The number of child fatalities caused by road crashes around the world is shameful. The most recent statistics in Lebanon show that around 13% of those who died in car crashes were children. Joining talents to save their lives! Action, watch, sign.
This is the third consecutive year our school participates in the Your Ideas Your Initiatives Road Safety Program. Having empowered students to improve the roads in their community for the past two years, this year 39 students signed up for the Road Safety Club.
To make efficient use of the lunch breaks and afternoon meetings, we followed the following strategy to decide on this year's campaign: 1. General brainstorming 2. Research sessions 3. Focus Groups 4. Joining forces - Meeting agents.
The team met twice for general brainstorming and generated two lists, one for risky behaviors and the other for road safety. Some of the risky behaviors common in Lebanon that were discussed were: fast driving; texting while driving; talking on mobile phone while driving; driving with a kid seated on the driver's lap; not wearing a seat belt; drinking/eating while driving; drunk driving; not respecting the speed limits, especially on u-turns; walking alongside the sidewalks instead of on sidewalks; driving a car before receiving a driver's license.
Some of the road safety problems that were discussed were the following: some streets in Lebanon do not have pedestrian sidewalks, many roads do not have pedestrian crossings, some crossroads do not have signs, conflicting speed limit signs...
The following session took place in the Computer Center at school where the team set to research some of the discussed topics to find statistics in Lebanon and check the laws and regulations of countries with much better mobility systems.
Some of the links that students read were: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/topics/behaviour/index_en.htm
Next, came the focus group meetings to allow students to join in smaller groups and discuss their research findings. The team reached a consensus to target the weakest members of society, the children of Lebanon, who in many incidents are paying the price of the reckless behavior of Lebanese drivers. The meeting that followed was with the Vice President of Kunhadi. It was essential for the team to meet with and join forces with agencies, such as Kunhadi, which are lobbying for an improved system in Lebanon. The decision was made: ‘Save Kids Lives’ would be our campaign.
The team decided to use their talents to produce a short movie to be used as a campaign to raise awareness about child fatalities in Lebanon among their peers in neighboring schools.
The campaign featured 1. a presentation 2. a movie 3. petition signature 4. social media and networking.
Tasks were divided based on the pool of talent: script writers, casting team, production and logistics team, choreography team and legal team. They sought professional assistance to learn the details of movie production. They funded the expenses of the movie production from the money the JM Road Safety Team 2014 was awarded as a finalist school.
After the shoot, a different structure of committees was created to get the entire job done.
A presentation committee worked on developing a script to be used by the team during their tour in schools.
A school committee worked on contacting school principals to agree on dates and permission to visit.
A social media committee worked on developing a Facebook page and an Instagram page to reach as many people as possible.
A petition committee took care of the petition signing process right after the presentation. They worked in close collaboration with Kunhadi, which sent all petitions to the World Health Organization in preparation for the UN Global Summit on Road Safety 2015.
The team presented their campaign in Jesus & Mary School, at the Gathering of Anglophone Schools in Lebanon (featuring 10 schools: Saint Joseph School, Antonine Sisters School, Antonine International School, Kadmous College, Adma International School, Armenian School and Sagesse High School) and finally at College des Freres Maristes Champville.
The team gathered 977 signatures.
The team will continue campaigning until the end of May. They still want to visit more schools and are currently working on promoting the initiative on TV.
In the meantime, they're using the Facebook page to reach as many people as possible. The movie has been uploaded on the Jesus & Mary Official School website as well, to reach all of the JM Parents and Alumni. Kunhadi asked to post the movie on their Facebook and Twitter pages as well, to encourage people to sign the petitions online.