7 child deaths a day prompt Save the Children ‘7% project’

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The 7% project will focus initially on mobilising schools
The 7% project will focus initially on mobilising schools
Pop-up helmet kiosks were tested in an earlier phase of the initiative
Pop-up helmet kiosks were tested in an earlier phase of the initiative
Allison Zelkowitz, Thailand Director for Save the Children, speaks at the 2014 Decade of Action donor forum
Allison Zelkowitz, Thailand Director for Save the Children, speaks at the 2014 Decade of Action donor forum

Working with Save the Children and the AIP Foundation, the FIA Foundation is supporting a major new campaign to protect children on Thailand’s roads.

Traffic accidents kill more than 7 children a day in Thailand and injuring or disabling almost 200.

Wearing a motorcycle crash helmet can significantly reduce the risk but just 7% of the 18 million children that travel as passengers on the back of an adult’s motorcycle do so.

Save the Children and the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIPF), together with other global and regional experts in children and road safety, have started the 7% project; a nation-wide campaign to increase helmet use and save lives, with funding support from the FIA Foundation.

Working together with teachers, parents and children, in its first year the campaign aims to create an integrated grassroots offline and online community to mobilise schools to feature motorcycle helmets as a permanent part of the school uniform.

As the campaign matures, the 7% project aims to expand beyond schools to include all destinations in a child’s daily commute. Bringing on board government agencies, corporate partners and media together with the strong offline and online movement, the campaign will work to ensure that all children will be wearing helmets every time they travel as a passenger on a motorcycle.

The first phase of the campaign, just launched, is a competition inviting Thailand design professionals, university students, and the general public to submit ideas for a slogan and logo for the awareness campaign.

In an earlier preparatory phase of the initiative, also co-funded by the FIA Foundation, Save the Children Thailand worked with AIP Foundation, CSR Asia and the Global Road Safety Partnership to gauge the efficacy of innovative measures to increase child helmet use in order to build an effective multi-partner campaign in Thailand. Experimental trials were conducted throughout Bangkok from November 2013 to January 2014, including the launch by AIP Foundation of a trial "pop-up" helmet retail kiosk at a petrol station in Si Praya, Bangkok, that aimed to increase accessibility of children's helmets. During the two week pilot, the kiosk sold discounted children's helmets donated by Vespiario (Thailand) Co., Ltd., and trained staff interviewed customers about their response to selling children's helmets at petrol stations and the motivations behind their purchases.

The initiative also included a roundtable bringing together business leaders to review effective fundraising strategies and to consult on concepts for awareness campaigns, and extensive research amongst children, teachers and parents to understand barriers to motorcycle helmet wearing, guiding the development of the ‘7% project’. A formal campaign launch will be held in November 2014.

Saul Billingsley, FIA Foundation Director General, said: “This is an innovative and ambitious project, and demonstrates real commitment by Save the Children to tackling child road deaths. The success of the initiative will depend on attracting additional donor funds, so we encourage private sector donors to join the FIA Foundation in supporting action to prevent avoidable child injuries on the roads”.

For more information about the campaign (in Thai only): http://www.7-percent.org/