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Words Matter

What we did: 
In recent years, bullying has become a widespread social epidemic in Saudi Arabia, with statistics pointing to an average of One out of Two kids getting bullied at schools. With the widespread of social media, and mass sharing platforms it has become evident that the effect of bullying causes lasting social and communal damage that surpasses the individual.

In response to this ongoing social issue, Alwaleed philanthropies launched “Words Matter,” an initiative that reveals the nature of bullying to the society by going beyond creating awareness, aiming to protect the current generation, and inviting parents and school instructors to take part of the solution as part of a larger scale strive to provide a solution through addressing the issue from all relevant entry points.

In Saudi Arabia, bullying has always been placed in plain sight, shy of recognition; it needed to present itself. For long it has been an unrecognized reality, as the bullied kids do not express their suffering, leading to more severe problems. 

“Words Matter” initiative sheds light on the act of bullying that usually starts with words in school premises and gradually follows the victim on social platforms, as social media platforms became easy to access for harassment.

Since the schools segregated males from females, We captured the subject from a young female’s perspective, defying restrictions of discretion and secrecy revolved around the female, and establishing the understating that bullying is a genderless issue.

The campaign aimed to encourage all stakeholders to participate within the conversation and transformed the bullying victims from a position of fragility to power creating relevance among kids and bridging the gap of recognition and understating with the parents and instructors.
How we did it: 
We created an Instagram account for 12 years old girl named Badriyah and populated it with content showing her depression due to bullying. We then collaborated with a school to perform a 5-days social experiment where Badriyah covered her experience daily using her social media account. 

We then revealed the story at school and social media channels and introduced an approachable and familiar role model that kids can be empowered by. Educational content addressing different segments of society followed the reveal phase, establishing a foundation for inspiring solutions.

We ran a series of workshops at the school where we collected insights from various stakeholders and introduced a mobile app to connect the students with social counselors where they can anonymously seek help. Smart posters connected to RFID’s inside the uniform badges were installed inside bathrooms where students can instantly report any act of bullying without being exposed.
The initiative ignited conversation among the society and created high engagement among all targeted segments turning Badriyah from a character to an icon fighting against bullying.

Al Tarbiyah-Al-Islamiyah Schools adopted solutions to prevent bullying and become the first bullying-free school in the kingdom.

The cause was widespread as the media coverage organically derived out of social responsibility.

Other schools and NGOs have requested to support in spreading the initiative at schools and events like KING ABDUL AZIZ CENTER FOR NATIONAL DIALOGUE and Kingdom Schools.

Ministry of Education adopted the campaign and is planning to introduce the solutions among all schools around the kingdom.

Our messaging and educational content got high spread:
8,346,225 Impressions.
1,469,715 Engagement.

We gave the generation the friend they needed, “Words Matter” was a success, and the fight against bullying presumes actively.

Building a bullying free environment
Building a bully free environment