I was truly inspired when I met with my friends, Orly Siblinger and others, from Beterem over the past few days in Petah Tikvah, Israel. This was my third visit with this wonderful organization, and I am always impressed with their work.
Founded in 1995 at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center, Beterem is the only organization in Israel devoted exclusively to child safety. They set an initial goal of a 30% reduction in child injury deaths in Israel and achieved it by 2001.
They epitomize the research-to-action-to-impact model: evidence-based approaches, systematic injury surveillance, and evaluated programs and awareness campaigns that are fueled by their dedicated staff and broad-based partnerships with government, municipalities, other NGOs, hospitals and individual volunteers. Data drives action in Beterem: A key activity has been the creation of NAPIS (National Pediatric Injury and Surveillance System) as the State of Israel’s source for monitoring child injury and safety behaviors. NAPIS consolidates existing data from national and other sources with supplementary, new data collection from hospitals, emergency departments, surveys, media review and other sources.
Understanding the importance of a road map for government action, Beterem is working with all of the relevant government agencies in Israel to create a National Child Safety Action Plan that will turn data and evidence into policy. On the ground and recognizing that change happens locally, “Beterem in the City” works with municipalities in Israeli Jewish and Arab communities to address child injury. Their new goals: by 2020, a further reduction in overall child mortality rates by an additional 35%, a reduction in the child mortality rate among Arab children, and at least a 25% reduction in the gap between child injury rates of Jewish and Arab children. Kol HaKavod, Beterem! (Way to go!).
Later I'll share photos of billboards showing the Road Safety Authority in action in the Israeli community.
Stay tuned for part 2 next week!