DHAKA, BANGLADESH, August 3, 2017: DHL Bangladesh was presented with the award for Best Education Project at the '7th Asia Best CSR Practices Awards 2017', at a ceremony held at the Le Meridien Hotel, Sentosa in Singapore on 2 August, 2017. The company was recognized for its outstanding efforts in educating students on how to keep safe on the roads and in times of natural disaster. The project by DHL Bangladesh titled 'Empowering Young Minds to Save Lives' was conducted in collaboration with Teach for Bangladesh.
The program in Bangladesh serves an important purpose due to the high number of road accidents and fatalities. In 2016 alone, nearly 3000 accidents were reported, more than 3,400 lives were lost; and more than 8,500 suffered from disastrous injuries. When nearly 65 people are killed on average each day on the roads -- out of whom 142 are children -- the urgency of the problem cannot remain ignored. The project first started off as a Road Safety Awareness program, but later evolved to include earthquake preparedness.
Through the workshops, DHL Bangladesh and Teach For Bangladesh have reached over 20 schools, and impacted nearly 4,000 students in Dhaka city. The initiative started off in 2016, reaching out to classrooms in 11 government primary schools in Dhaka where Teach For Bangladesh Fellows are teaching. In 2016, they directly reached over 1,200 students in the schools, raising awareness about the rules, regulations and best road safety practices. In 2017, workshops took place in 11 other schools, to reach out to more than 2,600 students in total with road safety information, as well as new information about earthquake preparedness.
The real impact of this initiative, however, extended far beyond these numbers. These students have already started sharing their knowledge with others in their lives, cascading the life-saving information throughout the communities they are from, where some of their loved ones have to navigate dangerous conditions on a daily basis.
'"I am personally very proud of what our project, 'Empowering Young Minds to Save Lives' has accomplished so far. Winning this award validates our efforts and encourages us to continue with the workshops. A next step would be to see if we can develop more levels to the program and create a more comprehensive training module around this topic," said Nooruddin Chowdhury, Country Manager of DHL Global Forwarding Bangladesh.
"Teach For Bangladesh is proud to have a committed partner like DHL Bangladesh to contribute to our work to end educational disparity for children in Bangladesh. The road safety campaign is just one example of this committed effort. In addition to providing key financial support that has been critical to our growth over the last two years, the leaders and staff at DHL Bangladesh have gone above and beyond to get involved in improving the lives of the children we work with. We are thankful to them," said Maimuna Ahmad, CEO of Teach For Bangladesh.
Plans for next year include expanding efforts to over 25 schools, to raise awareness on other safety issues. Future strategies also include involving the government in the content delivery process so that more students can gain access to these workshops and booklets.