Sharing Our Water Safety and Survival Swimming Experience

On 29 June, we were invited by Dr Vu Kim Hoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Child Care and Protection. Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to share our experience of swimming and water safety work at a workshop organised in Da Nang (central Vietnam). MOLISA is tasked by the Vietnamese Prime Minister with leading efforts to reduce child drowning. Officials from national and provincial government attended plus the World Health Organisation and other water safety NGOs.

Our friends at Swim for Life / Golden West Foundation also invited us in July to their drowning prevention workshop in Quang Binh province where we presented our low resource, open water model for drowning prevention to Quang Binh officials.   We also agreed to set up a “Collaborative” forum to help us work more in partnership with other INGOs given our shared objective to help reduce child drowning in Vietnam.   The INGOs taking part are the AWSOM Project, Swim for Life Vietnam, Swim Vietnam, Water Safety Vietnam, We Bloom , World Vision Vietnam and Hue Help (Swimming for Safety).

Swimming for Safety in Hanoi

Our pilot project in Vietnam’s capital city began in July with 11 PE teachers from kindergarten, primary or secondary schools in Long Bien District completing an intensive 6 days IFSTA course. They are now teaching water safety and swimming to 50 children from local schools. The teachers and children were chosen by the Long Bien Department of Education (DOET) according to our criteria which included children at risk e.g. because they live near the Red River, or from disadvantaged backgrounds.The children – boys and girls aged 9 -11 have been having a great time since starting their course on 1 August. They will have 18 lessons of 45 minutes and by the end of the course we hope that the majority will be able to swim 25m, tread water, scull and know other survival swimming skills, and understand how to help someone in trouble in the water without risking their own safety.

We’d like to thank the Hanoi International Women’s Club for agreeing to fund our pilot. Our sincere thanks also to British International School (BIS) Hanoi for the use of their super pool and classroom facilities. Also to Vietnamese colleages at PACCOM and Hanoi DOET and Hanoi Department of Foreign Affairs who gave us their help and support. It was a journey but we got there in the end!

Hats off also to our talented teacher trainer, Mr Phuoc Tuong. A full time secondary teacher from Hue, he was one of the first people we trained back in 2011.  He was a “stand-out” trainee and became a teacher trainer. We were delighted he could instruct the Hanoi teachers course. Finally, thanks also to our talented programme officers My and Anh.

Water Safety at the Beach – Visit to Hue by Surf Life Saving GB

Water Safety at the Beach – Visit from Surf Life Saving GB

Surf Life Saving Great Britain visited Hue in April to help us provide extra water safety lessons for children in three primary schools: Phu Thuan 1, Phu Thuan 2 and Thuan An 2. The youngsters were keen to learn and the weather was perefct for activitries on the beach. We taught them how to call for help on the beach using flags and signals.  They had a whale of a time and had boundless energy – even after a dramatic beach relay race. We repeated the class at Hue Children’s Centre and then took the children to the local pool. The Surf Life Saving GB coaches inspired the kids to learn about lifesaving and staying safe around water. We look forward to building on this programme in 2018 and to welcoming Surf Life Saving GB back to Vietnam.

The “Deadly Season”: Drowning Incidents Increase in the Summer in Vietnam

 

The “Deadly Season” : Drowning Incidents increase in summer in Vietnam 
Schools break up in early June and the weather is already hot. Children, often unsupervised because their parents need to work, take themselves off to play in lakes, rivers, ponds or the sea sometimes with tragic consequences. Children sometimes drown trying to save their friends – even though they can’t swim themselves. Whether or not to award children for bravery – including post humously – is a controversial subject. Should their valour be recognised or does it encourage other children who can’t swim to contine to risk their own lives?   Very sadly, reports are already coming in this year of young people drowning. Four children recently died swimming in a dam. Eight people, including seven children, also died in two separate drowning incidents in central Vietnam, earlier this month (June 2017) Van Tan Lanh, 68, took his two granddaughters and one of their friends to help wash the family’s cattle in the Kut river in Binh Dinh province’s Tay Son district. When the cattle returned home unaccompanied, neighbours rushed to the river and found Lanh floating dead in the water along with his grandchildren~Nguyen Thi Phuong Thanh, 14, and Nguyen Thi Tuyet Bang, 12, as well as 8-year-old Tran Anh Tuan. Later the same day in Gia Lai province, grade school students~Nguyen Le Hai Yen, Do Ngoc Thuan, Nguyen Thi Hao, and Tong Thi Quynh Huong were found dead at a lake near their homes.

Drowning kills more children in Vietnam than traffic accidents. The number of children under 19 who die from drowning in Vietnam is anything between 10 to 30 a day  (and neither figure takes account of those injured). Please continue to support us with donations and fund raising. We are grateful for anything you can do to help us save children’s lives.

Drowning: the “Silent Epidemic”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that drowning claims the lives of more than 60,000 children under the age of five and more than 360,000 people globally a year.  Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $25 million expansion of its global drowning prevention program in May. The first phase of its drowning program in 2012 tested the effectiveness of playpens and community daycare as prevention measures in Bangladesh and found them to be very effective in preventing drowning in children under five. Phase two of the program will inter alia expand the use of daycare and support survival swimming in Vietnam –  as well as continue to support successful community-based daycares in Bangladesh. You can read more and download the WHO report here. http://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/60000-children-age-five-drown-every-year-bloomberg-philanthropies-commits-25-million-address-problem/

 

Hue Children’s Shelter – Latest News

Hue Children’s Shelter – Latest News, June 2017
Our long standing work at Hue Children’s Shelter continues and we are providing help with school fees, tuition and school supplies. Academically the children continue to impress. We have recently been able to support two students with extracurricular accounting courses to help them improve their knowledge – and their chances of finding good jobs after graduating from university this year. We are also supporting one young student “Ngoc” with art classes ahead of her entrance exams for the University of Art.  We wanted to help her realise her dream of becoming a graphic artist.  She is enjoying her classes so far and very grateful for our support.

