Thursday, May 23th, 2013
The abertis Foundation, Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation are promoting the Road Volunteer project as a pilot scheme in three schools in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district. Six young people with Down's syndrome or a mental disability are observing the behaviour of pedestrians at school starting and leaving times. The initiative aims to improve road safety around schools, as well as integrating young people with Down's syndrome into the employment world.
The schools participating in this initiative are the Orlandai infant and primary school, the Sagrat Cor school and the Dolors Monserdà-Santapau infant and primary school, as well as the L'Oreneta nursery school.
The six "road volunteers" are observing and taking note of the attitudes and behaviour of pedestrians at school starting and leaving times. The conduct being observed is linked to the road education provided by the Barcelona city police in schools: whether pupils and the adults who accompany them walk along the streets and move around properly and safely, paying attention to and observing traffic signs; whether they use vehicle safety equipment, such as seat belts or helmets; whether they respect other pedestrians, etc.
Once a fortnight, a team of road education monitors from the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation evaluates the data collected by the volunteers. The project is expected to end on 23 December, at which time a decision will be made on whether to extend it based on the assessment made of the pilot scheme.
The chosen road volunteers form part of the Work Initiation Course of the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation and have an employment contract. They have been given theoretical and practical training by the Barcelona city police and the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation.
Those behind the project
In order to carry out this pilot scheme, a collaboration agreement has been established between the abertis Foundation, the Catalan Down's Syndrome Foundation and the Barcelona City Council, through the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi District, the Municipal Education Institute (IMEB) and the Prevention, Safety and Mobility area.