Last Friday, June 11, YOURS – Youth for Road Safety with iRAP – International Road Assessment Programme and the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety held a celebration event for the passers of the Youth Stars Programme. A total of 21 members of the Coalition were able to pass the month-long programme and were certified to use the Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) methodology to rate roads in their local schools and universities.
The Youth Stars Programme
In 2019, YOURS - Youth for Road Safety partnered with iRAP to create the Youth Stars Programme - a tool that equips young people to use the Star Rating for Schools Methodology as a road safety approach to ensure the safety of students on their way to schools.
The Youth Stars Programme supports the demands of young people listed in the Global Youth Statement for Road Safety, specifically the demand for “roads that do not kill our dreams”.
The programme began that same year where YOURS and iRAP, supported with sponsorship from FedEx, began training five young people from around the world known as Master Trainers with the skills to rate school zones through the SR4S methodology. These Master Trainers include Alex Ayub from Kenya, Daniel Cano from Colombia, Jacob Smith from the United States, Minh Vo from Vietnam, and Shantel Jacobs from Belize.
The second phase of the programme, which happened this year, focused on the Master Trainers working with other young people to train them on using the SR4S methodology and web tools, passing along tips to help them become youth stars.
Connecting with the Coalition
For phase two of the youth stars programme, the Master Trainers trained members of the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety in a month-long session that discussed the methodology by introducing the principles of the programme and the methodology, understanding the SR4S project structure, procedure of data gathering, and answering frequently asked questions related to the star rating programme.
The sessions were hosted by YOURS – Youth for Road Safety Communications Officer Manpreet Darroch and were led by Master Trainers Alex Ayub, Daniel Cano, Minh Vo, and Shantel Jacobs. Star Rating for School Global Project Coordinator Rafaela Machado and FedEx representative Shane O’Connor joined the Coalition members for the sessions to elaborate on the methodologies and goals of the programme.
The members of the Coalition participated in interactive sessions where they were able to ask the master trainers about everything related to the methodology. Each session ended with assignments that can help the members better experience the SR4S methodology and help practice its application.
The sessions ran every Monday for four weeks from March 15 to April 5.
During the celebration event, Rafaela Machado from iRAP, Shane O’Connor from FedEx, and Floor Lieshout from YOURS – Youth for Road Safety congratulated the passers on the beginning of their journey to rate schools resulting in safer journeys for students around the world.
Sharing his congratulations, Floor Lieshout added that the youth stars is a great opportunity to create more leaders. “To the youth stars, that will be your role in the upcoming years – to create more leaders. Share your knowledge, share your skills, and create more leaders that believe in this system”
Passers also shared their experiences throughout the sessions and their learnings from interacting with the SR4S tools and methodology.
Mariam Kukava from Georgia said that the process of learning was interesting, especially the practical lessons of rating a school zone in her area to increase the quality of safety. “The training has convinced me that the Star Rating for School is the best evidence-based tool for measuring, managing, and communicating the risks children are exposed to on their journey to school.
The end of the Youth Stars Programme is not the final phase of the programme. For the third phase, the newly certified youth stars will engage and reach out to organizations to support them in their assessments as well as to create more youth leaders trained in the SR4S methodology.
“This is just the beginning of your journey and now, I expect you to see you engage local partners, local organizations, and local authorities, pushing for activities around schools.” – Rafaela Machado
More about the Star Rating for School Programme