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The Young Brains of China Project
Promoting bicycle helmet use in China.
People are dying needlessly and there's something we can do about it:
Please join us to change this situation. We are looking for sponsors to provide helmets for university students in China. If we can get the university students to wear helmets, bicycle helmets will be associated with youth, style, intelligence, and getting ahead. Word will spread.
Benefits for our sponsors:
The very best kind of image enhancement and positive PR.
What could be more positive than directly saving lives?
Please consider joining our campaign as a sponsor.
There are more bicycles, and bicycle riders, in China than in any other country. Half a billion bike riders.
And China has eight times more bike accident head injury fatalities per rider mile than western countries.
Among fatal traffic accidents in Shanghai, 23% of the
victims are bicyclists.
Brain damage caused by a bicycle accident head injury can be worse than a fatality.
Yet studies show that helmet use alone reduces fatalities by 80% Your support for this initiative will directly save lives.
This project kicked off in January of 2009 with a full page in China Daily. Now our plans are becoming realistic and we're ready to see some big changes.
As The Word Gets Around (Originally posted on www.themaninchina.com April 17, 2009)
We had a wonderful barbeque dinner on the street this evening. When we returned home we got a surprise visit from William, our old friend and Chinese teacher. He'd been talking to his younger brother about my helmet campaign, and his younger brother, who is about to do some cycling around the lake here, decided he wants a helmet. Yes! (pumps fist in air). A young Chinese who voluntarily wears a bike helmet. Fantastic.
I asked William's younger brother if he would be riding with a friend, and of course he will be. So of course he will need two helmets. I really should be working in retail.
Leveraging my Efforts to Promote
Today Edward came to see me to pick up two helmets that he has sold to other students. He's decided to support my helmet promotion project by selling them himself.
What a thrill this is for me, to have a student take up this cause on his own initiative, with no prompting from me at all. It gives me hope for humanity.
Helmets in the News Again (Originally posted on www.themaninchina.com March 24, 2009)
Today one of my students, Edward Hou in my IELTS preparation class, presented me with a copy of Lihu Magazine, the all-student produced Jiangnan University news magazine. It's a slick and professional publication. More to the point, this issue devoted four whole pages to me and my helmet campaign.
Wow. Thanks guys. I really appreciate the attention and recognition. Most of all, I appreciate that Edward came over to my home to buy a helmet.
A Legend in His Own Mind Part 2
On Wednesday of this week I was interviewed for an article in the Yangtze Evening Post, the most popular Chinese language evening paper in Jiangsu Province. Yesterday the article came out. It was better in the actual paper, because that included a picture. But at least it's here. Here's the picture that they didn't post with the online article.
It's really encouraging to see how the Chinese media is picking up on the bicycle helmet idea. Now I think I need to talk to the doctors in China who deal with brain injuries, and get them on board this campaign.
The Hainan Bike Rider
On our way
back to Wuzhishan on the mountain highway of
Hainan Island, Ruth spotted a bicycle rider coming toward us.
"Hey, somebody in China wearing a helmet," she said. "That's
I noticed a
bandage on his nose and some road rash on his face. "Where's
your helmet," I asked.
Several of my students have become quite enthusiastic about the helmet initiative, and a few have offered to help sell and promote helmets on campus. Here's an email I got from Merry, slightly edited:
Just gotta love my students. They are what this is all about, after all.
Back in Action: (Posted on www.themaninchina.com September 5, 2010)
I dropped the ball on this
campaign last year, and did nothing for two terms. But my
energy has come back, and I'm excited again. We can make this
happen. The other day Ruth and I saw two bike riders on the
Jiangnan University campus wearing helmets, and they weren't riding
together. That's a first, and a start.
And now we have our plan shaping up to promote helmets on university campuses, starting with Jiangnan University here in Wuxi, China.
We look forward to your support. Please join us.