Global Road Safety Week
May 6th to 12th was Global Road Safety Week. The programme that week marked the organisation’s involvement in the United Nations’ Speak Up to Save Lives (#SpeakUp) campaign. The campaign was an activation to demand strong leadership in road safety, especially around strong, evidence-based interventions which will save lives. Worldwide, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among children aged between one and 19 years old. In 2018, 892 child pedestrians were seriously injured in motor-vehicle accidents in Cape Town. ChildSafe is excited to share with you some of the activities around Global Road Safety Week 2019.
These activities included:
Scholar transport drivers from the Safe Travel To School programme taking ownership
Kuyakhanya Primary School learners in Crossroads called for safer roads in their community
Ms SA, Tamaryn Green joined her medical colleagues from the Red Cross Trauma Unit to add their voices for a call for leadership to end the preventable traffic injuries.
Education & Training
Approximately 80% of childhood injuries presented at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital are sustained in and around the home. ChildSafe is the only organisation in South Africa that focuses on the prevention of unintentional injuries such as road accidents, burns, drowning, falls, poison and choking.
The Education and Training Unit work through:
1)Dissemination of material such as leaflets, posters, videos and exhibitions.
2)Organising workshops and information sessions for children, caregivers, teachers, drivers and health workers.
Some of the education and training include:
- Home Safety Education and Referral Programme (individual or group): The programme works with caregivers / parents whose children are already admitted to the Red Cross Hospital for injuries. The aim is to empower the caregiver / parents to prevent future injuries.
- Two-Day Early Childhood Development Practitioner Course: This focuses on practical ways to prevent different accidents in and around the home such as road accidents, poisoning, drowning, choking, burns and general accidents. The course also includes a 5-hour infant and child emergency care course (Paediatric First Aid).
- Information sessions to schools: ChildSafe hosts schools and interested groups through information sessions and presentations in the unique Home Safety Demonstration Area.
Annual General Meeting
This year was very special as our Annual General Meeting (AGM) was combined with ChildSafe’s 40th Birthday celebrations. ChildSafe decided to invite the beneficiaries of current projects – Safe Travel to School and Walk this Way – and Early Childhood Development Practitioners to give presentations. In these presentations, the beneficiaries described their involvement in the project and how it has impacted their lives. Project manager, Aliasgher Janmohammed, gave a presentation on the Overview of Children as Road Users on South Africa roads. Lifetime Achievement Awards were also presented to Professor Sid Cywes, who founded the organisation in 1978, and retired nurses, now ChildSafe volunteers, Dorothy Schulman and Jenny Knobel. Mr Frans Bicker-Caarten presented the Annual Financial Statements and closing remarks were done by our Executive Director Yolande Baker.
Prevention of Road Injuries Impacting Children in South Africa (PRICSA) Workshops
A major component of the Prevention of Road Injuries Impacting Children in South Africa (PRICSA) project involves collaborating and engaging with various stakeholders from the Education, Health and Transport Departments, nationally. These discussions assist the team in developing a network of key informants that can assist in the collection of national road injury data and determine the interventions that can make an impact on the local level. More importantly, however, the Childsafe team aims to develop long-term partnerships that can assist UNICEF and their own vision for a safer world for all children.
Through these partnerships, the ChildSafe team organised stakeholder consultations in Midrand (Gauteng), Pretoria (Gauteng) and eThekwini (KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)), on 6th June, 9th June and 20th June respectively. 72 stakeholders from 30 organisations in these areas identified key issues, opportunities and additional stakeholders that should be approached to tackle the problem of Child Road Injuries. The final two consultations were held in the Eastern Cape with a broad stakeholder base. On 4th September a group of 17 participants were consulted in King Williams Town and a group of 42 participants were engaged in East London on 5th September. The workshops saw an attendance of 52 stakeholders from 40 organisations that included several NGOs that are part of the greater EC NGO coalition, the Department of Transport (DoT), Department of Basic Education (DoBE) and Early ChildhoodDevelopment.
August Child Safety Month
During the August Child Safety Month, ChildSafe collaborated with Open Streets, a Cape Town NGO, and the Western Cape Safely Home team in spreading the message of child pedestrian road safety and the importance of curbing speeding to protect them. The team especially focused on ensuring that this message was advocated through the media, with releases on various platforms. Furthermore, two events were organised to spread the NGOs uniformed messaged. The first event, organised on 2nd August, involved children putting up 50 silhouettes on the Red Cross Hospital Fence, representing the 50 child pedestrians killed on Cape Town roads in 2017. While, the second event, organised on 22nd August, brought together people from various backgrounds, including community members, to discuss the problem around child road safety, and how it can be tackled. One of the other highlights of the month, included the filming of Nabu, aged 11, and Ovayo, aged 10, as they walked from their homes in Delft to their school. The video highlighted the problems children face during their journey from home to school, and provided a realistic aspect to the problems on the ground.