The aim of the “Water Safety” programme of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation is teach the youth the correct safety rules when in and around water and is aimed at raising awareness around drowning.
The Foundation has chosen to focus its efforts on children, since they are the most highly exposed to drowning hazards. They are also the best vehicle for relaying such vital knowledge to their parents, family and the community at large. Many people do not realise that drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury deaths across the world. It is a silent killer that is very deadly for young children in particular.
Difference Made In Water safety
WORKSHOPS & TRAINING
In 2017, The South African Foundation linked with Lifesaving South Africa to expand the reach of the school programme by making use of their qualified lifeguards. The Lifesaving SA’s Watersmart module is brought into the school curriculum in South African schools as a classroom-based educational water safety programme aimed at Grade 4 pupils. This module also covers the discovery of the marine and aquatic environments such as rivers, lakes, ponds, seas and dams, and discussed the importance of environmental conservation.
The collaboration between the Foundation and Lifesaving South Africa was a natural one given that the two organisations share the same goal: using preventive measures so that people are at less risk of drowning through numerous educational and training programmes and lifesaving competitions.
SA’s Watersmart programme, for example, is reaching out to schools in regions across the Western and Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, the North West and the Freestate. It is a classroom-based educational water safety programmme developed to complement the current Grade 4 Life Skills curriculum. Their Holiday Programme in 2017 visited 101 schools, aimed at young children in disadvantaged communities. Over 20 000 children were included in the programme, and even took 79 children to an excursion to a beach in Durban for first-hand life-saving training. The Foundation has also worked to train swimming coaches and lifeguards and teach adults and instructors about first aid and CPR. Lifesaving SA’s Watersmart programme has created temporary employment for 49 trained facilitators. Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco is a Patron of Lifesaving South Africa.
The Foundation also hosts training days and workshops that provide vital skills to increase water safety. These include learning about the equipment and skills needed for an aquatic rescue, CPR and first aid, and lifesaving techniques.
The Foundation’s Ambassadors attend events where they present the critical issues surrounding water safety, thus increasing public knowledge which further highlights the issue on the health policy agenda.