In June 2019, Children’s Education Foundation (CEF) hosted another successful Water Safety Day in Vietnam. Fifty children actively participated and received first-hand water safety training, now more comfortable and confident in and around the water.

With over 2,000 child drownings taking place in Vietnam each year, this is such a serious and important event for the CEF students, many of whom live close to water and/or in fishing communities. However, the CEF team managed to make the day not only informative and instructive, but very fun and memorable for the children. On behalf of all of us at CEF and GoPhil, thank you for your support of these children, their education and their safety!

“This is the second time Trinh attended Water Safety Day which brings joy to her at the end of the academic year. Like before, she highly appreciated the swimming teachers’ enthusiasm and humor which made students enjoy the lessons a lot. They taught students how to prevent drowning at the beach which is very useful. This time she learned how to swim freestyle stroke, backstroke and sidestroke.”

 – CEF staff member after interviewing one of the participants –

The day began with a bus ride from Hoi An to the beautiful Le Belhamy Resort at Ha My beach. Once at the beach, the students were split into two groups to learn water safety theory, before putting their learning into practice! It was a hot day, but fortunately the sea was calm, so the children were able to practice floating and swimming peacefully.

Many children commented that the instructors from Swim Viet Nam were very informative, enthusiastic and funny, which made them feel comfortable and safe. There were 17 teachers, 13 volunteers and 9 CEF team members in attendance, which meant plenty of careful supervision and individual attention for each student. Many of the students had attended CEF Water Safety Day events in previous years, so they were able to move on from floating and doggie paddle to more advanced swimming techniques such as backstroke and sidestroke. After the lessons, the students animatedly took part in several fun water games, including tug-of-war and a relay.

When the time came for lunch, many of the students did not want to get out of the water – they were having too much fun! Lunch at the resort was a nice time for the children to relax, make friends and reflect on the eventful morning. After a long morning in the sun and the water, CEF organized for the children to watch a movie at a theater in Hoi An. The CEF team could tell the children enjoyed themselves because of all the laughter and smiles. At 3pm, the children returned home to their parents, each with a framed photo from the day to take with them. All around, it was a very successful Water Safety Day and CEF hopes to host another in 2020.

“Although she has joined the [Water Safety Day] twice, this is the first time she’s been in the water. She liked staying in the water so much that she did not want to come back to land. She liked practicing floating best because it is the best way for her to remember the theory. She wants to join this event next year so that her swimming skills improve.”

– CEF staff member about one of the GoPhil sponsored students –

After all the WSD activities were completed, there was a modest amount left over from the proposed budget, which CEF will allocate to another workshop in September 2019 on Communication Skills & Human Trafficking for scholarship students living near the Vietnam-Laos border. This is another important topic, especially as communities living near the border are at higher risk of unsafe migration and cross-border trafficking.

From all of us at GoPhil and CEF, thank you once again for your support of these students and this incredibly important focus on safety!

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