A Splashingly Good Time At Soneva Fushi’s Learn-To-Swim Programme

This August, Soneva Fushi continued to build on the success of its Learn-to-Swim programme that teaches Maldivian children an important life skill, while impressing upon them the importance of taking care of the ocean.

Although the island nation of more than 1,000 coral islands is completely surrounded by the Indian ocean, many Maldivian children never learn how to swim. Apart from losing out on this important life skill, they also gather little to no knowledge of the ocean around them and the life it nurtures.


To remedy this, Soneva Fushi and its Slow Life Foundation began to teach Maldivian children and their moms how to swim in 2013. The Learn-to-Swim programme is designed to help the children become more confident in the water and inspire a new generation of Maldivians to protect their endangered coral reefs.

The programme has taught the basics of swimming and snorkelling to over 130 children in two years on two local islands – Eydhafushi and Maalhos, and certified adult swimming instructors.


60 local children participated in the programme this August 2016. Following their training and to celebrate, the children were taken out snorkelling on Eydhafushi  Island, to see the beautiful marine life found right on their doorstep. Many of these children had never snorkelled before and the marine biologists at Soneva had the special pleasure of helping them discover the underwater world. They were especially excited at the number of girls willing to don their masks and get out to the reef.


In 2013, the writer, filmmaker and adventurer Jon Bowermaster, documented the Learn-to-Swim programme to help create awareness on the link between swimming and ocean preservation in the Maldives. His film is available on Amazon, iTunes and xBox. Visit this link for more details. 

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