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From 22nd-25th September I will be cycling from London to Paris on behalf of Transaid, an international development organisation that transforms lives through safe, available and sustainable transport.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, road deaths are the third biggest killer following HIV/AIDS and Malaria (Source: The World Bank) and the problem is only rising with the growing population of the region. Drivers are at risk every time they sit behind the wheel due to a lack of legal enforcement and training, and badly maintained and overloaded vehicles.
Further, people living in rural areas of Africa often struggle to access the vital services they need. For example, around 75% of maternal deaths can be avoided through timely access to vital childbirth-related care.
Transaid works in 3 main ways to solve these problems. Firstly, they are transforming professional driver training. They work with partners and governments to train driver trainers. By doing this they make drivers more competent and reduce death and/or injury on the road. Secondly, they transform road safety standards and systems. This is done through working with governments to promote safer standards and transport management systems. Finally, they transform rural access to vital services by allowing men, women and children to reach health services in times of need. This includes an emergency Transport Scheme for pregnant mothers with complications.
For someone who works in the professional ground transport industry, it is hard to imagine a scenario where people are putting their lives on the line every day by doing something that we take for granted in the UK.
Thank you for your time and please help me make a difference.