November 22, 2014, Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Manulife Cambodia and the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation today celebrated three years of AIP Foundation’s ‘Helmets for Families’ program in Cambodia, by distributing 832 helmets to students, teachers and parents in a special ceremony held at the Anuk Wat Primary School in Phnom Penh.
The program, supported by Manulife Cambodia, encourages road safety and helmet use in local communities through education, helmet donations, and community outreach efforts. ‘Helmets for Families’ aims to increase helmet use in Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kampong Speu provinces.
Around 1,000 students, teachers, parents as well as government representatives and road safety stakeholders attended the event. His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport and His Excellency Poeu Maly, Secretary General of the National Road Safety Committee were also present
“More than 5 people die and 39 are injured each day on Cambodia’s roads. Furthermore, 69 percent of road traffic deaths are motorcyclists with 62 percent of them suffering head injuries,” said His Excellency Poey Maly.
“According to the 2011 World Health Organization Global Status Report, 65 percent of motorcyclist drivers wear helmets, but only 9 percent of passengers do. When analyzing the helmet wearing rates during accidents, the rate drops significantly, with some 80 percent of motorcycle casualties not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.”
“More than 100 countries, including Cambodia, have agreed to a UN resolution proclaiming this decade as the Decade of Action for Road Safety. To support this resolution, the new Road Traffic Law which mandates all motorcycle passengers to wear helmets, has been approved by the Cambodian government and is now awaiting for approval from the legislative bodies,” said His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron.
“The ‘Helmets for Families’ program is an important part of our efforts to bolster the helmet wearing rate, particular among schoolchildren, by engaging the entire community. We encourage parents to continue to teach their children about the importance of wearing helmets while on motorcycles. We are pleased to see so many supporters present at today’s event.”
In addition to sponsoring the program, Manulife employees play an active role in ‘Helmets for Families’ activities by painting road safety murals at schools, teaching students how to correctly wear their new helmets, and taking part in AIP Foundation road safety training for students and mothers.
“Our goal is to help provide a better future for Cambodian children and families,” said Robert Elliott, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Manulife Cambodia.
“Corporate social responsibility is not just a core value, it is our unwavering commitment to the community. This is our third year of helmet donations and I believe that our donation today along with the road safety activities will result in a community of safer and smarter road users.”
“AIP Foundation greatly appreciates Manulife Cambodia’s commitment to ‘Helmets for Families,” said Kim Pagna, Cambodia Country Director of AIP Foundation.
“The helmets donated today will help protect our children, parents, and teachers now and in the future. I believe today’s large turnout shows just how committed our communities are towards improved road safety and greater helmet use.”