At the Darcey Sunshine Foundation we use a 5 pronged approach to drowning prevention. Through creating partnerships between pre-schools from vulnerable communities and local, accredited swim schools, we can offer practical water safety education as part of the Grade R curriculum. Our program runs from April to November each year and is made up of 5 key components...
WATER SAFETY THEORY
What better way to encourage children to retain the information they're taught than through story telling? An engaging story can last a life time. That's why we have created Sunny the Seal Pup and Sipho Starfish, two loveable characters who can help teach our sunshine kids the basics of water safety through their interactive story. A follow up workbook for each child aims to cement this information over a 10 week period, before the children even get near the water.
26 SURVIVAL SWIM LESSONS
Once each child has learned the basics of water safety, we introduce them to the water. Over a 13 week period each child attends twice weekly lessons, focusing on learning to float, and move themselves to safety. In this position a child can breathe and shout for help, whilst remaining at the surface of the water. Floating also helps the child to relax and conserve energy, further reducing the chances of drowning from physical fatigue.
We also focus on peer rescue, empowering each child with skills to use in an emergency, whilst keeping themselves safe...too many lives are lost through trying to jump in to save a friend.
Each child receives the means to learn, including swim pack with costume, cap and towel, workbook, nutritious snack, a qualified instructor in a warm pool and transport to and from each lesson. For R2000/£100 you could sponsor a child entire water safety journey!
Adequate nutrition is a vital part of every child's development. For this reason, we ensure every child receives a nutritious snack after every lesson, allowing for the correct fuel for continued learning.
Our Sunshine Energy Bars are made by community members with donated ingredients. Are you local to Somerset West? Why not make us a batch of bars for our lessons? Further afield? R200/ £10 would provide ingredients for 30 bars!
CARE GIVER EDUCATION
Active, adult supervision is one of the vital steps in drowning prevention. Our care giver education days teach parents, teachers and other care givers the importance of supervision of any child around water. We also cover beach and sea safety and basic CPR for emergency situations.
It is vital for every parent to understand that a child being able to swim, does not make them drown proof, ACTIVE supervision is still essential at ALL times.
BEACH AND SEA SAFETY
With rip currents taking many lives each year (even those of confident swimmers) it is essential that every child is taught how to play safely at the beach.
Following our survival swim lessons, we take every child for a day at the beach. In partnership with other life saving organisations, we ensure every child leave with an understanding of the risks associated with the ocean, where to find and lifeguard, and what to do in an emergency situation. RELAX, FLOAT, PUT ONE HAND IN THE AIR AND CALL FOR HELP!