NSRI Education Programme has reached 2 million children, teaching them how to be safe around water and what to do in an emergency
The NSRI Education Programme, established in 2006, has reached 2 million children across South Africa. As we head into the next phase of growth, we welcome Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco as Patron of this programme.
Drowning is a cause of great concern around the world. In South Africa more than 600 children die by drowning each year, and many more are disabled.
Drownings are largely preventable and for that reason require commitment to education and public awareness.
NSRI was established some 50 years ago as a search and rescue organisation. In 2006 the lack of data around drowning led us to request a research document from the Medical Research Council, the results of which showed that children were most at risk, and principally children from impoverished communities. This led to the establishment of our NSRI Education Programme which has to date reached 2 million children.
Our instructors visit schools and teach children what to do in an emergency, who to call for help, how to rescue a friend and how to do HandsOn CPR.
Partnerships and collaboration has been critical to the success of this programme. In 2015 the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation (PCMF) joined hands with us through sponsorship and over the past 3 years the relationship has developed.
“Working together with PCMF is the extension of our collaboration, cooperation and partnership strategy within the NSRI to create a wide network within which to prevent drowning through public awareness, education and survival swimming skills development. We have a huge challenge to reach a million school children every year and make them ‘safe’ and with the Foundation we believe we can give children a future,” said NSRI’s CEO, Dr Cleeve Robertson.
“We have worked with the PCMF CEO Ryk Neethling to scope out a number of joint initiatives which we will roll out over the next 2 years, including a collaboration to develop an accredited survival swimming course which is not restricted by copyright, so that it can be freely shared countrywide and worldwide. Each initiative scoped out ensures that we save lives, change lives and creates a future for one person, one family and one community at a time,” said Dr Robertson.
“We are excited to partner with the NSRI to reach as many children as possible to teach them basic water safety and CPR. The NSRI has a long track record in drowning prevention and its goals fall directly in line with those of Princess Charlene of Monaco in saving lives through education. This partnership will get us one step closer to reaching our goals of reaching 1 million children per year,” says PCMF CEO Ryk Neethling.
For more information on the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation (PCMF) visit www.pcmfsa.co.za
Picture: Deborah Rossouw, for NSRI.