Image credit: Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety

Written by Tendekayi Marapara (taken from LinkedIn Post)

My road safety journey- Part 1

Often, people have asked me, “Why road safety? Is it what you studied?” Here is my short story:
2018 Internship: I was involved in various road safety projects.

2019: I embarked on my final year research, focusing on the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), I was not sure if I was going to deliver the project, it was complicated and a totally new concept. It was a year of learning and growth. The research helped me understand more about road safety.

2020: I was privileged to attend the YOURS 2nd world youth assembly on road safety in Stockholm and 3rd Global Ministerial conference where I met iRAP Rob McInerney. Your help with the courses was priceless, my confidence was boosted. I also applied for the YOURS Impact Generator Project grant to start a pilot project on safe routes to school – couldn’t secure it. Despite the setback, I persevered. I then joined the Global Youth Coalition as a member and hence regional leader for Africa.

2021: I applied for the Local Action Project grant- couldn’t secure it. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I knew the cause was worth it.

2022: The persistence paid off we successfully secured the Local Action Project grant YOURS to kickstart our Safer School Zones Zimbabwe project with Mcleo Mapfumo Ruvimbo R. Machingaidze.

Why the pilot project and why the school? I received my primary education at the school, and I couldn’t forget the stories of classmates who suffered serious injuries on their way to school. The scars they bear and the lives lost answers the question “Why road safety?”.

2023: This year brought a significant turning point. I was privileged to join WSP in New Zealand as an Engineer-Transport Safety, and I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity and exposure this role provides. The support from the team is out of this world. I’m eager to put all the learning to good use through road safety voluntary work.

Lessons learnt:
– Partnerships and private sector involvement are crucial. Well wishers, donors, city council Ana Carolina Cortes N Jenna Hutchings you rock. It takes the whole village to raise a child.
– Seek expert advice. Kailash Tiwari 👏. Rafaela Machado
– Continuously upskilling oneself is vital. Hafez Alavi Kenn Beer Bridget Doran Prue Oswin the raised pedestrian crossing course worked.
– Avail yourself at spaces and network.
– Step by Step #Raquel Barrios

I want to express my gratitude to our partners and private individuals for the support. Our common goal is clear: ensuring that sending kids to school doesn’t bring fear to parents. Road crashes shatter young lives, but we have a solution – #30km/hr zones and #5Star school zones, ensuring clean air.

Together, we can ensure that every child returns home safely and happy after school. Your support means more than you can imagine. Let’s make our roads safer and cleaner for our future generation.
Reach out if you’d like to assist in any way as the project scale up to other schools.

Read more about the Safer School Zones Zimbabwe project here and watch the video (by Tigzozo Media) below

About Tendekayi: Tendekayi was a delegate of the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety. He is Civil Engineer and is a certified Youth Star who can use the Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) Methodology developed by the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP). “Seeing people suffering and crying after they have been involved in a car crash especially for school children. It pains to see their future taken away within seconds.”