Dit artikel is hier in het Nederlands te lezen.
As previously shared, we had made a well-considered decision to add the construction of a Swimming Instruction Center to our goals. We are very excited that we can today announce that we have been able to realize this goal!
In Uganda, in spite of a fifth of the country being covered with water, the majority of the citizens sadly never learn to swim. Statistics about the overall traffic on Lake Bunyonyi, the area we are focusing on with HWMCO-Nederland and NiCA Foundation, show that every month at least three people will drown in the lake. More than 70% of the population who have to cross the lake every day, mainly by the use of dugout canoes, cannot swim. Lake Bunyonyi is the deepest lake in Uganda, the second deepest in Africa and the third deepest in the world. It’s depth varies from 40 to 900 meters! It is hard to find someone in the area who has not lost a dear one to the lake.
Since we started offering help in the lake area, we have come to understand that a vicious circle is existing considering the way people fear the lake. Because of their fear they are afraid to swim and because they cannot swim they are at risk to drown, which actually happens regularly as the statistics show. Because of the drownings, the overall fear of the lake that lives in the population gets confirmed and they continue avoiding swimming…By focusing on the children in the first place when offering swimming lessons, we hope that this existing vicious circle will in time be broken.
The photo slider below shows the construction process of the swimming center, which was built on a bank as an integrated part of the lake. Also a changing room has been constructed to enable the children to change ahead of and after swimming.
This Swimming Instruction Center has been built to serve the community at large, with the focus of course first of all on children. The purpose of our swimming lessons is to prepare them to survive in Lake Bunyonyi in case of encountering an emergency situation. Classes of all schools are very welcome to receive swimming lessons, after first contacting us to make arrangements. A small fee for will be asked, which is meant to cover some costs we have to make (like fuel for our boat whenever children need to be transported to the swimming pool with it) and to enable us to provide each child a slice of bread and a cup of tea after swimming; this because swimming is an energy consuming activity and most children (because of poverty) get only one meal every day.
We are again asking the community to join hands with us so that we can all together make this another successful project. In this context, please visit the page ‘What We Stand For’ to read about our principles. Considering the swimming pool, already one school, Burimba Primary School, is proving to be a great example in how to join hands! A group of actively cooperating mothers of pupils of the school have offered to contribute 40 liters of fuel for the boat each month. This considerably reduces the fee we have to count for pupils of that school. We thank this group of mothers for joining hands with us this way for the better future of their children!
A big thank you also goes to the people who realized the importance of this Swimming Instruction Center for the community at large and who offered to volunteer in its construction. Thank you for your great effort and for joining hands with us!
We are very excited about our swimming program getting started in the next weeks. It is our aim to have the lessons given as much as possible by trained volunteers.
Please stay tuned for our updates!
HWMCO-Nederland & NiCA Foundation
‘We Fight Poverty by Bringing Development.’
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