21:52 | 20/12/2019 Economy- Society
In response to the Vietnam National Traffic Safety Committee’s 2019 traffic safety action plan, which calls for better traffic safety for passengers and motorcycles, AIP Foundation addressed child non-helmet use by providing more than 400 helmets to at-risk students at Phu Xuan Primary School in Binh Xuyen District through the Helmets for Kids program. The Helmets for Kids program is supported by the Vietnam Garment Manufacturing Company (VNG) - TAL Apparel and implemented by AIP Foundation in Binh Xuyen District, a rural district of Vinh Phuc Province in the Red River Delta region of Northern Vietnam.
While more than 95% of the students at Phu Xuan Primary School travel to school by motorcycle with adults or alone on bicycles, pre-helmet observations showed that 0% of them wear helmets. Mr. Nguyen Trong Thai, Chief of the secretariat of the National Traffic Safety Committee remarked, “The issue of non-child helmet use is of great concern, which highlights the need for strong collaboration from the private sector, such as the TAL Group, to address traffic safety issues for children. The need for greater road crash prevention awareness at Phu Xuan Primary School is of the utmost importance. Students should not be on our roads without protective equipment for their developing brains. The Helmets for Kids program will demonstrate to students, as well as their parents, the importance of wearing a helmet whenever they are traveling on a motorcycle or bicycle.”
During the event, students learned about proper helmet wearing techniques and gained a better understanding of road injury prevention through various activities and games.
In addition to low rates of helmet wearing, more than 50% of students at Phu Xuan Primary School have parents who were identified as low or middle income. Additionally, many of the students’ parents work in remote areas, and it is common for their primary caretaker to be a grandparent.
The Helmets for Kids program was implemented for the first time in Binh Xuyen last year by AIP Foundation and TAL Apparel, and saw successful results. At Ba Hien B Primary School in Binh Xuyen,pre- and post-intervention surveys revealed an increase in helmet use rates among students from 1% to 76%.
“Our factory is located in Binh Xuyen District and not far from Phu Xuan school, and many of our employees are from this community. Therefore, we strive to work with local organizations that make a difference for children, and their families, in this area. This is a very socially responsible project that addresses an important issue in Vietnam. We are honored to support the students at Phu Xuan Primary School today in learning more about the importance of road crash prevention, said Mr. Kevin Zheng, a representative from TAL Apparel.
Greig Craft, Founder and President of AIP Foundation, further added, “Changing the culture surrounding road safety is not always easy, but that’s why we start in the classroom by targeting children. The Helmets for Kids program is not only about providing new helmets, it is also about teaching young children important skills which will last throughout their lifetime. Through a positive reinforcement approach, students will be able to remind each other, their teachers, and their parents, how to practice safer driving behaviors that can reduce the risk of a horrific tragedy.”