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 Vietnam (Certificate of Operation 402/CNV-HD). The People's Committee of My Tho City has requested our ongoing assistance with the enormous task of ensuring the children in the region are provided with essential water safety skills and education.
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......
MEET THE TEAM
Click here to see the full list of our AWSOM team.
OUR HISTORY & FUTURE
Click here to read further about our history and future.
OUR PARTNERS & SPONSORS
Click here to read about our generous sponsors and partners of the AWSOM Project.
Click here to read about our scholarship program.
FOR THE AWSOM PROJECT?
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.
DISABILITY CHILD SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
The AWSOM Project has continued the Child Disability Sponsorship Program. Through the generosity of sponsors we have over 70 children with disabilities participating in the program. The sponsorship enables each child to receive regular 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!
Contact us using the form below if you would like to get involved.
Click here to see touching interviews with some of our team members.