A Journey in Road Safety Advocacy

From left to right: Anibal Germoso (Road Safety Director, INTRANT), Miguel Jiménez (Founder, MOVIDO), Wanda De Jesús (Finance VP, PMI Dominican Republic Chapter), Heydi Calellán (President, PMI Dominican Republic Chapter), Milena Milanova (General Secretary, PMI Dominican Republic Chapter), Silvia Basilis (Past President, PMI Dominican Republic Chapter), Asthir Abinader (Volunteer, PMWB), Oscar Beltrán (Project Director, MOVIDO)

Asthir Abinader traces her involvement with PMWB to a virtual PMI study group while living in Los Angeles, California. It was here that Asthir connected with Oscar Marenco, a group leader and PMWB volunteer who introduced her to the organization in 2020.

In 2023, after returning to the Dominican Republic, Asthir applied for a volunteer opportunity with PMWB focused on road safety, aware that her country has one of the highest traffic accident mortality rates in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Los Angeles, Asthir’s work in personal injury cases made her a perfect fit for this project which sought to raise awareness of the impact of traffic accidents on victims and their families and inspire action from the government, nonprofit and private sector.

Her network proved invaluable as she assembled a project team which included members of the PMI Dominican Republic Chapter and road safety nonprofits. Asthir secured government support from the transportation institute responsible for road safety and began developing the main project deliverable: the Dominican Republic version of a book originally published in 2007 by the WHO and the nonprofit Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) featuring testimonies from traffic accident victims and their families. The team decided to add a social media and video communication campaign, and a documentary as well. Asthir and her team plan to launch the campaign and share their materials to coincide with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on 17 November 2024.

Understanding the emotional weight of the project, Asthir emphasized the need for empathy and support for victims and their families and has included assistance and training to ensure sensitive handling of testimonies into her project plan. Connecting with a road safety volunteer team in Panama provided Asthir with valuable insights and guidance which she applies to the project. The team’s goal is to significantly improve road safety—not only in the Dominican Republic, but to become a blueprint for other countries facing similar challenges.

Asthir’s dedication and strategic approach to this project highlight the impact possible when individuals form a collective effort toward a common goal, tackling the issue of road safety, and inspiring others to join the cause, creating safer roads for all.


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