SwimTayka Activities

SwimTayka is saving lives, building the next generation of confident swimmers and clean water stewards.  A charity registered in England and Wales (1176079), SwimTayka provides environmental education and free swimming lessons to underprivileged children who live along the earth’s open waters, in countries such as Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, Nepal

Drowning is the third leading cause of accidental injury death for children worldwide; nearly 42 people die from drowning every hour. Every loss is a community trauma. One preventable drowning death is one too many.

Alongside this our world’s open waters are in crisis. Nearly everybody in open water is threatened by contamination, over-fishing, water shortages, or climate change impacts. As a global community, we must conserve, protect and clean up our water supplies.

Combining swimming with environmental education, we are nurturing a generation of world citizens who will act as environmental stewards who love, care for and respect the life-giving rivers, lakes and oceans along which they live.

It is our mission to give disadvantaged communities around the world access to swimming teachers who can not only provide the life skills of swimming but create a legacy in today’s children who will grow up to teach the next generation about water stewardship.

Learning to swim is a fundamental life skill. Not only does it build confidence in a child’s physical abilities in the water, but it also delivers a necessary connection between their survival in the water and their appreciation for aquatic ecosystems. The skill could make the difference between life and death.

We are all intricately connected to our waters. Water is fundamental and irreplaceable. We know that when we connect with the waters where we swim, we feel a sense of ownership and responsibility. We care for the water just as the water cares for us.

To ensure we are providing the best we can for the children we are working with the following organisations:

  • World Health Organisation

  • Bloomberg Philanthropy

  • RNLI International (Royal National Lifeboat Institution)

  • RLSS (Royal LifeSaving Society)

  • SwimEngland

  • iSTA (International Swimming Teachers Association)

  • Princess Charlene Foundation of Monaco

  • and other swimming organizations around the world.

Our environmental education curriculum aligns with the global mission to enrich humanity’s understanding of the aquatic environment and encourage sensitivity to, and protection of, the delicate ecological balance of aquatic life. Children in the SwimTayka programme learn water stewardship – about the importance of their local water and how by caring for their local environment, it builds with other local environments to come together as a planet. How, if everyone does their bit, we can start to repair the world’s clean water availability, the water cycle, the delicate balance of underwater and coastal ecosystems, municipal and agricultural water usage, wastewater management and human’s impact on aquatic environments.

The assumption that children who live near open water have an inherent knowledge of swimming and an appreciation for clean water stewardship is false. We have seen first-hand that children who are at greatest risk of drowning and who are most directly impacted by impaired water quality are often the under served children living right at the water’s edge. We aim to change that. To do this, we work globally. We collaborate with our hosts, local community organisations, to develop an environmental education curriculum that is specifically tailored to the ecological concerns of the waterside community where our projects take place. We also recruit worldwide for qualified volunteer educators, certified swim instructors and lifeguards to deliver swimming lessons. SwimTayka recruits experienced youth educators who possess local language proficiency and demonstrate a keen sense of cultural sensitivity.

How do our projects benefit the public?

We are working with a local NGO’s/Charities; to ensure that we provide lessons for the children most in need in the local community. Our partnering charities are already working with the people they have identified as most in need of help so we work alongside them to provide a swimming programme during the school holidays.

By providing the Swimming lessons, Lifesaving skills and Environmental Water Stewardship classes, the local public benefit because the children we teach, in turn teach their siblings, their friends, their cousins, their parents and their extended family and community about the things they learn with us. It starts small but the ripples spread outwards. We see them telling their parents not to throw plastic bottles into the sea, or the river. What’s more is they understand enough to tell them why they shouldn’t do it.

This in turn can help keep the local water cleaner and even if not free from disease, free from hidden obstacles in the water where children play and can at least avoid injury. This again is important as the poorer communities cannot afford to pay for the medical treatment required when this happens. Paying medical fees often means going without food or going to schooling instead.

We also know it will open doors to future jobs for the children such as life-savers in resorts, surfboard teachers on the beaches, even to become swimming instructors themselves.

We currently have many children enrolled in the SwimTayka swimming and environmental education programmes around the world. Our volunteers will:

  • Deliver the SwimTayka Method youth education programme in Drowning Prevention and Water Stewardship.  The programme is a high touch, hands-on, youth education module for children ages 4 – 14, to teach basic swimming skills, water safety, principles of environmental education, and tools for water stewardship.

  • Run a “Train the trainer” programme to teach local people the Aquatic Survival Water Safety Education Trainer/Environmental Water Stewardship/Assessor to ensure future sustainability for local people to run the project.

  • In preparation for the project launch, they will work closely with SwimTayka leadership in developing the Curriculum, allowing flexibility to make adjustments as needed for the public benefit.

  • In general, their work schedule will run weekdays during working hours:

    • Four mornings a week, roughly 9 am – 1 pm. One day a week may be reserved for planned field trips.

    • Volunteers will accompany the participants to and from the training location (a local pool or swimming area), provide dry-land instruction and in-water lessons, and ensure safety for all participants at all times.

    • The general structure of the day may be: 45 minutes travel time, 2 hours water drowning prevention, 2 hours environmental education.

To ensure additional benefits to the local public our volunteers:

  • must be at least 18 years old at the start of the programme

  • must have experience as a youth swim instructor or familiarity with environmental education principles.

  • must have familiarity with local culture and institutions.

  • will undergo a criminal background check

We have five-year plans with our partnering NGO’s/Charities to continue to provide education for the children, and running the Aquatic Survival Water Safety Education Trainer/Environmental Water Stewardship/Assessor programme to ensure that future generations of children can be taught by new tutors we will train.