On Thursday 24th October we held our 2019 Annual Showcase, attended by our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. During the event, The Princess Royal commended the road transport and logistics industry for making an enormous difference to HGV and PSV driver training standards in Sub-Saharan Africa – with more than 9,600 drivers trained over the last 12 months.
The event took place at law firm Ashurst LLP in London, where we welcomed 150 supporters, partners and development organisations for an update on our projects, including a presentation from Lloyd Mbasela, the Executive Director of the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Zambia. Transaid has been partnered with the ITC for over a decade to deliver driver training in the country and beyond.
Guests were reminded that the number of people dying on the roads each year in Sub-Saharan Africa is third only to deaths from HIV/AIDS and malaria. However, thanks to the support given to Transaid by the transport and logistics industry, we have been able to start tackling this issue.
The showcase was also an opportunity to update our supporters on our work on motorcycle and three-wheeler safety – modes of transport which have become a key part of life in many rural areas across Africa. Current projects include an initiative to review legislation and rider training practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – an enormous country highly dependent on motorcycles – as other means of transport often aren’t suitable due to poor road conditions. Transaid Project Manager Kim van der Weijde told guests about her personal experience working on the project, saying motorcycles were so essential for accessing healthcare in the DRC that she had heard stories of women giving birth on the back of a motorcycle on their way to a health facility.
Transaid CEO Caroline Barber also spoke at the event, saying: “The results we’re achieving from our professional driver training are impressive. It’s not just about prevention, it’s about developing sustainable models that impact the people on the ground and help to increase economic capacity in the countries where we’re working.”
Thanking the industry for its ongoing support, Barber added: “Quite simply, we couldn’t do the work we do today without the people in this room, so we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support. Together, we have made strong progress to ensure we are bringing about positive change through the provision of safe, available and sustainable transport.”
Concluding the event, The Princess Royal expressed her gratitude to the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) for raising £75,000 for Transaid to mark its own 75th anniversary. Representing the largest single donation to Transaid for more than a decade, the funds will be used to help take the life-saving MAMaZ Against Malaria initiative to the next level.
Transaid trustee Robert Goundry was also presented with a commemorative gift to mark his long service as a trustee. He will retire after a final meeting in January 2020.
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