Mandela family launch 'Zenani campaign' to save children's lives: Nelson Mandela's daughter and granddaughter call for urgent action to protect young people on the roads worldwide
2 May 2012
A new campaign is being launched today, 2 May 2012 in memory of Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter, Zenani to combat the world’s biggest killer of children and young people over the age of 10.
The Zenani Campaign, led by her mother Zoleka Mandela and grandmother, Zindzi Mandela will contribute to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, by aiming to improve levels of protection for children particularly in developing countries. Zenani Mandela was tragically killed in a car crash ahead of the 2010 World Cup, and just two days after her 13th birthday.
Every single day 1 000 young people are killed on the world’s roads, with thousands more injured. While road crashes are already the biggest killer of young people aged 10 to 24, over the next three years they will also become the leading health burden for the over-fives in developing countries.
The Mandela family members were joined in New York by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the world’s leading road safety philanthropist, as well as Southern African Development Community (SADC) Road Safety Champion and South Africa’s Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele to launch the campaign.
Zindzi Mandela said: “In common with many people, I used to think that road casualties were just a tragic fact of life, about which nothing could be done. I did not ask how can we prevent this, what action can we take? But so much can be done to save young lives. We can, and we must do much more to protect our children. Support the Zenani Campaign. Demand protection for children on the roads. And let us ensure that in future, other families do not have to suffer the pain that my family has suffered.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “Every year almost 1.3 million people are killed and millions more injured on the world’s roads – and many of those victims are children. That is simply unacceptable. There’s a strong and growing network of organisations working around the world to implement proven interventions including tougher speeding, seat-belt and helmet rules and an increase in safe school crossings and more footpaths. This campaign is yet another positive step forward in efforts to address this leading cause of death and save more lives.”
SADC Road Safety Champion and South Africa’s Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said: “By 2015, road crashes will be the number one killer of children aged 5 to 14 in Africa, outstripping Malaria and HIV and AIDS. In support of this year’s (2012) Nelson Mandela Day commemorations, the Zenani Mandela Campaign is being launched. Two weeks ago (11 April 2012), the Department of Transport in South Africa, in partnership with Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics’, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the United Nations, officially launched the ‘Think Pedestrian’ campaign aimed at intensive road safety awareness and education programmes. Pedestrians alone account for nearly 40% of road fatalities in our country annually. The Zenani Mandela Campaign aims to protect children on the roads, and reduce the number of child road fatalities and injuries.”
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, who had a close relationship with Zenani, gave her support to the campaign. She said: “There are far too many children being killed – 1 000 every day. The family will never get over the pain of her loss and we’ll never get Zenani back. But she was such a positive little girl that she would have wanted to make a difference. In memory of Zenani Mandela I support this campaign. Lives can be saved and we need action right now.”
F1 star Lewis Hamilton also gave his support: “Every three minutes a young child dies on the world’s roads. I’m supporting the Zenani campaign and the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety because we need action now to prevent more tragedies.”
The campaign is being launched by the Mandela family, the Make Roads Safe campaign and the Road Safety Fund to contribute to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. It is also a ‘Mandela Day’ initiative in honour of Nelson Mandela’s birthday.
Governments must do more to protect children during the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. The campaign calls for a range of measures to protect children including: investment in safe footpaths, cycle-ways and crossings on streets with lower speed limits particularly near schools; proper enforced legislation for child seats and seatbelts around the world, and tougher action to prevent drink driving and speeding; and better helmet protection for children in countries where motorcycles are the main mode of transport.
Members of the public are being encouraged to wear the Zenani wristband and to join the call for better safety for children.
Notes to editors
For more information on the Zenani Campaign visit: www.makeroadssafe.org/zenani
Photos and video are available to download at: www.makeroadssafe.org
The Zenani Campaign is being launched at The Pierre Hotel, New York City on 2 May 2012.
For further information contact:
Cell: +447 967 229 374
Cell: 083 644 4050
Issued by: Department of Transport
2 May 2012
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