Cartoon Network Middle East launches Global ‘Buddy Network’ anti-bullying nationwide initiative

Cartoon Network Middle East launches Global ‘Buddy Network’ anti-bullying nationwide initiative

Cartoon Network study conducted by Opinion Matters shows that half of parents with children aged 6-12 years in the UAE are aware their child has been bullied previously
Collaboration with Sony Music will see a unique song and music video launched to support this important message


Dubai, 22 October 2019: Cartoon Network Middle East has launched a UAE-wide anti-bullying campaign ‘CN Buddy Network’ encouraging children aged 5 to 12 years to ‘Be a Buddy, Not a Bully.’ The global campaign was introduced in 2014 in the UK, and is being launched in the Middle East for the first time, starting with the UAE given that bullying continues to be a cause for concern across the region. To address this, the CN Buddy Network campaign will educate children and parents about the effects of bullying, and provide practical ways to counter it.

The campaign was launched at a press conference held in Dubai on 22nd October.

To understand the issue further, Cartoon Network conducted a study with Opinion Matters, which showed that half of parents with children aged 6-12 years surveyed in the UAE are aware that their child has been bullied previously. Furthermore, 17 percent of parents of children aged 6-12 years agree psychological bullying, verbal bullying and cyber bullying are the most common forms of bullying they observe amongst children aged 6-12. On a positive note, under 2 in 3 respondents in the UAE are confident that their children’s school is doing everything it can to address and prevent bullying (65 per cent).

To raise awareness about the issue, the ‘CN Buddy Network’ campaign is running tailored school workshops by specialized child psychologists that aim to create a positive school culture and help prevent bullying among students. The workshops will continue until December 2019, and will target over 1000 students. Anti-bullying school kits will be distributed to students, including various games and tools to engage them in anti-bullying activities during the workshops.

A Buddy Network website – https://beabuddy.cartoonnetworkmena.com/ – has also been developed which includes helpful information and advice for parents and kids to counter bullying.
As part of the campaign, Cartoon Network is also partnering with Sony Music Entertainment Middle East to create an Anti-bullying song performed by YouTube star singers; the sisters Rawan and Rayan. The catchy Arabic pop song speaks to children with positive messages around inclusion, and will be aired on TV and available worldwide across all music services.

Darine El-Khatib, Senior Director Creative Strategy and Brand Development at Turner MENA and Turkey said: “Bullying has become a widespread global concern, with more and more children becoming vulnerable to this behaviour in different ways. As 2019 is the ‘Year of Tolerance’ in the UAE, we have decided to launch the Buddy Network campaign for the very first time in the Middle East, starting with the UAE. We hope that this campaign will raise awareness around this sensitive topic through promoting friendship and kindness, and educate children and parents about the effects of bullying.”

Mike Fairburn, General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, said: “Music is a universal language, it connects people and builds lasting memories. Cartoon Network shares this vision and we are delighted to be working together with them on this campaign to drive positive change in the UAE.”

‘CN Buddy Network’ campaign is part of Cartoon Network’s global Buddy Network – a peer to peer anti-bullying initiative that started in the US, UK and other parts of Europe and has been a huge success across various other markets in the EMEA region. It uses TV content, events and digital and social outreach to spread the message about protecting kids from bullying.
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