Friday, 23 March 2012
Bloomberg donates 'helmets for kids'
The event, supported by WHO and Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the government of Vietnam, saw more than 1000 children recieve motorcycle helmets at Nam Trung Yen school, where 75 teachers also recieved training in helmet use education as part of the initiative. While 95% of the school's students are driven to school on their parent's motorbikes only a quarter of them wore helmets, and with most of the parents on average or low income, purchasing quality helmets is not a priority.
"Giving children the tools to stay safe on the road is hugely important here in Vietnam", said AIP Foundation President Greig Craft. "In addition to school-based programs, our organization runs national public awareness campaigns in collaboration with the government. In 2007, the passage of an adult helmet law increased helmet use from 10% to 98% overnight, saving thousands of lives. This can happen again, for children, and today's partner collaboration exemplifies how it can be done."
The project Mayor Bloomberg was visiting - funded through his 'Road Safety in 10 Countries' (RS10) initiative - is also one of the flagship programmes for the Road Safety Fund, which this year will direct at least $300,000 from philanthropic and corporate donations to supporting AIP Foundation's 'helmet vaccine initiative' in Vietnam and Cambodia. Other major donors to the programme include Atlantic Philanthropies. More than 500,000 helmets have been distributed to children since the programme was launched by President Bill Clinton in 2000. And with only 20% of motorcycle-riding children wearing helmets in Hanoi, the need for more support is great.