Safe Kids Vietnam: Helping Students Walk Safely To School
This is the fourth in a series of 10 guest blog posts from the leaders of Safe Kids Worldwide affiliates that FedEx works with around the world in support of child pedestrian road safety initiatives. With tens of thousands of vehicles on the world’s roadways, FedEx is actively engaged in promoting road safety. This month we will hear from Mirjam Sidik, Chief Executive Officer, AIP Foundation/ Safe Kids Vietnam.
A second grade student on her way back home from Binh Quoi Tay Primary School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam was walking along the edge of the road – the small and uneven sidewalk was occupied by vendors and motorbike parking – when a large truck quickly approached from behind. Turning the corner, more trucks blocked her way. She wormed through a tiny gap between an idling motorcycle and a utility pole then ran home as quickly as she could.
This scene was recorded in front of the gate of Binh Quoi Tay Primary School at the end of a school day on November 28, 2013 by a well-known online newspaper in Vietnam, Dan tri Online. Sadly, this scenario is the norm for many students throughout Vietnam who must walk to school on dangerous and crowded roads. Here at AIP Foundation/Safe Kids Vietnam, we’ve teamed up with FedEx to change this.
We have been working with FedEx Express and Safe Kids Worldwide since 2009 on our Safe Kids Walk This Way project.
Safe Kids Walk This Way promotes pedestrian safety among primary and secondary students through in-class training and extracurricular activities, creating safer environments around schools, collecting data on pedestrian injury, and engaging communities and local governments to create safe and sustainable walking environments for students.
Thanks to the support of FedEx we have reached over 90,000 students and 118 primary and secondary schools since the program’s inception, and the number of parents at project schools who reported to be comfortable with their children’s safety walking to and from school has doubled since the project began.
Results of one of our projects at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Primary School in Dong Nai Province, exhibited a drastic improvement in student behaviors following the completion of the project. Behavior observations indicated that the percentage of students using the crosswalk increased by 40 percent and the percentage of students using the sidewalk increased by 75 percent. That’s a real difference which means fewer pedestrian injuries and deaths, and more safe kids.