As a lover of swimming with her local swim club in Seattle, Washington, Neri Ganzarski was saddened to learn about the high rate of drowning among children in Asia. She decided she would like to see what she could do to help and set about raising funds for our Survival Swimming project in Bangladesh.
As part of her Bat Mitzvah celebrations for her 12th birthday, Neri held two events, one in Seattle with friends and one in Israel with her extended family. In lieu of gifts, she asked family and friends to donate to the SwimSafe program.
Neri raised $1800 dollars through her two fundraising events. This is enough to provide 90 children with essential swimming and water safety skills through the SwimSafe program or establish three village crèche programs that keep young children safe from drowning whilst providing education.
Neri initially planned on raising funds for a children’s swim team in a developing country that might be in need of help. However as she searched the internet for such a team, she came upon the Swim Safe website where she was shocked to hear about the drowning problem in countries across Asia. Once she learned about the amazing work that SwimSafe does, she was determined to help. As a swimmer, she knew of the joy swimming gives, as well as how important survival swimming skills are in keeping children and adults safe around water. Neri hopes that her efforts will encourage other children to do the same and raise funds for important community projects such as SwimSafe.
Neri says “When I saw that so many kids die because they don’t know how to swim – something that is so important and fun for me in my daily life – I knew that this was something I needed to try and change, even by a little bit. I like that SwimSafe is able to reach so many remote places and save so many lives.”
Roei, Neri’s father is extremely proud of his daughter’s efforts. “In our faith, the Bat Mitzvah is an important milestone and signifies a girl’s maturing into a young woman. I couldn’t be more proud than to see Neri forego what would probably have been very nice gifts for herself, and instead focus everyone’s attention to such an important cause that is dear to her heart. You can’t ask for more mature than that.”
If you would like to donate to the SwimSafe program, please visit the Global Drowning Fund www.globaldrowningfund.org.au