Learn to swim

Senegal - 10.06.2014 - 28.03.2015



The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Maison du Rugby united their means and skills to set up a “Learn to Swim” programme in Dakar and its surrounding areas whose aim is to teach children and teenagers from 6 to 15 years old.
As is the case in many large coastal towns, young people play in the sea without actually knowing how to swim or in places where swimming is forbidden and there are no lifeguards.
In Dakar, between 2009 and 2012, out of 654 reported drownings, 536 people died — that is an average of 11 deaths per month.
Based on this evidence, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Maison du Rugby approached the Fédération Sénégalaise de Natation et de Sauvetage (swimming and lifesaving federation in Senegal) as well as the cities of Dakar, Yoff, Gorée and Gueule Tapée.  Together they set up a programme, teaching swim lessons in the sea and pools.  They are also circulating water safety messages to the public.

The results announced during the closing ceremony this past March, were remarkably positive:
  • Initially it was expected that 1,000 youths would take part in the lessons given by the 20 trained instructors, but in fact the number was much higher:  1,500 took part, with near gender parity.
  • 200 children were licensed with the Federation and continue to train.
  • 4 awareness days have been organised. The first on Bceao beach in Yoff in the presence of the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, one at the Dakar Pool, one on the Island of Gorée and lastly at the Maison du Rugby.
The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and the Maison du Rugby have decided to renew this programme and take it to the city of Saint Louis, 250km from Dakar.

© Sylvain Cherkaoui/Apprentis d’Auteuil 2014