16:38 | 03/12/2021 Society
As part of the growing legacy of the Helmets for Kids Program, AIP Foundation in collaboration with the Traffic Safety Committee and Department of Education and Training of Tuyen Quang province, with support from Johnson & Johnson, hosted a project kick-off ceremony in Tuyen Quang City, Vietnam. The helmets make a life-saving difference for vulnerable school children on their way to and from school. This province is home to a significant number of ethnic minorities.
Ethnic minorities and rural populations face a range of challenges in accessing mainstream services and resources. The Helmets for Kids program aims to reduce brain injuries related to road crashes in school zones and the surrounding communities through increased rate of quality helmet use among children.
These interventions have demonstrated their life-saving impact. In Thai Nguyen province, nearby Tuyen Quang City, a grade 5 student from a Helmets for Kids program school had been traveling on her way home from school, when a motorcycle suddenly crashed into the student’s bicycle. The helmet she had received through Helmets for Kids had protected her from a potentially severe head injury.
This year, 5,828 helmets were distributed in Thai Nguyen and Tuyen Quang provinces to students, teachers, and staff at 8 schools. Teachers received interactive training on road safety. Furthermore, project schools will receive booklets on helmet safety as educational materials. The project kick-off ceremony at Dang Chau Primary School promoted community awareness of the life-saving importance of increasing child helmet use. It was the biggest event of the Helmets for Kids program this year.
“Every child deserves equal access to the tools and resources in their community especially education and knowledge. By focusing on equity and diversity, we’re working towards this vision together. The Helmets for Kids program helps to raise the quality of life standard for communities, especially for kids in rural areas. Something as simple as wearing a helmet can be the difference in that child coming back home to their family happy and healthy after a school day” shared Matthias Skillecorn, Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Vietnam.
The event commenced with a welcome and introduction by Mr. Do Van Lai, Chief of Office, the Traffic Safety Committee Tuyen Quang province and Johnson & Johnson, respectively. In addition to these key partners, the students and their parents and school administrators were in attendance. All the students participated in a dance flash mob performance. The students learned about helmet safety rules which will have a lifesaving impact. The students then received their helmets.
Following the introduction, the students participated in a helmet fitting and engaged in road safety activities and games. This brought about a unique opportunity for every child at the school to to learn more about helmet safety though edutainment activities as well as marking a chance to spread the word about the importance of helmet safety among the local governments and members of the community.
Ms Trinh Thu Ha, Deputy Chief of the Office of the NTSC shared, “It is of paramount importance that the students wear quality helmets. This can mark the difference between ‘life-saving’ and ‘mortality risk’ when it comes to a crash. The students need to be trained on how to select and wear a standard helmet properly. This will ensure maximum protection for them when traveling by motorbike.”
The Helmets for Kids program has been supported by Johnson & Johnson. From 2012 to 2020, the Johnson & Johnson funded Helmets for Kids program has provided 68,420 helmets to 93 schools across 8 Vietnamese provinces, in addition to providing tools and resources to ensure children in the community are commuting to school safely.