By Amy Peden, TASC, Danang Vietnam
The SwimSafe Danang program has already been a resounding success with over 5500 children taught the lifesaving skills of survival swimming and water safety since the program commenced in June, 2009. All 12 SwimSafe venues operating in Danang city have done an amazing job, but one venue of note is Nui Thanh school, based in Hai Chau district.
Nui Thanh school and staff, ably led by Mr Nguyen Duc Tu, SwimSafe instructor, has been one of the program’s highest performing venues with a total of 456 student s taught during the official 3 month summer period. The school then participated in the pilot after-school program training a further 80 students in these important skills.
As a result of the widespread community interest in SwimSafe, the school also received an additional 100 enrolments for the new school year, based entirely on Nui Thanh’s participation in the SwimSafe program. Again, this is further evidence of the popularity of the SwimSafe program and the desire for survival swimming skills in Vietnam.
When asked about his participation in the program, Mr Tu said that he was happy to participate in the SwimSafe program because he contributes in a small way to helping children learn how to swim and be safe when in and around the water, very important in a city like Danang, named as such due to its long coastline. Mr Tu went on to say that “every year a typhoon hits Danang, so it is also good for children to be safe and know how to protect themselves in flood waters as well”.
“It is extremely important for Vietnamese children to learn how to swim”, said Mr Tu. “Danang has a lovely beach and if children know how to protect themselves when they or their friends get in trouble in the water, then children will be able to relax and fully enjoy the beach.”
“One of my most enjoyable experiences has been seeing how proud the children at my school are to be participating in the program, and also to see how happy their parents are when they see their children can swim and are no longer afraid of the water. The respect of the parents and children also makes me feel proud to be the one who has taught these children how to be SwimSafe.”