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More than 4,000 children receive training in road safety in Costa Rica

Costa Rican government pilot project supported by the IDB, Sesame Workshop, FIA Foundation, Road Safety Fund and COSEVI

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – 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 Rican Road Safety Agency (COSEVI), will reach about 4,500 students and their teachers in primary schools in the south part of San Jose, Paso Ancho, San Sebastian and Hatillo, zones where the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, with funding from the IDB, will begin the construction of a modern overpass.

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, more than double the rate in European countries.

“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 República de Haití in San José. During the event, IDB Representative in Costa Rica Fernando Quevedo, FIA Foundation representative Carlos Macaya, Carolina Casas from Sesame Workshop and representatives from the National Bank of Costa Rica 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, Vías 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:

  • Amend, which drives programs to reduce the incidence of road accidents in the world and distributes backpacks with reflectors through the initiative “See and Be Seen,” for students to be more visible on public roads.
     
  • 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.
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