we started the swimming programme, none of the
students could swim before”, said Ms. Grace
Mbuthia one of their four sports teachers who
have been accompanying the students to the
are lost for words as to how well they can all
the Fun Day, the children swam in deep sea
waters when they were treated to a glass
bottom boat ride to the coral reef where they
snorkelled and observed marine life.
am sure none of these children have ever been
on a boat to the corals” said Francis Menza,
captain of the Jomo Kenyatta Volunteer and
Life-guard and Beach Watch team.
was very important for them to get in the
water and learn what creatures live in the sea
and how to swim safely in the ocean”.
These students come from remote fishing
villages living along the Kenyan coast, with
no basic swimming lessons avail-able to them,
let alone snorkelling.
students, their teachers and volunteer
lifeguards also worked in teams on other
activities on the Fun Day such as beach games,
marine and environmental education, as well as
a beach clean-up exercise.
Mbuthia says the programme was timely as well
as beneficial to the students in making them
of the children, especially the younger ones
were shy and scared of the water” she
see their confidence has grown in and out of
now interact more freely with other students
and their teachers”
fact, all the four sports teachers learned how
to swim together with their students.
was very challenging in the beginning being at
the same level with my students” Mr Kithi
Kombe pointed out.
the determination of even the younger ones
inspired me to keep going.”
teachers said they would like keep the club
going in school under the name Shark Swimmers.
are making arrangements on how the club can be
sustained and more children benefit from such
lessons” Mr Kombe explained.
students each received a certificate of
achievement, a school bag and a beach safety
awareness booklet at the end of the event.
programme is funded by the International
Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) under CRDF’s
(Crisis Response Development foundation)
Maritime Safety Program.
is the second group of children who have gone
through the training programme.