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Creating self-sustaining swim programmes around the world

There is a great proverb that goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

And this is, in our own way, exactly what we aim to do with our SwimTayka programmes (and it’s a bonus that the proverb is water-related!)

At SwimTayka, we don’t want to come in, teach a few children to swim and then withdraw. Our aim is to create programmes that becoming self-sustaining within five years.

Our mission is to give disadvantaged communities around the world access to swimming teachers who not only provide the life skills of swimming, but create a legacy for today’s children, who will grow up to teach the next generation.

So, how does this work?

We partner with local NGOs or charities in the locations we pinpoint as needing our support. Currently, we have programmes operating in Peru, Brazil and Indonesia. For 2024, we have Uganda coming on board.

We work alongside our partners, helping to create a swimming and drowning prevention programme that will give children life-saving skills. At the same time, we will train local people to become swim instructors. As children move through the programme, they may themselves become swim teachers.

In this way, the programmes become self-sustaining as local people take ownership.

Our longest-running programme is in Peru, where we are approaching our fifth year. Here we partner with Otra Cosa Network. The swimming programmes, which runs for several weeks of the year, are now being delivered by a mix of volunteers from overseas and also local Peruvians who want to help their community. 

Would you like to find out more about our work? Or are you interested in volunteering for one of our programmes in 2024? Or, if you are a keen swimmer, how about signing up for a Channel relay team and swimming the English Channel? We’d love to speak to you to tell you more.