Now that the weather’s good,  we have also been able to run some fun activities for the younger children as well. These have included:

  • A visit to the children’s play area at Coopmart in March.  The younger children had a wonderful time playing on the slides and in the ball pit. They enjoyed an early dinner before heading home while Hue Help staff took the older children for a special dinner at our favourite local “broken rice” restaurant.
  • A special cooking class where we helped the children make the classic Vietnamese Pho noodle soup. The kids helped prepare the ingredients, pick the vegetables, and, most importantly, eat the soup!

 

 

Swimming for Safety in 2016

2016 has been a great year for Swimming for Safety! Under our continued collaboration with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA/NAV) and the Swimming Teacher’s Association (STA), this year we trained:

101 Teachers
1,748 Students

In total, we’ve helped train over 9,000 children and qualified over 400 teachers since we began SFS in 2011.

Swimming for Safety trains local teacher’s to become swimming teachers. They then go on to teach children in their community water safety awareness, land-based rescue and swimming skills, keeping them safe around water. In Vietnam, an estimated 32 children drown every day.

Since October in 2016, repeated flooding in the center of Vietnam has cost over 100 lives. A lot of work is still needed to build community resilience to extreme weather.

We are planning to continue to expand the Swimming for Safety initiative in 2017. You can help support our valuable programme by making a donation.

Thank you.

#stopdrowning #drowningprevention #Vietnam #flood #swimmingforsafety

Run the Brighton Chicken Run for Hue Help!

Chicken RunHue Help has places in the Brighton Chicken Run! This is an exciting fun run event that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Hue Help is lucky enough to have charity places available giving our supporters the chance to take part!

Event: Brighton Chicken Run
Date / Time: 20th March 2016 – 10AM
Location: Hove Park, Brighton and Hove
Event Type: 5km Run (as a chicken!)

What does entry include?
In addition to a sense of achievement and a great time, entrance to the Brighton Chicken Run will get you:Brighton Chicken Run

  • Your own chicken costume!
  • A finisher medal
  • An Easter egg for finishers
  • A Nando’s goody bag, including a ‘half chicken’ voucher
  • One week free membership with British Military Fitness!

Interested in taking part?
We do not charge any fees to have one of our charity places in this event, but we do ask that you raise a minimum of £100. Hue Help uses the JustGiving service to help supporters create fundraising pages – and we’ll even throw in a Hue Help t-shirt as well!

If you are interested in taking part please contact us and we will get you signed up. We look forward to seeing you there!

Further Information

>> Brighton Chicken Run website

>> Brighton Chicken Run Facebook page

 

 

 

Making Swimming for Safety sustainable…

Swimming for Safety in low resource settings

In the UK, children tend to learn to swim in swimming pools. The benefits of this are obvious – they are clean, warm and controlled environments. In low resource rural environments, access to swimming pools isn’t usually readily available. However, we know the risk of drowning in low resource settings is higher than in higher income countries. To combat this, Hue Help’s Swimming for Safety initiative teaches children to swim in open water environments.

Implementing sustainable solutions is a key aim of all of our initiatives. Swimming for Safety is no different – so we have to makes sure that we provide our school teachers with equipment and resources that are appropriate to the local environment but also fit for purpose. Our swimming sites use a system of basic nets, buoys and anchors to mark out safe zones for children to swim in. All of these items can be obtained locally at very low cost, which will help to ensure that schools can continue to teach their children to swim without relying on external support in the future!

To date, Swimming for Safety has trained over 7,800 children in water safety awareness, basic swimming skills and land based rescue skills across 3 provinces in Vietnam.

Summer activities at Hue Children’s Shelter!

From 21st-22nd July 2015, Hue Help organised a summer trip for the kids and the staff at Hue Children Shelter to Da Nang City and Hoi An Ancient Town. The bus picked everybody up at the shelter in the morning and the kids were really excited. Some of them woke up at 5 a.m in the morning just to check the luggage that they prepared couple days ago for the trip! The first stop was Ngu Hanh Son,  on the way from Da Nang to Hoi An. The kids were very interested in climbing to the top of Ngu Hanh Son mable mountain even though it was high with a lot of steps. They enjoyed the beautiful temples, caves and the sights up there. Leaving the first stop, we kept going to Hoi An, checked in hotel, had lunch together and took a rest before visiting the ancient town. A tour guide told the children about the history of Hoi An and the stories about Chua Cau Japanese bridge, ancient houses of Hoi An… After a tour around this beautiful old town, we got in the bus to An Bang beach. The children played some games and swam at the beach under supervising of adults. They were happy to swim with Celeste, the coordinator of Swimming for Safety. Leaving the beach, we had dinner at a Hoi An garden dinner with the delicious foods of Hoi An. Then, we walked or cycled to discovery Hoi An by night. Some of the kids were back to the hotel and kept swimming at the little pool at the hotel.

We woke up quite early for the next day to have breakfast at the hotel before going to Da Nang city to visit Son Tra peninsula with the huge Linh Ung pagoda. From here, we could see all Da Nang city view. It was very amazing with all the kids. Then, we got in the car back to Hue and had lunch in a beautiful restaurant next to Lang Co beach.

All the chidren looked rather sleepy after having an over excited time. They really had an amazing summer trip this year!