Monday, November 4, 2019

Record Donation as Charity Reveals Success of its Driver Training and Medical Logistics Programmes

Princess Royal Sees Warehouse Group Make Good on Funding Promise
Shipping News Feature

UK – AFRICA – As can be seen from our picture the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) made good on its promise to raise £75,000 in its 75th anniversary year for transport charity Transaid, at a ceremony which saw Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, commend the road haulage and logistics industry for making such an enormous difference to HGV and PSV driver training standards in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Transaid 2019 Annual Showcase, held last week at the law firm Ashurst LLP in London, saw 150 supporters, partners and development organisations hear an update on the charity’s activities, 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 the organisation has been able to make genuine progress in reducing the tragedies caused by insufficiently able drivers.

The showcase was also an opportunity to update supporters on the charity’s work on motorcycle and three-wheeler safety, modes of transport which have now 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, particularly focusing on the 9,600 drivers trained over the last 12 months 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.

”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.”

And so to that staggering donation from the UKWA, many of whose members contributed with a voluntary overpayment of their annual renewal fees. The cheque brought a vote of gratitude from The Princess Royal, representing as it does the largest single donation to Transaid for more than a decade, and providing funds which will be used to help take the life-saving MAMaZ Against Malaria initiative we have reported on previously, to the next level.

The event also saw Transaid trustee Robert Goundry presented with a commemorative gift to mark his long service. He will retire after a final meeting in January 2020.

Photo: HRH The Princess Royal and Peter Ward UKWA Chief Executive flank Transaid Chair Jo Godsmark and CEO Caroline Barber as the £75,000 cheque is handed over.