A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015 in Penang. Prior to my arrival to Penang, I had some logistical difficulties related to my day job which slightly delayed my arrival. However, I made it! I was so happy that I made it after all the challenges, and I was very pleased to meet all of my Nile Swimmers friends there. As I much as I was excited about the conference and about my presentation, I was slightly worried that I wasn’t well prepared.
As soon as the conference started, all my worries vanished away. Running between different rooms to attend the presentations I marked on my programme book, networking with all the great people I ran into and finding my way to the lunch queues… my mind was too busy for worries!
The 3 days of the conference were gone too soon. But what these few days left would stay for a lifetime, I’m sure. When I first joined the Nile Swimmers, I learn how big the drowning problem is. But, I thought that it was only us, or very few people, who actually cared for this cause and were making any efforts to reduce the problem. Being at this conference made it clear to that we are not alone, there are so many people who are as concerned and as dedicated. It’s always good to know that you are not alone! I got to see the big picture, what everyone around the world is doing, how small organization and big organization work and where are the gaps.
I’ve came back with so many ideas and plans. All the experiences I had were so inspiring and useful for our work in Sudan, but there was a presentation about coordinating the drowning prevention efforts with other community development efforts. I felt like this presentation speaks to me personally, and all the ideas suggested were very applicable at home in Sudan.
However, my highlight of the conference is definitely the feedback we got as a Nile Swimmers team. People were so generous in expressing how they were inspired and touched by all the work we are doing. It was overwhelming and heartwarming. It was motivating and encouraging to carry on the journey.