Welcome to first Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation post for 2011. As predicted things have got off to a busy start this year and we’ve got plenty to update you!
First of all we'd like to say a big thank you to all those who supported us and made donations last year and we hope that you'll continue to support us during 2011. The vital work of the AIP Foundation would not be possible without the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors, so all contributions, big or small, are gratefully received.
This Wednesday, March 16th, is a Global Giving Bonus Day, so any donations we receive on the day will be matched by Global Giving.
Helmets for Kids Schools Partnership
The beginning of 2011 has seen the development of our Helmets for Kids program in conjunction with the British International School, Vietnam (BISV). The school has partnered with the 762 students at Tran Khan Du primary school, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The partnership is based on three levels of involvement: fundraising, joint activities between the primary schools, and helmet training workshops for the BISV secondary students.
The project has got off to an exciting start with BISV raising $10,000 for the provision of helmets at the Tran Khanh Du School which will be distributed at a helmet handover ceremony later this month. In addition, the primary schools are participating in ongoing joint lessons aimed to facilitate language exchange through song, and transport education through lego based activities. On March 9, the AIP Foundation also conducted a helmet fitting workshop for the Year 9s at BISV, in order for class volunteers to accompany Foundation staff to the Tran Khan Du School to conduct fittings and monitor helmet compliance rates.
Michelle Yeoh Films Road Safety Documentary in Cambodia
Over in Cambodia, the FIA Foundation recently coordinated with AIP to film a documentary for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, featuring actress and Global Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh. The documentary demonstrates the burden of traffic fatalities in Cambodia and examines the many interventions being implemented to combat this public health crisis.
"My visit to Cambodia aims to show that these deaths and injuries can be prevented", said Michelle Yeoh. "They can be prevented by simple acts like always wearing a motorcycle helmet. This year, as we launch the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, we should be more determined than ever to keep everyone, and especially our children, safe from harm".
One of the main emphases of the documentary was to promote the wearing of helmets and advocate for quick passage of a law mandating helmets for motorcycle passengers. Currently, the law only requires motorcycle drivers to wear helmets, despite them being proven to reduce the likelihood of death from a road traffic crash by 42 percent and the likelihood of injury by 69 percent. As it stands, preliminary data from helmet use observations conducted in January 2011 show that helmet use is extremely low among motorbike passengers. In Phnom Penh, passenger helmet use rates were recorded between 8 and 12 percent during the daytime and between 6 and 8 percent at nighttime.
"We see helmets as a 'vaccine' against traumatic brain injuries, which are the leading cause of death from motorbike crashes," said Mirjam Sidik, Executive Director of AIP Foundation. "We hope this documentary inspires viewers to encourage their families and loved ones to wear helmets and serves as a catalyst to change social norms."
And last, but by no means least, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to Kim Pagna, the AIP Foundation’s newly appointed director for the country. With an established background in road safety in the area, Pagna is a valuable asset to lead the Foundation’s operations from the office in Phnom Penh. Commenting on his new position Pagna says, “In 2010, road traffic crashes caused the largest non-communicable-disease burden in Cambodia. I look forward to working with AIP Foundation to combat this growing public health crisis; and to helping AIP Foundation's commitment to put a helmet on every head becomes a reality.”
For more information on the AIP Foundation and its activities, please visit: www.asiainjury.org
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