After the loss of her son in a tragic crash caused by a drunk driver, Mrs Karidi decided to speak up and devote her life to making the roads safe for the 200,00 residents of Rhodes, Greece, and its surroundings. In 2004 she established the NGO EFTHITA, the Hellenic Association for Support to Road Traffic Victims, with the aim of offering medical, legal and psychological advice to road traffic crash victims and their families. EFTHITA also works to prevent road traffic crashes by informing and motivating the general public. Over the years EFTHITA has grown to include members and volunteers, the latter primarily students from the University of Aegean, and is implementing its road safety programme across the Dodecanese. Under Mrs Karidi’s guidance, more than 65,000 young people have been trained in schools, as have personnel on military bases.
EFTHITA provides interactive and experiential educational material, and in order to raise awareness to the cause, has organized road safety conferences, exhibitions of children’s artwork, theatrical performances and outdoor activities including to mark the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Mrs Karidi has participated in meetings of the Road Safety Committee of the Parliament and her lifework has been honored by local community leaders, the Army General Staff and the Hellenic Police. Her NGO has published books, press releases and articles and her relentless efforts and interventions have pressured the local authorities and Ministry to improve their road safety policies. Mrs Karidi is a board member of European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR) and other European organizations.
Through her continuous involvement, EFTHITA has attained membership status in the National Committee for Road Safety of the Ministry of Transportation. Thanks to her dedication, Mrs Karidi has managed to positively influence city- and nation-wide road safety policies and programmes. It is her hands-on example, however, that inspires each and every one of us to speak up too!