Today, I started to teach our first Aquatic Survival Instructor course in partnership with the Ministry of Education. We are working with them to train 30-40 school teachers as Aquatic Survival Instructors, we then have funding in place to support them delivering those messages to 40 schools – targeting thousands and thousands of children.
These school teachers aren’t rich, they aren’t poor. They live on the outskirts of Khartoum, and don’t really have much to do with the Nile on a regular basis. They aren’t particularly into water sports, nor do they use boats on a regular basis. In many ways, they are “typical” Sudanese people from Khartoum State.
In this photo, there are 33 of them. 11 of them have their hands up.
Just before I took the photo (with their permission) I asked the question…
How many of you have lost a family member to drowning in the Nile?
These people are not in any of the high-risk categories for drowning, yet one third of them have a brother, sister, cousin, father, mother, uncle or aunt that has died from drowning.
I’ve run classes before (with people who interact more frequently with the Nile) and almost everybody has put their hand up.
This is what we mean when we say Africa has a drowning problem.
These are the people that YOUR donations are funding, to pass on water safety messages, so that in future generations there are many fewer hands in the air in photos like this. You can be sure that they are motivated to spread the word.