May 7, 2017: Swimming (Ann)

We’re so impressed at the determination of the community in Unguja Ukuu to help improve the lives of their own community. Five of the strongest swimmers from the village are learning how to teach water safety and swimming skills. They are being trained by a group from Nungwi who are supported by the RNLI.  Although Zanzibar has the most beautiful beaches, there is a high incidence of drowning.  Hence the RNLI’s initiative to help prevent more deaths from drowning.  There’s quite a bit of theory as well as practical sessions and the RNLI has developed a great book that has been developed to help teachers understand the specific conditions around the island. Training started with a lesson and test in Kendwa to ensure each swimmer could swim for 200 meters.  Our volunteer, Chloe spoke to one of the trainers who told her that he was motivated to teach swimming after a boat sailing from Zanzibar to Pemba ran into trouble and many people died from not knowing how to swim.

Chloe has now returned to England after an amazing year in Africa and spending 10 months running the Safari English Club.  She’s achieved so much, giving the children more confidence in speaking English as well as enthusiasm to try activities they have never dreamed of! Before she left Zanzibar she ran a final outing (safari) to Kendwa.  The students said they had never been anywhere so beautiful before.  They swam, played games and even had a boat trip – all the while practicing English, of course!

For much of April the students were on school holidays…but not the students in Safari English Club!  They had an intensive day of English with Chloe and the teachers from Safari English Club.  There was plenty of time for students to stand up in front of their peers and gain valuable experience in talking to the group.  And there were more stories about the debate in Dar for Haroun to relate and a birthday to celebrate.

The students staged a farewell talent show for Chloe in her last week on the island. The range of skills on display included acrobatics, dances, comedy sketches, singing, poems, speeches, magic tricks and a fire show. And the teachers did a rap!

Meanwhile, Gasica has attended the third part of the Headmasters’ Management Course in Arusha, sponsored by the Brighton and Hove Rotary Club and the Goodall Foundation, also from Brighton.  One of the main benefits of participating in the course is that he’s now part of a supportive and active network of professionals across Tanzania.  He says he’s benefitted so much from learning from his peers.  This time the focus was on learning about having a growing mindset (rather than a fixed mindset) as well as about working effectively with donors (and sponsors). As ever, he’s returned to Zanzibar keen to share what he’s learnt with the teachers at ZL4LF.