Helmets for Hope (in honour of Ananta Tandon)
On Sunday, August 4th, one of our past Esperanza Project volunteers and friend, Ananta Tandon, was in a motorcycle accident here in the centre of Cabrera, Dominican Republic, along with her husband, Junior. Tragically, after 4 days in hospital, Ananta passed away due to injuries to her head and brain. Although Ananta did own and usually wear a helmet, Ananta was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
In the town of Cabrera, almost every family uses a motorcycle or scooter as their only mode of transportation. This can mean whole families together on one motorcycle, brand new babies coming home from hospital in their mother’s arms on the back of a motorcycle, or carrying very large items on the back of the bike while trying to drive. Unfortunately due to availability here and especially the cost, most of these people are riding without helmets.
Ananta fell in love with the town of Cabrera during her first visit as a volunteer with our program in 2016. She continued to visit over the years and had recently settled down here after her marriage just two months ago, finally feeling like she was exactly where she was meant to me. Ananta not only loved the beautiful town of Cabrera, but especially loved the people she had grown to know and care for here.
In honour of Ananta, we are starting a campaign to provide helmets for the people of Cabrera and also raise awareness on the importance of helmets towards saving lives. Every year there are countless motorcycle accidents in the Dominican Republic and many of the most severe injuries or deaths could be prevented with the use of a helmet. Ananta’s accident took place in a quiet back street of Cabrera, proving it is so important to wear a helmet at all times.
With your help and donations, we will be providing both adult and child sized helmets to families here in Cabrera at zero cost to them, with their word and promise that they will wear their helmets at all times when on their bikes.
Cost to donate 1 motorcycle helmet: $50 USD
(I, Fiona Austin, as the creator of this campaign, assign Shanon Romano (Linares) as the beneficiary of this campaign in order to be in charge of receiving the funds and to work along side me to guarantee the suitable distribution of the money towards purchasing helmets and distributing helmets in Cabrera, Dominican Republic. Shanon was a friend of Ananta's and fellow Esperanza Project volunteer and was part of the small team of us who were by Ananta's side throughout her final days in hospital.)
Thank you so so much to everyone who donated and helped us to reach our goal in just one day! Truly amazing! We appreciate it so much. We have already ordered 50 adult helmets, 10 child helmets, and will be ordering the rest early next week. We have people messaging, calling and showing up at our house, asking to have their names put on the list to receive helmets. Many of these people have also lost loved ones in motorcycle accidents in the past and realize just how important this is. We will also be meeting with the Cabrera municipal office next week to discuss the enforcement of helmet laws in the area. They have already told us it is a great initiative and are showing their support, so we are hoping for positive results. Thank you again to everyone!! We already have enough money raised for 110 helmets, but let's not stop there! Helmets save lives.