Long Short Walk in Hanoi
The week of May 6 to 12 marked the United Nations’ second Global Road Safety Week where events were held around the world to make roads safer. AIP Foundation participated in this movement by organizing activities across Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City, we held an exhibition opening and public event for our pedestrian campaign with Safe Kids Worldwide, which featured a photo contest for secondary students. More than 1,000 young people, volunteers, local and national government officials, popular Vietnamese celebrities, and community members attended. The event concluded with a Long Short Walk led by the Chief Secretariat of National Traffic Safety Committee where participants marched through main downtown streets to express a collective desire for more sidewalks, improved traffic signals, and other measures to make pedestrians safer. Advocacy for pedestrian safety is important, as pedestrians make up nearly one quarter of traffic fatalities. A post-evaluation of the event revealed that 86 percent of student participants reported enjoying the games we set-up, and many were able to recall the road safety messages featured.
We kicked-off the Week in Hanoi with a family event, which combined activities to improve child helmet use, as part of our ongoing campaign, with a Long Short Walk. We also hosted walks during April in Ha Tinh Province and in District 9, Ho Chi Minh City.
The second phase evaluation results of our three-year national public awareness campaign “Children also need a helmet” showed dramatic increases in children wearing helmets nationwide. Since baseline research was conducted in September 2012, child helmet use has risen from 17 to 47 percent across our three target cities of Hanoi, Danang, and Ho Chi Minh City. The results in Hanoi were particularly impressive, with helmet use rising from 9 to 53 percent. However, there is still more work to be done to encourage all children aged 6-14 to wear helmets. AIP Foundation continues to promote the campaign at public events, on social media, and with TV and outdoor advertisements. We have also enhanced police enforcement and called to local partners for support.
As part of our efforts to increase the number of children wearing helmets in Vietnam, we have solicited pledges from Vietnamese parents to commit to putting helmets on their children. Between January and June 2013, 175,000 parents signed a commitment to put helmets on their children using Facebook, the campaign website, and direct flyer distribution at information sessions.
As the school vacations commence and our project cycle winds down, our team is spending time mapping out the next steps in each of our initiatives to increase child helmet rates in Vietnam.