Jill Biden supports Helmets for Kids in Vietnam

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AIP Foundation President Greig Craft with Jill Biden and US Ambassador Ted Osius
AIP Foundation President Greig Craft with Jill Biden and US Ambassador Ted Osius
The US Second Lady’s support came during an official visit to SE Asia
The US Second Lady’s support came during an official visit to SE Asia

During a visit to Vietnam the US Second Lady Dr Jill Biden has supported the ‘Helmets for Kids’ motorcycle safety initiative led by the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation. The FIA Foundation provides core financial support for the non-profit’s work.

Jill Biden touched down at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport to be greeted on the tarmac by US Ambassador Ted Osius and spouse Mr. Clayton Bond, senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Greig Craft, President of AIP Foundation. Dr. Biden’s visit to Vietnam is part of her four-country visit to Asia.

A group of children were on-hand to receive from Dr Biden motorcycle helmets carrying the 20th Anniversary logo of normalization of U.S.–Vietnam diplomatic relations. The children, as well as their disabled parents, come from Soc Son District, a disadvantaged area of Hanoi where AIP Foundation recruits workers for its social enterprise, Protec helmet factory. Protec, a pioneer of the lightweight “tropical” helmet, reinvests its profits to provide quality helmets and road safety education to students from at-risk schools. On the occasion, Greig Craft presented Dr. Biden with a special commemorative helmet which will be displayed in the White House.

Ambassador Ted Osius underlined strong support for the new Public–Private Partnership (PPP) between the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and AIP Foundation, with key sponsorship from U.S. companies. Launched in May, the PPP will distribute a total of 25,000 child helmets in 15 rural provinces during the 20th anniversary year. The U.S. Embassy and AIP Foundation together seek to prevent child injury and death from riding motorcycles without helmets.

Currently, road crashes are the second leading cause of death among children in Vietnam. Motorcycle helmets are proven to reduce the risk of serious injury by 69% and the risk of death by 42% in a crash. According to World Health Organization, more than 21,000 people per year are estimated to die in road crashes in Vietnam, most of them motorcycle victims, and more than 433,000 Vietnamese are injured every year. Right now, most adults in Vietnam are wearing helmets, but only 68% of children in the major metropolitan areas do.

AIP Foundation President Greig Craft said: “By encouraging more children to wear helmets, and providing children and communities with education on road safety, AIP Foundation and the U.S. Embassy believe that we can help turn those numbers around”.

Photo credits & copyright: Reuters and AIP Foundation