South Africans pay a high toll for road traffic crashes, especially amongst young males aged 14-35. In July 2019, 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 work at the Nelson Mandela University joined YOURS in the Eastern Cape 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 Eastern Cape Red Cross and the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
'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; drink and drug driving, non-use of seatbelts and distracted driving, relevant to the risk factors facing students at the Nelson Mandela Univeristy and beyond.
Taking the Ambassador approach, these 20 young people have set about filtering road safety messaging back in their individual communities and within the campus of the Nelson Mandela University 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 2019, the Red Cross Eastern Cape Province began working with a group of passionate young people form the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth. This group, primarily an assortment of young activisits and humanitarians joined the Red Cross Programme to be equipped with new skills and knowledge on peer-education, sexual-reproductive health and road safety.
In a formal partnership with the Global Road Safety Partnership South Africa (GRSP ZA) with support from the Michelin Corporate Foundation, we joined in the phase of this programme to educate 20 young leaders on road safety knowledge.
The 20 youth leader chosen for the training in South Africa were all selected because of their humanitarian work at the Nelson Mandela University Campus. 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:
General Manager - GRSP South Africa
In the final training activity, participants undertook an action planning exercise to look ahead at the necessary road safety action needed in their communities. Based on their new learning and acquired skills, participants mapped some of the activities they would take after the training.
The coordination of the activities will be conducted by SARCS with support from GRSPZA and distance support from YOURS. Activities have been scoped to take place around the campuses of the Nelson Mandela University.
Some of planned action included:
It was noted it would be helpful for YOURS to return to South Africa for a follow-up training with the youth to track progress and address challenges in approximately 12 months.
"I found the training fun and informative. We learned a lot in a very interesting manner and I’m very excited because every expectation I had on the training was met. I’ve learned a lot as both a driver and a passenger and I’m ready to go out there and take action” Bavu
“I found the training enlightening. I didn’t think I was going to find it interesting because it was focused on a topic that I thought wasn’t very engaging, but I really enjoyed it a learned a lot of new information” Larry
“I really learned so much in this training. There were many elements that I didn’t think of before such as the importance of wearing a seatbelt and how it impacts people in the car in a crash. I am looking forward to taking this information back to the students of Nelson Mandela University but also my friends and family” Yanga