JN Foundation, UNICEF To Roll Out Project To Improve Safety Of Children

The JN Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and international motor sports foundation, the FIA Foundation, will be implementing a project that will make the areas around Jamaican schools safer.

The project, X Marks the Spot - School Crosswalk Safety Campaign, will be rolled out over the next three months and will entail improving the zones around selected schools so as to make them safer.

Onyka Barrett Scott, partnership and development manager at the JN Foundation, said: "This is a pilot project and the intention is to work with at least two schools where we can do some very tangible and impactful improvements to the road environment in the immediate vicinity. It is important to us that our children feel we are collectively doing our best to keep them safe when using the roadways," she informed.

The improvements will include upgrading of the infrastructure around the schools to make them safer for children to commute and will entail the erection of signage for bus lay-bys, pedestrian gates, widening and paving of sidewalks.

In preparation for the implementation of the project, a three-day workshop was held from February 5-8 at the Road Safety Hub on Elleston Road in Kingston with the key partners that make up the project committee.

Amend, a non-governmental organisation which develops, implements and evaluates evidence-based programmes to reduce the incidence of road traffic injury in Africa, and the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), the umbrella programme for Road Assess-ment Programmes worldwide, conducted the training.

"The objective of the workshop was to guide our steering committee, and other key partners who will be assisting the JN Foundation to implement the project, on the various technicalities involved. The workshop assisted us in identifying the risk factors to be considered, site selection and identifying a menu of options in terms of infrastructural improvements," she explained.

Simon Kalolo, senior project officer at Amend, said their experiences and methodologies in delivering safe schools in Africa were shared in the workshop.

"Our approach in successfully implementing safe schools projects in Africa was shared at the workshop so that the stakeholders can have the technical capacity to replicate and use our methodology, our tools and approach in improving safe schools in Kingston and the rest of Jamaica," he said.

Representatives of the National Works Agency, the Road Safety Unit, Mona Geoinformatics, the Ministry of Education, the National Road Safety Council, and Jamaica Constabulary Force participated in the workshop.