The Foundation's main goal is to save lives by preventing drowning. This can be achieved by making children aware of the dangers associated with water, by giving swim lessons and teaching life-saving techniques.
The Foundation originally started by implementing their own Learn to Swim and Water Safety programs in Morocco and South Africa. In time, they were able to research and connect with other individuals, foundations, and associations who have similar objectives as the Foundation.
Through these connections, mainly those made at a biannual drowning prevention conference run by the International Life Saving Federation, they learned of a vast amount of programs that are already in place teaching children to swim and are in need of financial assistance. The programs that they are supporting are a combination of learn to swim, water safety education in classrooms, distribution of rescue boards, and partnering with international lifesaving and rescue associations to train lifeguards. The goal is to reach countries such as Bangladesh, Canada, France, Greece, India, Madagascar, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, USA, and Zimbabwe.
The Foundation estimates that 46,000 children will gain access to swim instruction, proper water safety, and/or life rescue skills over the course of late- 2014 through 2015.
For the time frame below, the Foundation is giving itself from late-2014 to December 2016 to cover all the launch and completion dates. The long-term goal is to continue programs through coming years when appropriate and/or when it can be expected.
All programs run differently because swimming lessons are often taught outdoors during warm months in areas that lack indoor facilities and heated pools. Due to the fact that these programs are running in different geographic regions throughout the world, they need to take place during different months and this timing is tailored to the different climates in each of the regions.
Furthermore, programs that are launched in 2015 will be customized based on a specific region's drowning hazards. For example, in Sudan, swimming is taught in the River Nile because that is a main body of water used by the residents. In Zanzibar, Tanzania, the training is concentrated in the ocean because it is an island. But not all programs are able to offer this advantage. For example, a majority of Canadians swim in lakes, but the 'learn to swim' program takes place at local pools. The reason for this is that lakes are only swimmable for a short time in the summer due to such cold temperatures throughout the year and school is not in session during that time and this particular program works very closely with the public school system.
Typically lifeguards run the classroom-based water safety education programs, and they touch upon many subjects such as water safety equipment and how to use it, beach and boat safety, basic CPR and first aid, helping a drowning victim out of the water, how to survive rip currents, pool safety rules, how to read the various signs that can be found around bodies of water, etc.
The Foundation is also concentrating some of their efforts on lifeguard training. They are teaming up with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution which runs a program once per year to master train about 30 lifeguards from various countries in Africa so that they can return to their countries and teach others how to become lifeguards. The Foundation is also opening the Centre de Sauvetage Aquatique de Monaco (Aquatic Lifesaving Center of Monaco) in the fall which will train all children in grade 8 in the local middle schools how to become junior lifeguards. The center will also be open to all people who would like lifesaving lessons. In addition to the above, the Foundation is also distributing new top of the line rescue boards to underfunded beaches throughout the world.
The Foundation's main objective is to save children's lives from drowning. They are seeking financial resources, so they can continue to fund their own programs and create new centers in new regions. They also would like to continue to support existing programs run by organizations with the same values as theirs. There is an abundance of foundations, associations, and organizations that are doing great work teaching children all over the world water safety and how to swim. As an underfunded sector, they are all in need of financial aid, so they can continue their work each year and reach as many children as possible to help prevent drowning worldwide.
The Foundation knows how to create customized swimming lessons and water safety programs for children in various parts of the world. They can also provide financial assistance to already-existing learn to swim programs and they can provide lifesaving equipment, such as rescue boards, to underfunded beaches worldwide.
The Foundation's support for programming around this issue brings broader attention to the significance and gravity of drowning figures around the globe. The Foundation's goal is to continue raising public awareness about this catastrophic epidemic to the best of their ability.