For more than three years I’ve been dreaming that every newborn child in Oman will leave the hospital not only with love and affection, but also a car seat. I have worked very hard over the past two years to make this dream into a reality. And recently, while giving the first car seat away as part of the Awladna Initiative, I feel that I am truly making a difference in the behaviour of people in our society.
My dream was difficult to reach, and it could not have been possible to achieve without the support of many. I began by using the Good Practice Manual on Seatbelts and Child Restraints, developed with input from the Global Road Safety Partnership, to do a simple assessment in my country and create the car seat project. After actively collecting data in hospitals on newborn babies, the British Army donated a total of 40 car seats to the Awladna Initiative. This marked the official launch of the car-seat project, which also includes trained volunteers who communicate with parents, teaching them how to use a car seat as well as follow-up to ensure they are being used effectively.
I am motivated now more than ever to find ways to purchase more car seats, and distribute them to all the children in Oman, as well as continue spreading awareness to mothers about the importance of car seats for their children.
But my dream does not stop there. It is also my hope that that the Awladna Initiative will do more, do better, and that it will be active in road safety efforts worldwide. I hope we will eventually have an office, and a children’s centre to teach kids basic road safety information.
It is also my goal that the Awladna Initiative car seat project be implemented everywhere, so together, institutions can provide seats to their employees and hospitals in their neighborhood.
I thank everyone who contributed to the car seat project, and everyone who supported me fearlessly from the beginning. This initial achievement shows me that dreams do come true, if we have the will to make them happen.