At the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014, AIP Foundation has been involved in a number of activities to increase awareness and improve road safety in Cambodia. Through interventions at project schools and advocacy activities, road safety education and awareness raising has reached thousands of students, parents, teachers, and other community members.
Students and teachers at two high schools in Phnom Penh received high-quality helmets and comprehensive road safety education under the Helmets for Youth project. The schools were selected due to their proximity to high-volume traffic roads and low helmet wearing rates. The project aimed to increase awareness about the importance of safe road behaviors including the safety benefits of wearing helmets. To further prioritize helmet use, AIP Foundation invited students to show their support for improved road safety by signing banners that called for passage and implementation of passenger helmet legislation. The project will continue in 2014 with a reinforcement of lessons that aim to create an effective model for other high schools to implement in the region.
Primary school students, teachers, and parents in Chamkamorn District participated in Helmets for Kids extracurricular activities that focused on the benefits of wearing helmets. Over 100 students took part in activities such as interactive games, painting contests, and Q&A sessions, which increased their knowledge of safe behaviors as motorcycle passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. In addition, parents were invited to a helmet safety workshop about why it is important for them and their passengers to always wear helmets. Activities were planned around the Lunar New Year, which research has shown is a high-risk time for traffic crashes in Cambodia. Helmet wearing rates have significantly increased at target schools after interventions, with an average increase from 0 percent to 90 percent for child passengers.
AIP Foundation is excited for 2014 with even more helmet donations, school-based road safety education programs, and public awareness campaigns. With support from generous donors, AIP Foundation will be able to continue to work to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people on Cambodia’s roads.
Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, with the support of generous donors, gave 3,448 children life-saving helmets and road safety education in Cambodia last school year through the Helmets for Kids program.
Helmets for Kids is AIP Foundation’s signature program that provides primary school students with high-quality helmets as well as teaches them the importance of wearing helmets and practicing safe road behavior. In addition to donating helmets and training teachers and students in road safety, the program also educates parents to put helmets on their children and raises awareness of issues surrounding road safety in the wider community.
During the 2012-2013 school year, the program was implemented at four schools in Cambodia, where helmet wearing rates increased from .1 percent to nearly 90 percent. Helmets essentially became part of the school uniform, as students were committed to wearing helmets when commuting to and from school each day.
Helmets donated through the Helmets for Kids program in Cambodia saved six children from injury in crashes. Since these children were all wearing helmets at the time of the crashes, they were protected from potential brain injury.
On April 15, 2013, fifth grader Phal Phada and his mother were on their way to a pagoda on a motorcycle when they were hit by another motorcyclist. Phada and his mother were thrown off of the motorcycle and landed in the middle of the road. Phada’s right knee was bleeding and he had scratches on his body. Thankfully, both Phada and his mother were wearing helmets, so they were protected from serious injury. Phada shared his story with his friends to help them understand the importance of always wearing helmets.
By donating to the “Protect Cambodian Children from Brain Injury” project, you can help protect more children like Phada from serious injury in crashes. These children risk their lives every day by commuting to and from school by motorcycle without wearing helmets. Help to change this behavior and allow children to grow safely and pursue their dreams today!
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Ho Chi Minh City,