Swimming is due to the high drowning rate an essential life skill which every child above the age of 4 should have. Swimming can not only be fun but contributes also to general mental and physical health.
Challenges we are facing
The WHO states that drowning is the 3rd leading cause of injury death worldwide. This means that 7% of all injuries related deaths are caused by drowning. The WHO estimated a number of 359000, which makes drowning a major public health problem worldwide. According to WHO, drowning death rates are highest in African region, compared to the UK even 10-13 times higher. Moreover, among children ages 1 to 14 accidental drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death.
If we look at South Africa the situation is even more frightening. According to The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) 600 children die every year from drowning. Imagine this are 10 buses full of children. 6000 children survive a drowning experience, not all of them fully recover.
Another given is the low participation in sports by black learners. A research done by Sanelisiwe Mchunu & Kobus Le Roux
Department of Educational Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria concludes this in their summary. Township schools have often not the financial resources to maintain facilities. Also sport is often not part of the school program. Sport experiences can enrich emotional development by cultivating capacities for care, self-worth, strength of will, good judgement, compassion, understanding, love and friendship
Together we can # prevent drowning and increase general health of children
Ready4life and NMB Aquatics are working together in a Social Joint Venture to roll-out the Learn 2 Swim program at Town Ship schools. This program is developed together with prestigious institutes in South Africa, Australia and the Netherlands. One of the corner stones of this program is to make children watersafe in a playful way. Not only how to learn to swim, but also the awareness and water safety training at schools are part of this program. In times that we can’t give swimming lessons sport activities are put in place to prepare children for swimming lessons.
We are not only aiming to prevent drowning. Part of the program is searching for high potentials, spotting children with excellent swimming skills. We are nurturing those children to invite them to swimming clubs where they will be further trained in the art of swimming. With this program we try to increase the participation of the swim sport in the Townships.
With a dedicated team of facilitators, volunteers and interns (local and international) with deep passion for the swim sport and in collaboration with the local Township schools we were able to achieve remarkable results.
Our philosophy is combining Learn 2 Swim as a life skill and giving children more exercise. It is not only # prevent drowning but also increasing general health.
Our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals