Our flagship Learn To Swim programme has kicked off for 2017 in Maalhos with 12 children from grade 3. Since its inception in 2014, Soneva Learn To Swim has taught 223 people in the Baa Atoll how to swim including 168 children. Additionally, 28 swimming instructors have been trained. This year we plan to carry out the program in 5 islands with an estimation of about 110 students just for this year.
The Baa Atoll is made up of 75 islands, 13 of which are inhabited with a population of over 11,000 people. Which means that instead of having neighborhoods like most main-landers, we have neighboring islands. Here at Soneva Fushi, we feel it is of the upmost importance to have a strong relationship with our neighbors in the Baa Atoll. Thanks to our Community Engagement Manager, Moomin, we are well on our way to making sure that the community knows how important it is to be in good relations with each other.
It is astonishing how many people live completely surrounded by water and don’t know how to swim! But, not only is this a program that teaches kids and adults how to swim, we also emphasize the importance of education on the marine world. We started our learn to swim class with an educational presentation about the creatures that live in the sea, how the sand is made to form the islands, and how to keep our oceans clean by reducing the use of plastic and putting trash where it belongs (e.g. not on the beach!).
This course will end in a bonus lesson on … SNORKELLING! Most of the local children have never been snorkelling before, so we are overjoyed to be the ones to help them see the amazing environment that surrounds them and supplies a livelihood for their every-day well being.
Thanks to the help of the swimming instructors in Maalhos, these kids, although nervous at first, ended the day splashing around and playing underwater games with no fear. One of our goals is to introduce these children to the underwater world, so they too can become ambassadors of the marine life in the Maldives. Let’s hope that by making a big splash we can create a ripple that will help change the world!
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