Road traffic injuries are the number one
cause of death and disability for children between the
ages of 5 and 21 in the developing world — in areas
where little, if any, emergency and pre-hospital medical
care is available.
That's why Amend implements our programs and conducts research from our offices in Ghana and Tanzania: to prevent those road traffic injuries to children before they happen.
There Are No Accidents
There are reasons why so many children fall victim to motor
vehicles. And the majority of them are preventable.
In most developed nations, automobiles and
society co-evolved. As cars got bigger, faster, and more
numerous, traffic-safety measures became standard. But
it took a deliberate and concerted effort, from the 1960s
onward, to bring road traffic injury rates down in the
West. In developing nations, fast and large vehicles have
arrived before safety
In the African nation of Ghana, for example, the traffic injury
rate among children is astronomically high. Why? Driving
is chaotic. Many roads are dusty and poorly marked. There
are few sidewalks and only limited access to school busses
and other public transportation for children. Vehicles
are poorly maintained and lack safety features considered
standard elsewhere. Many drivers do not use headlights
at dusk. Streetlamps and traffic lights are rare and often
in disrepair. And neither drivers nor pedestrians are educated
about even the most basic safety principles.
Throughout Africa, economic growth has put ever more motor
vehicles on the roads, but has not supplied the infrastructure
to support them. School schedules are such that many children
are forced to walk to and from school in the dark. And,
again, most children are not taught simple road safety.
All of this has resulted in a traffic injury epidemic in
Africa, where 1 in 100 children will die from traffic injury
before their 15th birthday.
This is why Amend launched our
See and Be Seen initiative.
We are one of the few organizations working on the prevention
of childhood injury in the developing world, and one of
only a handful confronting traffic injury. The World
Health Organization (WHO) has stated that “the
interventions promoted by Amend, such as the See and Be Seen program, are perfectly in line” with those being
promoted by the WHO.
It may be a while before economics and political dynamics
allow some countries to make their roads safer for children.
But Amend has identified simple, cost-effective methods
that are changing the reality on these nations’ roads
and saving children’s lives right now.
See and Be Seen
Our flagship program has four facets:
• primary school road safety instruction
• social marketing of reflector-enhanced schoolbags
• scientific research
Since its founding in 2005, Amend has worked around the
clock to implement and test See and Be Seen. We constantly
monitor and evaluate the program to ensure its maximum
We’ve already measured a positive change in the
road-use behavior of children who have received instruction
from our pilot road safety program.
We are conducting ongoing impact evaluations of our work in our program countries, Ghana and Tanzania.
These evaluations are the first of their kind and supply
us with the information and tools we need to expand our
reach and continue scaling our work. Read more about our research here.
Another pioneering element of See and Be Seen is that
it enables communities to improve and maintain traffic
safety themselves. We hire local staff and work with regional
government and media to raise awareness and educate children,
teachers, parents, and community leaders.
Amend recognizes that the only way to do what we need
to improve and save lives is to educate, empower, and always
We don’t make false promises and we don’t
rely on bureaucracy. Where we can, we act fast. But when
we must first observe and study, we do — continually
learning the nuances of our environment, to ultimately
produce the most effective and lasting changes.