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Walk This Way

January 31, 2014
pedestrian safety

Safe Kids implements a 10-country program called Walk This Way, which works around the world to make communities safer for children to walk. It’s hard to believe that there are places in the world where simply walking to school is not safe for children. But we know we can change this reality for children and families.

One of the best parts of my job is working with the Executive Directors and Program Coordinators of our Walk This Way program, who are so dedicated to making the world safer for children. They offer a great perspective on the power of our work and I’m proud for you to meet them, too.

First up is Monica Cui, Executive Director of Safe Kids China.

A Commitment that Makes a Difference

Every year, I look forward to Walk This Way Month, an annual campaign dedicated to providing road safety education to kids in schools.

I still think about one second grade girl from Beijing named Joy Li, who we met last year during Walk this Way Month. Joy Li walked to school every morning across four major roads. She told us how she learned a lot of bad habits from adults. She didn’t cross the streets at the crosswalks and she ignored the light signal when she was in a hurry.

After our Walk This Way Month activities, Joy Li changed many of these habits. All of this wouldn’t be possible without support from our program sponsor, FedEx. FedEx volunteers, who donate so much time and energy to the cause, showed her how to cross the road safely. Thanks to their inspiration and guidance, Joy Li started to follow the signals and pay attention to cars from different sides of the street. She even took these lessons to the adults and they started to walk safer as well.

That’s what this program is all about, and we’re doing more every year. When we first launched Walk This Way Month in 2009, we educated children in 7 cities. And now that reach has expanded to 13 cities.

This year was a particularly exciting because the Chinese Badminton Team (who are equivalent to NFL Players in terms of popularity in China) joined during an event in Shanghai, which means that the visibility of the program is at an even higher level.

This time of year is so special for me because we make such a difference in the lives of children and families.