OCBC Bank sponsors WCC cyber safety programme for 1,000 youths and teachers
When Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) needed support to run programmes on cyber safety – with cyber bullying affecting a significant number of youths - it did not need to look any further than the people it partnered with last year, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Berhad (OCBC Bank).
Last year, the Bank, through its CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin, sponsored the all-important and most-accessed “Issues” section of the WCC website for abused women and children – www.wccpenang.org
Taking things a step further this year, OCBC Bank supported WCC’s work in cyber safety by sponsoring the education of a thousand secondary school students and school counsellors in preventing cyber violence among youths.
Since 1985, WCC, a non-profit organisation, has helped more than 150,000 women and children who have experienced various types of crises, particularly in the form of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
According to Ms Loh Cheng Kooi, Executive Director of WCC, the issue of cyber safety among young people has become a matter of increasing concern and needed to be tackled given its exponential rise in recent years due to the pandemic and lockdowns.
“Again, we have seen a trend of cyberbullying, especially since many have been at home and are engaging in online sessions due to the pandemic. So, they are now more exposed to abuse than ever before. What is crucial is for us to heighten the knowledge of cyber safety among youths so that they can tackle this grave situation more effectively.
“The OCBC Bank sponsorship has enabled WCC to go to six secondary schools in recent months to conduct cyber safety for nearly 1,000 students to educate them against cyber harassment, sexting, online violence and how to prevent such situations. By engaging these students with interactive sessions, WCC learnt about the risky behaviours that teens are engaged in currently and the importance of engaging teachers in supporting students when they face risky situations such as online dating, sexting and so forth.
“On 17 November, WCC followed up with a training workshop on Preventing Online Violence for Children for 62 secondary school counsellors in Penang. The trainers spoke about the current trends in online activities and psychosocial development of teenagers, and facilitated discussions on cases of teens selling their own naked picture, online dating, cyberbullying and the roles of agencies in assisting sexual assault cases involving children. School counsellors also shared on the challenges their students faced in tackling cyberviolence issues. The participants expressed their gratitude for learning new skills and gaining a better understanding of the laws and how to assist their students when online violence happens.
“We would like to thank OCBC Bank, particularly its CEO Dato’ Ong Eng Bin, for helping us yet again following the sponsorship of our website upgrade last year. It is truly a blessing to us,” she said.
OCBC Bank engages with the communities it is involved in by venturing beyond its superior banking products and services to meeting the social needs of the people as well.
Dato’ Ong Eng Bin said that youths are vulnerable to bullying situations especially when it is online, hence seeing to their safety while online is important.
“We are painfully aware of the social and economic effects of the global pandemic and how they weigh heavily on many. So, we wanted to reach out to support our own community, particularly those who have been deeply affected these past few years.
“I applaud the work of WCC and see this as a good opportunity for youths to be more aware of their surroundings. It is vital that they have exposure to how best to defend and protect themselves against anything untoward,” he said.
He added that as a banking group with 90 years of giving to the communities and as the Bank celebrates the milestone year, it looks forward to enabling individuals, SMEs and businesses to build a more sustainable future.