Zenani Mandela Scholarship launched to support UN Decade of Action for Road Safety

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Zoleka and Zindzi Mandela give their support to the UN Decade of Action
Zoleka and Zindzi Mandela give their support to the UN Decade of Action
Together with Lord Robertson, the Mandelas launched the scholarship initiative for the UN Decade
Together with Lord Robertson, the Mandelas launched the scholarship initiative for the UN Decade

The mother and the grandmother of Zenani Mandela have joined the Make Roads Safe campaign in giving their support to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety by launching a Scholarship for Road Safety in memory of the 13 year old who was tragically killed on the eve of the 2010 World Cup.

Zoleka and Zindzi Mandela, the daughter and granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, have vowed to help the United Nations bid to save millions of lives on the world’s roads as a tribute to Zenani Mandela.

Launching the Zenani Mandela Scholarship, Zoleka Mandela said:

“A crash robbed me of my daughter, a beautiful, bright 13 year old who was full of energy and hope for the future. I will never recover from this, nor will my family. Parents and families should not have to be put through tragedies like this. All too often they are. My heart is already broken, but what makes this even worse is that so often road crashes are preventable. We must all support the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety – our children’s lives are at stake. It is our duty to end the suffering.”

Together with the FIA Foundation’s Commission for Global Road Safety, these members of the Mandela family and the Nelson Mandela Foundation have launched the ‘Zenani Mandela Road Safety Scholarship’ at a high level Make Roads Safe campaign conference in London. The conference was being held to launch the Commission’s report for the UN Decade of Action – ‘Make Roads Safe: Time for Action’.

The Scholarship will aim to help young South African policy makers tackle a growing epidemic of death and injury on their country’s roads. The initiative has been recognised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as embodying the values promoted by Nelson Mandela and as such will be officially included in Mandela Day this year. As Nelson Mandela has said: “The world remains beset by so much human suffering..It is in your hands to make our world a better one for all.”

Children are too often the victims of road crashes. Each day 1000 children and young people are killed in road crashes. Many thousands more are injured. In South Africa and worldwide, road crashes are already the biggest killer of young people over the age of 10. And by 2015, in developing countries road traffic injuries will also be the biggest health burden for children over five years old.

The initiative will contribute to the global United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), during the course of the Decade, five million lives could be saved and fifty millions serious injuries prevented if road safety programmes are implemented worldwide. The launch of the UN Decade of Action which will take place next month on 11 May is being jointly organized by the WHO together with the FIA Foundation, an independent UK charity which runs the Commission for Global Road Safety.

Lord Robertson, Chairman of the Commission for Global Road Safety said: “We desperately need to support our young leaders and help them develop the expertise to tackle the growing global epidemic of road casualties. Far too many children are killed and injured each day on the roads. Too many families are suffering. No one should have to bear pain like that felt by the Mandela family. It is time for action.”

The Zenani Mandela Road Safety Scholarship is being coordinated by the FIA Foundation charity together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. It is part of the FIA Foundation Scholarship Programme which is set up in support of the UN Decade of Action and serves to help build expertise and capacity to train road safety practitioners around the world.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation was established after Mr Nelson Mandela’s retirement on August 19, 1999 and leads the development of a living legacy that captures the vision and values of Mr Mandela’s life and work. Through the creation of strategic networks and partnerships, the Nelson Mandela Foundation directs resources, knowledge and practice to add value and demonstrate new possibilities. The Foundation, through the Centre of Memory and Dialogue as its core work, contributes to the making of a just society by promoting the vision, values and work of its Founder and convening dialogue around critical social issues, while continuing to provide support to its Founder. Mandela Day which will incorporate a focus on the Zenani Mandela Scholarship is on July 18.

Watch an interview with Zindzi Mandela at the Make Roads Safe event >

Zoleka Mandela’s comment article ‘other parents must not go through this pain’ >

Watch the ITN News report here >

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is running the Scholarship jointly with the FIA Foundation’s Make Road Safe campaign:

Visit www.nelsonmandela.org