to them.
Take, for example, 18-year-old Niko (not his real name). He was having mixed feelings about his sexual orientation, but was afraid to talk out loud about this on the phone. So, rather than telephoning the child helpline he used their Facebook page to get the guidance and fast support he wanted instead. Another example is 16-year-old Anna (again, not her real name), who also reached out to Child Helpline Georgia via Facebook. Having a speech disorder, the only way for her to ask for the help that she needed was by using the social network through her personal computer.
Understanding the importance of using communications technology to support children and young people, Child Helpline Georgia is currently exploring the possibilities for developing a mobile app. In the meantime, Facebook is proving to be an effective tool in reaching the most vulnerable groups of children and youth in Georgia. Using Facebook, Child Helpline Georgia is successfully raising awareness about the issues that are important for children.