Learn to swim program for refugees coming to ACT | Canberra weather

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Swimming is part of an Australian summer, but for refugees and migrants it can be a dangerous activity. Enter four ANU students and young professionals determined to make it safer. Annie Gao, Clare McBride-Kelly, Andrew Nolan and Liam McBride-Kelly are united by a mutual friend of the refugee community, who tragically drowned last year at a freshwater site in Canberra. In honor of their friend, the group created the Refugee and Migrant Swimming Project, a non-profit initiative to teach water safety and swimming to Canberra’s growing refugee and migrant population. “Deaths like that of our friends are completely preventable in cities that have culturally informed and accessible swimming lessons for refugees and migrants. Canberra is the only capital in Australia that does not offer such programs,” said Mrs. McBride-Kelly. “I feel like this is a real critical gap in ACT because people don’t realize that freshwater spots are some of Australia’s deadliest swimming destinations.” For every 130 $ raised, this will cover one person to undertake 10 weeks of swimming and water safety. lessons that help someone move from likely drowning if they fall in water to swimming with confidence for recreational purposes. READ MORE Data from the Royal Life Saving Society showed that between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2019, there were 572 migrant water-related deaths which accounted for 29% of total drowning deaths in Australia during this period. The study found that an average of 57 migrants drowned in Australia each year, with ACT recording four deaths in the past 12 months. The Swimming for Refugees and Migrants Project aims to have its first pilot event in January, which co-founder Annie Gao says has already received significant support and interest. “So far there have been 115 expressions of interest, so there is definitely a and in the community for this stuff,” Ms. Gao said. “We don’t want this to be something that lasts. a year or two and then it stops, so we would really like to explore as many avenues as possible to give it longevity. Funding ideas are being developed and we have already received a lot of support from organizations to ensure that the Canberra program will have the necessary structures. “Royal Life Saving ACT is one of the organizations playing a role. important in making sure this program has the structural mechanisms it needs, ACT CEO Cherry Bailey saying they couldn’t be more eager to offer their support. definitely a gap within our program delivery suite, so we were more than happy to join and support them when we got the call, “Ms. Bailey said.” We hope to create something lasting that encourages participants to develop their own confidence and then become leaders within this new program. ”The group worked to ensure that they had a large number of organizations to support them in order to e give the program the best chance to excel. “[Migrant And Refugee Settlement Services] provides support to make the program as culturally safe and trauma-aware as possible, then Navitas English offered to provide free English lessons to those with language barriers before jumping into the pool, ”said said Ms. Gao. “We have also received incredible donations from the community through our GoFundMe page which is always available and accessible for people to give to this great cause. To support the project, visit www.gofundme.com/e/refugee-migrant-swimming-project Our journalists work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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