Friday, April 22, 2016

Why I think CEF's 'Water Safety Day' is important ~ Guest blog by CEF staff Ms Thuy

Every year CEF celebrates ‘Water Safety Day’ for all children in our Education Sponsorship Program. Most of our children are from the mountainous areas and don’t have much chance to go to the beach. Therefore, they are very excited and want to join in on this day very much. Just a few of the CEF children know how to swim, so this is a day the children can learn how to swim, but also learn how to be safe in water as well as have the knowledge about how to help people in the water.

In Vietnam, we not only have a long coast but also many rivers and ponds. Most of the Vietnamese children love to go to be by the water in the summer to relax in the cool water. However, the problem is that not many of them know how to swim.

According to the World Health Organization’s survey, there are 32 children in Vietnam who die from drowning every day! Vietnam’s rate of child drowning deaths is one of the highest in Asia. Last week, nine grade 6 students drowned while swimming in Tra Khuc river, in Quang Ngai province.
This incident has made people wake up and realize the importance of everyone having swimming skills. This occurrence makes everyone want to do something to make their children safe. The rich parents can afford to take their children to swimming centers after their children’s school day. But the poor parents have a different solution which is to not allow their children to go to the beach or to a river. However, it is not a good solution because children don’t always do what their parents ask them to do. It’s very important for all children to learn how to swim.

Some schools now are including swimming lessons in their school program and organizations are teaching children at schools for free and NGO’s like ours have days at the beach to teach water safety, floating and swimming. The change needs to happen faster though as 32 child deaths a day in Vietnam is tragic.

(Photos - first two by Etienne and others by Linda)

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