Neema Swai, an Amend Programme Officer in Tanzania, describes a model road safety partnership between Amend and a private sector company:
Amend and Puma Energy Tanzania recently wrapped up a small project that demonstrates one way that NGOs and the private sector can work together to raise the profile of road safety where it is needed most.
In this project, Amend designed and implemented a primary school road safety drawing competition and education programme that involved four primary schools in Dar es Salaam where children are at high risk of road traffic injury. During the programme, more than 6,000 children received Amend’s school-based road safety education and took part in the drawing competition.
As part of the competition, all children received paper and colouring pencils for their road safety drawings, which they had one week to complete. During this time, road safety lessons tailored to the situation at each of the schools were taught by an Amend team of Road Safety Instructors, who I trained and supervised.
Then, we organized the drawing competition awards ceremony, which was held at the National Museum in Dar Es Salaam. We collected all the drawings and preselected 30 of the best, which were judged during the ceremony. The judging panel included: Chief Traffic Commander Mohamed Mpinga, his assistant Commander Johansen Kahatano, Puma Managing Director Phellipe Corsaletti, Amend Deputy Director Tom Bishop, and Mr. Joel Mwamasangula from the Tanzania Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. 150 people attended the event, including government officials, teachers and students.
The student artist with the winning drawing was Muhsin Mohamed. Muhsin received tickets for four children and two adults to an amusement park, an Amend reflector-enhanced school bag filled with school supplies, a trophy, and a certificate. Muhsin’s school, Liwiti primary received 1 million Tanzanian Shillings (about $500 USD) for schoolbooks, as well as road safety signage at the school. All four participating schools received road safety murals.
Now, Puma is using reproductions of Muhsin’s drawing to promote road safety at their 32 petrol stations in Tanzania.
Of course, making Africa’s roads safe will take more than road safety education and the passion of young artists, but partnerships like this one between Amend and Puma are a simple, effective way to get children important road safety education, rally key stakeholders around the cause of road safety, and demonstrate the private sector’s commitment to the issue.