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.