The SwimSafe Danang program, a survival swimming program for children in central Vietnam, has recently benefited from a donation of water test kits and dive discs from PoolWerx. The resources were presented to instructors at a SwimSafe Training of Trainerrs Workshop that was held on Sunday 17 April 2011. The workshop provided refresher training for the head teachers of the SwimSafe Program in the lead up to the new season.
SwimSafe Danang, which is now in its third year, is taught by local primary school teachers in portable pools in schools. It is also taught at the beach by Danang lifeguards. The program has now taught over 10,000 children the lifesaving skills of survival swimming and CPR. The program was developed by the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (RLSSA), The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC) and the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research – Bangladesh (CIPRB) in a bid to curb the epidemic of child drowning that claims the lives of 32 children in Vietnam between the ages of 1 and 17 every day.
The head teachers received the chlorine test kits and dive discs to take back to their teaching venues. The donations were much appreciated and will go a long way towards improving water quality and teaching outcomes at 12 SwimSafe venues across Da Nang. Over the next few months the head teachers will be taught and supported in using this new equipment by Sophie Buchhorn and Deborah Quilliam, volunteers from Australia who are in Danang as part of the Australian Governments Volunteers for International Development from Australia (VIDA) program.
As VIDA Deborah says “The children loved the dive discs, donated by PoolWerx! We ran through some progressions with the teachers after we had finished working with the children and they continued to play with the dive discs the whole time.”
Sophie also recognised that the training of the instructors in the use of the test kits, as well as their integration into the program, may prove to be challenging. “All of the instructors are new to running a pool and some are not comfortable with using chlorine. Hopefully when the instructors see how easy it is to monitor the chlorine levels in the water, they will feel more comfortable with maintaining the chemical levels in the pools, which will not only benefit the teachers, but the children as well.”
Training of trainers continues this month in Danang ahead of the summer program set to kick off in May 2011.