Kids in class with helmets at their sides
Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Vietnam:
“Every year over 12,00 people die on roads and 30,00 are seriously injured..most of these cases could have been prevented by simply wearing a helmet…Wear a helmet. There are no excuses.” - 2007 Public Service Announcement by Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, Vietnam Helmet Wearing Coalition, and National Traffic Safety Committee.
This was a public service announcement by Asia Injury Prevention Foundation in 2007 to spread awareness about the life-saving impact of wearing helmets. Instead of 12,000, now 11,000 people die per year on roads. When I arrived in Vietnam, I was shocked by the chaos of street traffic and the number of children I saw riding motorbikes with their parents and not wearing helmets. On Friday, Apri 6, I was able to spend the morning with Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, meet staff, and see their programs in action.
Aaron, Development Coordinator, and Hong, Program Coordinator accompanied me to a school in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City, where the students participate in the “Click On Safety” project, “Safe Routes to School “ program, as well as are recipients of “Helmets For Kids”.
Immediately on arrival, I was greeted by the principal and vice-principal. They accompanied us to a classroom where the teacher was about to start “ClickOn Safety”, an e-learning program teaching road safety for 1st grade students. This program is in pilot phase. The kids were excited, engaged, and interacting with the e-learning program – playing educational games, answering questions, and cheering when getting questions right.
While observing the class, I noticed all of the children had their uniforms, backpacks, and HELMETS which were strapped to the sides of their desks thanks to AIP Foundation. In 2011, 6,680 helmets were donated in Vietnam, 2,542 in Cambodia, and 260 in Thailand through Helmets for Kids. Since the program started in 2000, around 500,000 helmets have been donated.
After, we sat down with the principal and vice principal. They explained that they have been working with AIP for 2 years. At the beginning, students did not like the helmets because they were not attractive, but after they were made colorful, the kids began to like them. Before the helmets, they had an incident of a father of a student dying and only 20% of the student population wore helmets. Now 80-90% of the students wear helmets to school, and there are still a few traffic accidents but that number has decreased and the injuries are not as serious as before.
AIP now has a university team doing research on how to better engage families and parents in the helmet safety program.
To learn more about my experience with AIP Foundation - click here.
Promoting helmet safety at the school