Non-profit helmet manufacturer helping to prevent brain damage on Vietnam's roads

Protech and the AIP Foundation were launched by Grieg Craft in 1999

Non-profit helmet manufacturer helping to prevent brain damage on Vietnam's roads

A VIETNAMESE helmet manufacturer is helping to reduce head injuries by making safe, low cost lids for many of the 45 million riders on the country’s streets and educating future generations about the importance of wearing a helmet.

But Protec isn't just protecting Vietnamese riders, the company is also helping those unlucky enough injured in a traffic accident.  Of its 100 factory workers – working on a wheelchair height production line – one-third are people with disabilities, some from birth and others from traffic accidents.

American entrepreneur Greig Craft founded the social enterprise in 1999, at the same time as launching the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP).

The AIP Foundation buys the funky helmets from Protec at material cost, and donates them to schoolchildren, alongside interactive learning sessions. Since 2000, more than 450,000 such helmets have been gven out. And despite Vietnam’s reputation for producing cheap imitation goods, including helmets, these lids comply to all the required safety standards and are engineered for the country's climate.

Protech also funds AIP public awareness campaigns on TV, radio and other multimedia outlets.

Since 2007 it has been mandatory for all motorcyclists and passengers to wear a helmet while on the road. The following year, and with help from the AIP Foundations' 'Wear a helmet, there are no excuses' campaign, traffic deaths dropped by 12 percent and traumatic brain injuries by 24 percent.