ANYBODY CAN DROWN
To provide an inclusive water safety program to communities along the Mekong River, and to equip teachers with swimming skills and training capabilities to ensure sustainability of the project.
Drowning is a leading cause of death in low and middle income regions of Asia (Unicef, (2012). Thirty two children drown daily in Vietnam (The Alliance for Safer Children, 2012). This number equates to 11,680 children per year losing their lives through a preventable cause. The World Health Organisation has recognised drowning as a serious and neglected public health threat.
The Australian Water Safety on the Mekong (AWSOM) Project was launched in 2013 as a result of a successful volunteer tour to Vietnam in January 2012. We are a small charity based in Perth, Australia (Charitable Licence 21613) and My Tho City, Vietnam (Certificate of Operation 402/CNV-HD). Donations received after 26/11/21 of $2.00 and over to AWSOM Project are tax-deductible under the Income Tax Assessment (Developing Country Relief Funds) Declaration 2021.
A group of dedicated teachers from Australian Swim Schools travel to Vietnam on an annual basis to run drowning prevention clinics for disadvantaged, disabled and orphaned village children along the Mekong River. In an effort to make our project sustainable we provide training and professional development workshops while in Vietnam as well as a scholarship program for Vietnamese swimming teachers to travel to Australia for training and experience. The team also runs a community education program in the remote regions of the Tien Giang Province.
The below video highlights our most important safety message......
FOR THE AWSOM PROJECT?
DISABILITY CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
Our Child Disability Sponsorship Program was delayed for several months due to the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam. However we are so excited to announce that the children were back in the pool from 18 April 2022.
Through the generosity of sponsors we have approximately 130 children with disability participating in the program. The sponsorship enables each child to receive weekly water safety and swimming lessons throughout the year, including transportation to and from the pool.
Please click here for information on how to become a sponsor today!
2021 and 2022 TEAMS
Our 2021 and 2022 visits to Vietnam were sadly cancelled due to the COVID-19 restrictions. During this period, the team has been working hard behind the scenes to support our partners in Vietnam. Our core committee members - Bev, Nikki, Matt, Nola, Rebecca and Ryan - plan to head to My Tho in January 2023 for strategic planning workshops, meetings with our stakeholders and partners, and exploration of further development and growth for our charity.
In January 2020 the AWSOM Project headed back to beautiful Vietnam. The team consisted of 17 amazing teachers and 3 fabulous lifeguards.
We are very excited to introduce the incredible and dedicated team members from throughout Australia who volunteered their time and expertise as well as self-funding their travel expenses: Rebecca Ross, Matthew Comito, Ryan Lee, Nola Osborne, Casey Willmore, Ryan McCracken, Rebekah Whinnen, Louise Scott, Kate Smith, Lily Shilkin, Catherine Elder, Alysha Ryan, Alison Morcom, Aeneva Poulish, Emily Woodfield, Teleya Beattie, Jordan Trunfio, Carter Fabling and Hayley Ryan.
The team was lead by our founders Bev Christmass and Nikki Grazulis and our patron Dr Mike Christmass also joined us.
We had an incredible busy week working with the children of My Tho running daily drowning prevention clinics, remote clinics, community education sessions, teacher training and water exercise classes.
We were also delighted to welcome the pre-Conference delegates from the International Swim Schools Association lead by CEO Mr Ross Gage and President Mr Wayne Pollock.