Top dignitaries and other personalities in the Jamaican and international sporting arena will give their support to the Zenani Mandela Campaign for Road Safety, during the JN Jamaica Invitational Meet, to be held at the National Stadium, this Saturday, May 5.
The Zenani Campaign is part of the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety initiative; and, its major aim is to improve road safety for children in South Africa and other emerging and developing economies.
The campaign was inspired by the granddaughter of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, Zenani Mandela, who was killed in a motor vehicle crash on the eve of the 2010 World Cup, which was held in South Africa.
Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA), a local advocate for the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, said the Zenani Campaign is timely, as it builds awareness for the safety of our children, in the context of road safety, “even as public dialogue highlights other issues affecting the nation’s children, during May, Child’s Month.”
“This campaign will seek to raise awareness about some of the road safety concerns that may place our youngest citizens at greater risks on our roadways, whether they are pedestrians, or passengers,” Mr. Jarrett stated.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) ‘State of the World’s Children’ Report 2012, more children die from road traffic injuries in developing countries such as Jamaica than in other countries.
Mr Jarrett noted that the JN Jamaica Invitational Meet will serve as a platform to allow “top athletes and other persons involved in track and field to give their support to the overall Decade of Action for Road Safety campaign, which seeks to reduce the number of road traffic deaths by 2020.”
One of the visual statements of the Zenani Campaign will be the “Zenani wristband” which will be presented to persons who give their endorsement to the initiative.
Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), said the JAAA was pleased to be associated with this campaign, which will allow athletes to be ambassadors for an issue which also affects them, at the local level.
“Our athletes are already global ambassadors, and in giving their support to this initiative, they will be able to raise awareness of an issue that has resonance at the local level,” Dr Blake noted.
More than 50 top local and international athletes are expected to participate in the 9 th staging of the JN Jamaica Invitational Meet.