In 2002, Action Innocence was set up in Monaco to talk to school children and adolescents about the dangers of the internet, which nowadays includes cyberbulling, sexual predators, pornography and damaged reputations.
Every year, with the cooperation of the Department of Education, the non-profit organisation has a team of trained psychologists that visit each primary and secondary school throughout the Principality, to explain the associated risks that come with online connectivity and to try to instil an ethic and proper conduct while using the internet.
“We don’t shock the students,” Nick Danziger, Vice-President of Action Innocence and award winning photographer, told Monaco Life. “We work very hard to create an awareness in the classroom. And this also means that no child hears the same message twice from our association.”
Over the past fifteen years, more than 53,000 children have benefited from Action Innocence’s prevention program.
Listening to Nick, who sits in on as many of the classroom sessions as he can, my jaw hangs open as I learn what some young people are looking at on their phones, or what they are being exposed to in the world’s best-selling video game – rape or, in another game, as one boy described, the ability to “buy women”; their parents ignorant of the game’s Advisory Warning.
Founded by its president, Louisette Lévy-Soussan Azzoaglio, Action Innocence has one annual fundraiser, the spectacular charity Christmas tree auction in the lobby of the Hotel de Paris, which will take place this Thursday, December 14, at 6:30 pm, in the presence of the association’s patron, HSH Prince Albert II.
“Each year, between 26 to 33 trees are donated by benefactors, and we are hopeful to raise €80,000,” Nick stated.
Part of the monies raised go towards the purchase of safe webcams, ones that cannot be pirated and used by someone with bad intentions, which Action Innocence provides to all students in its prevention campaign.
The funds are also used to pay the salaries of the psychologists and to provide various tools such as educational mousepads and pay for printed materials like posters and helpline cards.
The Christmas tree auction on Thursday is open to the public but get there early, it’s standing room only. If you can’t make it but want to donate €100, download a form from their website.
Action Innocence will hold its next informative meetings for parents on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 8 pm.