Hundreds-of-African-children-benefit-from-new-lifesaving-tuition

Byline: The lives of hundreds of African children will be safer around water thanks to a first-of-its-kind lifesaving programme, which is being run in Tanzania.
Page Content: The new Aquatic Survival Programme, being introduced to the country by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), has two key aims – first, to deliver water safety messages to school children and, second, to teach children basic survival swimming.

The charity is training local teachers, community leaders and scout leaders to deliver the vital water safety lessons to such a vulnerable group.

The RNLI is working closely with a local Zanzibari community based organisation called The Panje Project, which is providing important ‘on the ground’ support, involving local people and schools in the programme.

The first run of the programme is taking place in a village called Nungwi in Zanzibar, where ten local people are being trained by the RNLI to deliver key water safety messages. Five of them are receiving additional training in how to teach self-survival and rescue – or basic survival swimming. Once the local people have had this training, they will then deliver the sessions to local children, to put their learning into practice immediately.

Over the course of two weeks, at least 300 children aged 7-14 are being taught important water safety messages and 30-40 children are being taught self-survival and rescue.

The World Health Organisation estimates that Africa has the highest continental drowning rate in the world. There is currently no global swim-survival programme for low resource countries, so the RNLI has worked closely with other key organisations including UK Sport, Plan International, the Swimming Teachers’ Association, Nile Swimmers and Royal Lifesaving Society Commonwealth, to create this unique programme.

Using their combined experience and expertise, the organisations have created an Aquatic Survival Programme manual, designed specifically for Africa. The manual is being used to deliver the training to local people, and will thereafter be available as an open-source resource for the local people to use. The manual covers every step in how to set up and run the Aquatic Survival Programme – from finding a suitable location, to sourcing funding and delivering the training.

If this first run of the programme is successful, the RNLI will begin to roll it out across Africa next year.

Steve Wills, the RNLI’s international development manager, explains:

‘Drowning is a leading cause of death worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in Africa. Teaching these vital water safety and swim-survival skills to children at an early age is so important because it means they have the knowledge and skills for life – therefore significantly reducing their chances of dying from drowning in the future.

‘The RNLI’s priority is to make sure we give local people the skills and resources to continue delivering this tuition to children once our trainers have left the country. By focusing on helping others to help themselves, we’re equipping them the knowledge and skills to develop and sustain their own lifesaving programme.’

Separately, before the start of the Aquatic Survival Programme in Zanzibar, three RNLI lifeguard trainers ran a lifeguard training programme in Dar es Salaam. They taught essential lifeguarding skills to 30 participants from Tanzania, Zanzibar and Uganda. They covered crucial first steps of lifeguarding and also delivered a ‘train the trainer’ course, enabling the trainee lifeguards to teach the skills they learn to others – again ensuring they are able to set up and sustain their own lifeguarding service.

The RNLI has been stepping-up its international development work since 2011, to help developing lifesaving organisations and reduce the 1.2M drownings that occur around the world each year. The charity is focusing on helping other organisations to help themselves by providing a range of services such as training, supply of equipment, safety education, and guidance on search and rescue frameworks and flood resilience.

The RNLI’s international development work is self-funding. The work is funded primarily through overseas sales of consultancy, equipment and training to countries that require those services; and external / government funding where available. In time, the RNLI will begin to fundraise for specific international projects.

Notes to Editors
• Images from the Aquatic Survival Programme are attached. Please credit RNLI/Mike Lavis.
• RNLI spokespeople are available for interview. Please contact Laura Fennimore on the number below to make arrangements.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663181 or Laura_Fennimore@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Byline: The lives of hundreds of African children will be safer around water thanks to a first-of-its-kind lifesaving programme, which is being run in Tanzania.
Page Content: The new Aquatic Survival Programme, being introduced to the country by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), has two key aims – first, to deliver water safety messages to school children and, second, to teach children basic survival swimming.

The charity is training local teachers, community leaders and scout leaders to deliver the vital water safety lessons to such a vulnerable group.

The RNLI is working closely with a local Zanzibari community based organisation called The Panje Project, which is providing important ‘on the ground’ support, involving local people and schools in the programme.

The first run of the programme is taking place in a village called Nungwi in Zanzibar, where ten local people are being trained by the RNLI to deliver key water safety messages. Five of them are receiving additional training in how to teach self-survival and rescue – or basic survival swimming. Once the local people have had this training, they will then deliver the sessions to local children, to put their learning into practice immediately.

Over the course of two weeks, at least 300 children aged 7-14 are being taught important water safety messages and 30-40 children are being taught self-survival and rescue.

The World Health Organisation estimates that Africa has the highest continental drowning rate in the world. There is currently no global swim-survival programme for low resource countries, so the RNLI has worked closely with other key organisations including UK Sport, Plan International, the Swimming Teachers’ Association, Nile Swimmers and Royal Lifesaving Society Commonwealth, to create this unique programme.

Using their combined experience and expertise, the organisations have created an Aquatic Survival Programme manual, designed specifically for Africa. The manual is being used to deliver the training to local people, and will thereafter be available as an open-source resource for the local people to use. The manual covers every step in how to set up and run the Aquatic Survival Programme – from finding a suitable location, to sourcing funding and delivering the training.

If this first run of the programme is successful, the RNLI will begin to roll it out across Africa next year.

Steve Wills, the RNLI’s international development manager, explains:

‘Drowning is a leading cause of death worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in Africa. Teaching these vital water safety and swim-survival skills to children at an early age is so important because it means they have the knowledge and skills for life – therefore significantly reducing their chances of dying from drowning in the future.

‘The RNLI’s priority is to make sure we give local people the skills and resources to continue delivering this tuition to children once our trainers have left the country. By focusing on helping others to help themselves, we’re equipping them the knowledge and skills to develop and sustain their own lifesaving programme.’

Separately, before the start of the Aquatic Survival Programme in Zanzibar, three RNLI lifeguard trainers ran a lifeguard training programme in Dar es Salaam. They taught essential lifeguarding skills to 30 participants from Tanzania, Zanzibar and Uganda. They covered crucial first steps of lifeguarding and also delivered a ‘train the trainer’ course, enabling the trainee lifeguards to teach the skills they learn to others – again ensuring they are able to set up and sustain their own lifeguarding service.

The RNLI has been stepping-up its international development work since 2011, to help developing lifesaving organisations and reduce the 1.2M drownings that occur around the world each year. The charity is focusing on helping other organisations to help themselves by providing a range of services such as training, supply of equipment, safety education, and guidance on search and rescue frameworks and flood resilience.

The RNLI’s international development work is self-funding. The work is funded primarily through overseas sales of consultancy, equipment and training to countries that require those services; and external / government funding where available. In time, the RNLI will begin to fundraise for specific international projects.

Notes to Editors
• Images from the Aquatic Survival Programme are attached. Please credit RNLI/Mike Lavis.
• RNLI spokespeople are available for interview. Please contact Laura Fennimore on the number below to make arrangements.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663181 or Laura_Fennimore@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.