Swim & Survive program for the children of East African migrants and refugees
Swim program, “Swim, Survive and Socialise” for the children of East African migrants and refugees living in western Sydney has been expanded, empowering a new generation of children with vital swimming and water safety skills. This program is run through the Horn of Africa Relief and Development Agency (HARDA).
Sydney Motorway Corpoation is proud to be supporting this important initiative which is giving migrants and refugee children aged between six and 15 from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia the opportunity to participate in a free, safe and fun program where they’re learning crucial skills to help keep them safe in the water. The grant funding has enabled the expansion of their summer swim program with more than 80 children now taking part in the program in January 2018, which is also indirectly benefiting around 500 children, parents and carers from Homebush West and Auburn and other parts of western Sydney.
HARDA volunteer Fiona Carr highlighted the importance of educating children and parents within Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities about water safety with many children participating in the program having never been exposed to the water.
“Now these children are living Australia, where we’re surrounded by water, if they don’t know how to swim they can get into trouble. By taking part in these classes, children learn to appreciate how much fun and how healthy swimming can be, while also becoming better swimmers and gaining vital life skills which allow them to integrate with others in the community and participate in water activities without fear.” Ms Carr said.