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Transaid: The charity working to transform lives through safe, available and sustainable transport

Transaid is the chosen charity partner of TOC 2023. The international development organisation works with communities, partners, and governments to solve transport challenges throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

This year will see Transaid celebrate 25 years of operation, having been founded in 1998 by Save the Children, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and its Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

During these 25 years, Transaid has delivered life-saving work in more than 20 countries across predominantly sub-Saharan Africa, empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their lives – with a focus on improving road safety and increasing access to healthcare.

Transaid’s road safety work focuses on influencing safe driver behaviour, with long term programmes in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Following a partner-led approach, it responds to local needs for improved training for drivers and riders of trucks, buses, motorcycles and forklift trucks, and using its proven ‘train the trainer model’, Transaid facilitates the exchange of knowledge and skills to deliver sustainable change to driver training standards in sub-Saharan Africa. The organisation is working to achieve the targets set by the sustainable development goals, including to halve the number of deaths from road crashes by 2030.

In addition to training more than 5,000 drivers in Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia in 2022, Transaid trained 19 trainers in Ghana, and also launched a new driver training programme in Mozambique. Running until July 2023, the project team is supporting refresher training for heavy goods vehicle drivers in small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

Key to Transaid’s road safety programme in Uganda is its work with transporters to increase the number of female drivers recruited into the industry. It is now close to training 100 women in the country, many of whom are finding work as professional drivers in the food distribution industry, public transportation, and with some of the larger international companies such as Total, Hima Cement and DHL. 

This approach is changing the face of a traditionally male dominated industry, opening up new avenues of employment, and these women are also providing inspiration to other women for whom before, the transport industry was not even considered as a means of employment.

Transaid’s access to healthcare work involves efforts to work with local partners and communities to strengthen access to health services, primarily in rural areas. This includes establishing emergency transport systems (ETS) to reduce the barrier to healthcare posed by a lack of safe and affordable transport. 

In Zambia, Transaid and partners have utilised ox-carts and bicycle ambulances as a form of ETS, public minibuses in Madagascar, and

taxis in Nigeria. The organisation has also worked on strengthening health supply chains in collaboration with local partners and governments.

Transaid’s key programmes currently underway include professional driver training activities in Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia – more than at any time previously in Transaid’s history – plus ongoing work with the FIA Foundation and FIA to establish a national helmet coalition for motorcycle riders in Kenya. Transaid is also working hard to secure donor funding for the next phase of its bicycle ambulance project in Zambia, which has been proven to dramatically reduce severe malaria mortality in children under six.

At the end of last year, Transaid launched a three-day London to Paris Cycle Challenge which will depart Greenwich on 22nd September 2023. With almost 50 percent of places already taken, the charity is inviting teams and individuals to join them on this four-day bucket-list adventure. Readers can find out more and register for this challenge here.

Transaid is also currently promoting its silver jubilee 2.5 challenge, encouraging supporters to get involved by holding their own fundraising activities around the number ‘25’. This could be anything from baking 25 cakes in aid of Transaid and selling slices to colleagues – to walking, cycling or sports challenges, whether it be 25 miles, 25 laps or something done consistently over 25 days, find out more here.

To learn about Transaid, please visit here.