South Africans pay a high toll for road traffic crashes, especially amongst young males aged 14-35. In July 2017, we partnered with the Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa (GRSP ZA), the Government of South Africa (Ministry of Health and Transport) and the Michelin Corporate Foundation to deliver the first Youth Ambassadors for Road Safety Training in the country. 20 young leaders, selected for their activism and standing in their communities joined YOURS in Limpopo Province to be trained on road safety knowledge and peer education methods.
Michelin, in their ground breaking approach to global road safety, and whom are long standing founding member of YOURS funded the programme (through the Michelin Corporate Foundation) to equip these young people with the skills they needed to reach out to their communities and raise road safety consciousness across society. The project was organized by GRSP ZA in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Limpopo and the Department for Transport.
'Empowered young people change the world'. Over five days, we trained 20 young people in road safety theory. From understanding why young people are at particular risk on the road to understanding the situation facing South African youth in terms of road crashes. Focusing on a number of key engagement methods in peer education, facilitation and campaigning, the youth Ambassadors also grasped the key risk factors facing youth in their communities; speeding, drink and drug driving, non-use of seatbelts and distracted driving.
Taking the Ambassador approach, these 20 young people have set about filtering road safety messaging back in their individual communities through workshops, media outreach, word-of-mouth and active campaigning. This programme acts as a pilot for the country, where stakeholders will observe the power of activated youth in road safety with the potential to scaling the project to other regions.
Youth Ambassador for Road Safety - Participant
In 2015, a National Youth Structure for Road Safety was formalized in country by the previous South African Minister for Transport Dipuo Peters. She envisaged a National Youth Structure to involve young people in road safety to take an active role in preventing road crashes and reduce the road carnage facing youth. This structure was formed around the principles of YOURS, to empower young people to be part of the road safety solution by building their capacities (skills, knowledge, attitudes and intentional behaviour) to improve the situation of youth on the road.
Since then, the Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa (GRSP ZA) and our long standing founding member Michelin (through the Michelin Corporate Foundation) formed a strategy to educate and activate the elected youth in the National Youth Structure for Road Safety. This was realized in the First Youth Ambassadors Training initially focused on the Province of Limpopo. We worked closely with GRSP ZA to formulate a tailored training programme to activate 20 young leaders in road safety who will go out into their communities and share road safety messaging.
The 20 youth leader chosen for the training in South Africa were all selected because of their standing in their communities. As young people passionate about all sorts of social issues, these youth took a vested interest in road having been impacted by road crashes directly; through friends and family members being involved in crashes. A key aim for the Youth Ambassadors was to raise awareness of road safety and ultimately reduce road traffic crashes in and around their communities, but to do this a clear need for capacity development was required.
With this in mind, we worked directly with project partners to formulate a tailored training that would inspire, motivate, empower and educate the youth in key road safety theory; local, national, global statistics as well as key methods of engaging their peers in educative interventions.
Overall Objectives of the Training:
By the end of the training, participants were able to:
It's no secret that young people experience life differently to their parents and the older generations, so then why do so many workshops assume that young people want to sit through an old school style of learning? We've experienced it ourselves, sitting through hours of presentations, speech after speech and talk after talk. If we really want to engage with young people, we know this is not the way! Therefore YOURS is using a highly interactive and engaging methodology while delivering workshops.
Talking the language of South African youth doesn't mean a training delivered in the 11 official languages but rather a workshop delivered in a way that speaks to young people's hopes, desires and aspiration swithin a local context. Along with partners, we extensively research the local situation to gather a robust profile of our youth participants, using examples they understand and in a style that is most comfortable to their learning preferences.
Topics Covered - Road Safety:
Topics Covered - Skills Based Training:
Global Road Safety Partnership
The initial feedback and reports point to a very successful training. There is an overall sense that the skills acquired at the training will equip the Youth Ambassadors to convey strong road safety messages in their communities. The follow up to the training is being conducted in the country by GRSP South Africa and the Provincial Government of Limpopo to aid the Youth Ambassadors to campaign for road safety. Other follow up will include workshops in schools to directly target peers in their province. Further updates will be provided in the news and blog section of the YOURS website.