March 23, 2013, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The Canadian based life insurance company, Manulife (Cambodia) PLC launched “Helmets for Families”, a program in conjunction with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, on March 23rd. Approximately 600 people including government officers, NGOs, private sector partners, students, teachers, and parents attended the kick-off ceremony at Sampov Meas Primary school to increase the awareness of road safety in Cambodia.
Sampov Meas Primary School is located in a high-density traffic area along a main road in Phnom Penh. 80 percent of its students commute by motorcycle or bicycle, but very few wear helmets. ”Helmets for Families” is providing 424 helmets to 304 students, 20 teachers and 100 mothers as well as training sessions for teachers and parents to reinforce their understanding of helmet use and encourage them to put helmets on children.
“Our vision as a company is to help provide a better future for families. This project provides us with the opportunity to help ensure the safety of Cambodian children and families by educating them on road safety and on the importance of using protective gear, like helmets, when driving” said Mr. Robert Elliott, CEO and General Manager of Manulife Cambodia.
Through their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, Manulife Cambodia and its employees have supported the program by donating helmets, painting road safety murals at the school, teaching students the correct way for wearing their helmets, and helping out in the road safety training for mothers and students which was conducted by AIP Foundation.
During the launch of the event, Ms. Sy Sotha, Principal of Sampov Meas Primary School said, “This event represents an important milestone for our school. Children are our most precious assets, as well as our most vulnerable. We are committed to working with our students’ parents and other relevant stakeholders to make helmets a permanent part of the school uniform.”
“1,894 lives were lost and 4,388 people suffered severe, even life-altering, injuries on Cambodia’s roads in 2012,” said Mr. Khuong Sreng, Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh. “We really appreciate such kind of support from Manulife Cambodia for making this event possible. This is a good example of a company in private sector giving back to the community where they operate. At this stage, we must insist that everyone, especially children, wear helmets. Doing so has proven to reduce the risk of death by 42 percent and serious injury by 69 percent in the event of a crash.”