Swimming for safety
Around 10 children aged 1-19 years old die from drowning every day in Vietnam – the equivalent of a plane crash every month. Drowning is the leading cause of death, even more children die from drowning than in road traffic accidents. Even though the figures are shocking, drowning is a “silent epidemic”. It is unseen, the causes are sometimes misunderstood and a huge amount remains to be done to address this entirely preventable human tragedy. In Hue city and throughout the province flooding is extremely common, yet many adults and children are unable to swim. Without swimming being offered in schools and a lack of trained swimming coaches, many people in Hue never have the chance to learn to swim. By providing free swimming lessons for the most disadvantaged children – who are also those most likely to be living in precarious housing in flood prone areas – we can help limit the human cost of extreme weather conditions.
The majority of deaths by drowning occur in the rural areas. Our rural swimming programme focuses on a district of Thua Thien Hue province called Phu Loc. The abundance of open water (rivers, lakes, the lagoon and the sea) means that drowning prevention here is an absolute priority. We teach children to swim in local environments – rivers, lagoons, and in open sea – under safe supervision under STA UK Swimming standards.
How does it work?
In 2011 following a successful urban programme we brought our swimming programme to rural Vietnam to provide high quality swimming tuition where it was needed most. Hue Help and our partners have now taught over 3,000 children from rural areas surrounding Hue to swim. These children learn about the dangers of open water, water safety, survival skills, and how to rescue others in emergencies.
We have also trained local school teachers and tutors to ensure that they can continue teaching these skills to even more children.
For recent updates on our annual swimming programme visit our news page. Click on the bands below to find out what swimming courses we have run over the past few years.
We are working with the Department of Education and Training at the moment to finalise our plan for 2017. We are looking to expand SFS further!
In 2016 we partnered with NCA/NAV and the Swimming Teacher’s Association (STA) to expand our model to a further five districts. We trained 101 teachers and 1,728 children.
In 2015, we continued our partnership with NCA / NAV from 2013, and expanding SFS in a further five districts. We trained 68 teachers and 2,394 children.
In 2014, we provided training for 33 teachers in Phu Loc, who went on to train 1,696 in their community.
Thanks to Laguna Lang Co, British Business Group Vietnam, and generous friends, family, and supporters for their support!
We collaborated with Nordic Assistance to Vietnam (NAV) to carry out a rural swimming programme in July and August. This project provided water safety, swimming and first aid skills to elementary aged school children who are vulnerable to drowning in Central Vietnam’s most frequently flooded areas. In charge of technical aspects, Hue Help assisted with course organisation, risk assessments, and monitoring and evaluation.
With the assistance of the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), four courses were held initially to train 119 school teachers. These teachers and swimming tutors then taught 1,696 school children from 31 schools in rural areas near Hue. Participants learnt not only swimming skills but also water safety, survival and rescue skills.
We partnered with Thua Thien Hue Red Cross to implement this programme and were assisted by Phu Loc Education Affairs. This programme provided a swimming training course for Red Cross staff and swimming teachers. The Swimming Teacher’s Association (STA) partnered with us to train up to thirty swimming teachers, who then worked with ten secondary schools at ten separate sites in the summers of 2011 and 2012. In total, these ten sites trained 2,400 children to swim.