Be a buddy not a bully.
Statistics pointed to the prevalence of bullying in the country and the need to address the issue, for example:
- One in five South African teens had experienced cyberbullying firsthand.
- 84% of SA teens knew someone who had been bullied online.
- 57% of children in South Africa felt they had been the victims of bullying.
This was unacceptable to Cartoon Network.
Working with them, we took a stand against the unchecked reality and created the Be a Buddy, not a Bully Cartoon Network Buddy Network and took it to African audiences.
Fighting back with the best partners
Wade van Niekerk, SA world record holder, world champion and Olympic champion in the 400 meters, came on board as our African Cartoon Network Buddy Network ambassador.
We also partnered with ChildLine South Africa, a non-profit organisation that was founded in response to the very high levels of child sexual abuse.
Our focus was on getting local media coverage to create awareness around the launch of the Buddy Network and to provide helpful contacts and help for any kids or parents facing bullying.
The initiative rallied meaningful results, as we:
Encouraged kids and teenagers to report bullying cases to ChildLine.
Conducted 20 Schools Talk programs with ChildLine, reaching 15 000 children and 50 Community Outreach programs, reaching 16 500 children and adults.
Children were invited to have one-on-one brief counselling after the talks, and during this period, 111 children came forward to report or discuss bullying.
ChildLine received and dealt with new cases that were reported.