At a conference on cyberbullying, Kanner-Jugendtelefon (KJT) has aunched its new little mascot for the Online Help, named Bod, and launched a postcard series for youngsters.

KJT has existed for 25 years and manages the national helplines for children, youngsters, parents and carers in Luxemburg. These low threshold services are operated anonymously and confidentially.

Barbara Gorges-Wagner, the managing director of KJT, welcomed the participants and recalled that KJT introduced an English speaking online help for children, youth and for parents, in 2015. A team of English-speaking online counsellors has been built up and trained according to the quality standards established by Child Helpline International.

She also recalled the importance that the English-speaking community in Luxembourg is aware of the service so that, if in need, they know where to refer for anonymous and confidential counselling.

Barbara Gorges-Wagner pointed out that cyberbullying is a major issue affecting children and teenagers and their parents, and is constantly addressed in online counselling sessions. That is why KJT choose to organise this evening about this topic.

In the first part of the event, Georges Knell, psychologist at KJT and expert in the field of online media, presented up-to-date information on this topic. He informed about the definition of cyberbullying, how it works, what the possible consequences are, how to take action, how to prevent it and what parents need to know. He also exposed the process of cyberbullying. It was a valuable and practical input for every parent.

The other highlight of the event was the launch of a new KJT project to promote its services to those in need: the launch of Bod, a new mascot for the Online Help and the first postcard about cyberbullying.

The very talented artist Simon Taylor-Kielty presented his new character named Bod and the Postcard series he developed with comic strips for youngsters. Each month, Kanner-Jugendtelefon will publish one card featuring Bod covering issues of youngsters contacting the online help such as bullying, coping strategies, friendship, conflicts with parents, teenage pregnancy and many more. Those postcards will be distributed to children and youth and can be collected.

At the event, the character called Bod was promoted and shown in life size. This paperboard stand-up figure of Bod holding the postcards can be ordered and placed in schools or other meeting places frequented by children and youngsters.

Each published card will be accompanied by a short article written by an expert. In each comic strip a letter will be hidden. At the end of the year, the hidden letters will form a word related to the work of KJT.

Barbara Gorges-Wagner appealed the participants to assume their responsibilities and to pass on the offer of the Online Help to English speaking children and youth. This is the only way the project can succeed.

Barbara Gorges-Wagner thanked Sam Stobart-O’Dea, Farshad Afsharimehr, Simon Taylor-Kielty and Lynn Frank for their voluntary dedication for KJT, representative of all those who support the project with donations and voluntary work.

After the event, the participants were invited to a reception with the possibility to exchange and network.

The event was a great success for KJT. The KJT expects that this new project helps to promote the Online Help, so that the word will be spread to people in need for this free, anonymous and confidential service.