Road traffic injuries are a major global public health concern, causing approximately 1.3 million deaths and up to 50 million injuries each year. Sadly, children are the most vulnerable group, with no greater threat to their lives between ages 5 and 29. In fact, globally, 1 in every 4 deaths among pedestrians and cyclists. (WHO, 2023).
In Cameroon, many children attend schools that are far from their homes, and they often travel long distances, exposing them to road risks. Unfortunately, road safety lessons are not part of the school curriculum, despite the rapid urbanization of towns such as Buea in the South West region of Cameroon.
HandsTogether Foundation recognizes the urgent need to teach children in Buea the proper way to walk on the road and stay safe as passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists. We have designed a program called “SAFE WALK” that aims to provide road safety resources to help children stay safe on the road in Buea.
Through the “SAFE WALK” program, HandsTogether Foundation has successfully trained 150 school children from GHS Buea Town and GBHS Muea on how to walk safely on the road, with a focus on road crossing, communicating with road signs, and better cycling techniques. Our goal is to empower Cameroonian youth to become better road users and to expose them to practical and technical aspects of road safety.
We intend to continue this program periodically, visiting schools to give lectures on road safety, organizing video projections on how to use roads as pedestrians, and producing educative and illustrative handouts to increase students’ knowledge, understanding, and skills in the proper use of roads.
We believe that the “SAFE WALK” program is a significant step towards implementing the global plan for the decade of action for road safety 2021-2030, which aims to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030. We recommend that more resources and partners are needed to drive the project to more schools and kids.
Let’s all work together to #RethinkMobility #StreetsforLife #RoadSafety.