With the support of an international alliance, the government of Costa Rica today launched a pilot project to educate more than 4,000 children on the importance of road safety.
The pilot project supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Sesame Workshop (the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street), the FIA Foundation, the Road Safety Fund and the Costa Rica’s Consejo de Seguridad Vial (COSEVI) – Road Safety Agency, will reach about 4,500 students and their teachers in primary schools in Paso Ancho, San Sebastian and Hatillo, areas on the south side of San José’s lower income communities.
Road accidents are currently the leading cause of death among children and youth in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Costa Rica about 14 per 100,000 people are killed each year by road accidents.
“We are investing heavily in infrastructure to provide our country roads that make us more competitive, but we believe this should be accompanied by road safety awareness campaigns that promote safe behaviors, ensuring that we all benefit from the new roads,” said Luis Liberman, Vice-President of Costa Rica.
A ceremony to officially launch the road safety tool kit was held at the Escuela Republica de Haiti in San Jose. During the event, IDB Representative in Costa Rica Fernando Quevedo, FIA Foundation representative Carlos Macaya, Carolina Casas from Sesame Workshop and representatives from the Banco Nacional jointly presented Costa Rican Vice President Luis Liberman with the road safety toolkit, which is part of the IDB’s regional campaign Haz tu parte, Vias seguras para todos. The toolkit includes a classroom based storybook, posters, activity cards and a coloring book children can take home to continue learning with their families.
“At the IDB we believe that building more and better roads must be accompanied with road safety education. Working with Sesame Workshop, an organization recognized worldwide for its educational programs, and COSEVI, adds to our efforts to create awareness among Costa Rican children on safe road behaviors.” said Quevedo.
This project also receives contributions from two NGOs based in the United States, the Road Safety Fund and Color My World (CMW), a youth-run nonprofit,recycles crayons, sending them around the globe to pre-schools, orphanages and refugee camps. CMW donated crayons to accompany the children’s road safety coloring books.