Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF) marked the World Day with a visit of their goodwill ambassadors – a singer and an actress – to a primary school in Ho Chi Minh City, where discussions on road safety issues took place, prayers for victims were said and 30 birds released to symbolize the 30 lives lost on Vietnamese roads every single day.
KATHY UYEN AND THANH BUI COMMEMORATE ROAD TRAFFIC VICTIMS IN VIETNAM
November 15, 2010- Ho Chi Minh City
Actress Kathy Uyen and singer Thanh Bui visited Truong Van Thanh Primary School in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9 in honor of the World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims. Discussions with students and meaningful commemoration activities were followed by interviews with local authorities on road safety. Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP Foundation) organized the day’s events with the hope that it will increase students’ awareness of road safety issues and lead to increased preventative action nationwide.
“Over 30 people die from road traffic crashes on Vietnam’s roads every day,” says Mirjam Sidik, AIP Foundation’s Executive Director. “That means 30 families are destroyed every day, crippled by the loss of a loved one. Remembering the victims is a crucial element of dealing with the battle that Vietnam is facing on its roads. AIP Foundation organized today’s events to highlight that this situation is not acceptable; we need to take action.”
Kathy Uyen and Thanh Bui distributed information packets about Vietnam’s frightening road situation to school representatives before joining the students in their classrooms. Approximately 50 students were split up into five groups to encourage interactive and candid group discussions about how reduce the numbers of road traffic accidents. The children brainstormed and presented their best ideas to the Goodwill Ambassadors and an AIP Foundation representative. The group with the best idea to combat road traffic casualties was awarded a prize.
The school activities were concluded with prayer and the release of 30 birds to symbolize the 30 lives lost to road traffic crashes in Vietnam each day.
“With events taking place around the world for this Remembrance Day, I am thrilled to continue being a Goodwill Ambassador for AIP Foundation’s meaningful activities,” said Thanh Bui. “I enjoyed attending the children’s traffic safety lessons because I believe that educating children about road safety is one of the most important ways we can encourage them to follow the law and grow up to become safe road users.”
After the school-focused activities, Uyen and Bui spoke to police officers and a local government official to learn about the cause and wide reaching impact of these tragedies.
“I am honored to be participating in Vietnam’s Remembrance Day alongside Thanh Bui for the second year in a row,” says Kathy Uyen. “As a road safety Goodwill Ambassador, I strongly believe that public awareness can effectively minimize the loss and pain that families such as these ones are experiencing.”
“Schools have an important role to play in making sure that students understand road safety,” said XXX from Truong Van Thanh Primary School. “Many people are poorly informed, and may relay false information to their children. For example, some believe that when they are travelling short distances, they are less likely to be in an accident. The truth is that most accidents happen close to home, when the drivers are less attentive because the route is familiar.”
Road safety education is also a priority for AIP Foundation. In addition to these Remembrance Day activities, the non-profit is currently implementing a national Child Helmet Campaign with the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), and the National Police (C67). This social marketing campaign, entitled “Children also need a helmet”, will be accompanied by strengthened police enforcement supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Vietnam is one of over 100 countries worldwide dedicating November 20th to those who have died and been severely injured by road traffic accidents. World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims was created in 1993 by the organization Road Peace and was endorsed by the United Nations in 2005. It is now being observed annually around the world on the third Sunday of every November.
For media contact:
Chloé Denavit, Communications and Outreach Coordinator AIP Foundation
About AIP Foundation
The Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP Foundation) is a U.S. registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that uses public-private partnerships, public awareness education, and school-based programs to reduce the rate of traffic injuries and fatalities in developing countries. AIP Foundation has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Bangkok, Thailand. In 2001, AIP Foundation built a non-profit helmet assembly plant which manufactures Protec Tropical Helmets. These helmets offer an environmentally appropriate, safe and affordable option for motorbike and bicycle users.
In 2009, AIP Foundation, in collaboration with the FIA Foundation and the World Bank, launched the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative (GHVI), an international coalition with the objective of “putting a helmet on every head in the ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020).”
For more information about AIP Foundation, visit www.asiainjury.org.