Frequently asked questions

Where does SwimTayka operate?

SwimTayka will work in any location around the world where underserved communities live near open water, providing the host country is safe for our volunteers to visit and work in, and providing there is a host NGO  available to work with SwimTayka.

Currently, we are working with NGOs in South America, Central America, North America and Asia


What does volunteering involve?

Volunteering with SwimTayka is very similar to volunteering with other organisations.  We ask for a time commitment of 2 weeks to 2 months – depending on your availability and the necessity of the programme.

As a swimming instructor, you may spend up to 6 hours a day working with children on land, in the pool, or in the ocean. Volunteers are supported by established NGOs in the area and will have at least one group meeting per week. Individual support is provided on an ‘as required’ basis.

What certifications or experience does a volunteer need to have?

All swimming instructors must be experienced, open water swimmers, Tri-Athletes, certified swimming instructors or lifeguards.  Volunteers who also have experience working with children in the water, embody a passion for clean water and environmental education are welcome.

Volunteers with a basic level of Spanish or other language local to the project, will thrive.

How much does it cost to be a volunteer?

Volunteering with SwimTayka, like many other international service organisations, has fees. The fees do vary from project to project so if you have a specific budget in mind, please get in touch and we can help you identify projects that fit your pocket. Or, we can give you ideas about how to raise extra money to take part in the project that appeals to you most. 

You will need to make your own travel arrangements to get to the project and provide your own travel insurance and day to day living expenses. Again this will vary widely due to the project, it’s location and your personal circumstances.

If you want to volunteer in one of the non-swimming roles, then please contact us directly for the costs involved which start at around £200.

What do I get in return?

The fees cover orientation and training, team gear, and local transportation whilst volunteering.

What are the risks of open water swimming?

1.2 million people around the world die by drowning every year, more than two persons per minute. Of them more than 50 percent are children. There are perhaps eight to ten times more who experience a drowning process but who reach safety alone or are rescued by their peers, by others or by lifesavers/lifeguards. The risks of open water swimming include poor water quality, inclement weather, submerged hazards, boating hazards, currents, dangerous marine life, and hypothermia. Learning the skills to manage these risks and reach safety or help others reach safety is critical to open water survival.

Whom does SwimTayka serve?

SwimTayka primarily serves underprivileged children who live along the world’s open lakes, rivers and oceans. We also work with older children and adults to train them to be swim teachers, so that they can pass the knowledge through the generations.

Why swimming?

Open water swimming develops a life skill for survival and self-confidence; it also puts us in direct contact with our environment and teaches us key principles of ecosystem health and clean water, building a deep respect and care for our earth.

Who are the teachers?

SwimTayka instructors are an international team of passionate and experienced open water swimmers and educators. Everyone on the team is certified as a lifeguard and/or swim instructor.

Why teach children?

Drowning is a leading cause of death among children across the globe. By teaching children to swim, we invest for generations to come.

Can I still be a volunteer if I am not qualified to teach Swimming?

SwimTayka needs volunteers in other aspects of helping with the organisation too. Are you a Marketing expert? A fundraising wizard perhaps? Get in touch with us as we need many other skilled professionals to help keep the wheels turning and assist our teams of swimmers. Everyone has a place in SwimTayka.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

You will be provided with a teeshirt which should be worn for meetings and fund raising events you attend. However you will need to provide your own swim wear and day to day clothing.

Is my accommodation and food paid for?

We recommend the best accommodation for your stay, which can range from 10-40 GBP per day, you will need to make arrangements for your own meals.

Will I get my money back if I cancel?

There is a non-refundable deposit which will not be returned.
Depending on when you cancel, you will receive a proportion of the remaining money paid as follows:
If you cancel …
more than 90 days prior to project starting – 100% of the balance will be refunded
61 to 90 days – 50% of the balance will be refunded
31 to 60 days – 25% of the balance will be refunded
Less than 30 days – 0% will be refunded