Despite being a coastal country, 80% of Cameroon’s population can’t swim. Drowning in the sea and in lakes is a daily occurrence.

Our partnership work in Cameroon paved the way for our pioneering Aquatic Survival programme, which is now being developed in Tanzania and Ghana.

We’ve realised that there is a global need for this kind of swim-survival training, particularly in Africa where there is no dedicated service to provide it at present.

Thanks to the initiative of local lifesavers and the support of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) - Cameroon, we know this training works and can now develop it further in other African countries.

The difference we’ve made

In January 2012 we joined forces with the Swimming Teachers’ Association (STA) to deliver swim-survival training in Kribi, Cameroon.

The 6-day course covered basic first aid, resuscitation, safety in open-water environments and the technical knowledge and practical skills required to teach basic swimming and survival skills. Candidates travelled from across the country to train with two RNLI lifeguard trainers and a qualifications development manager from the STA.

By the end of the week, 14 candidates qualified fully in the International Swimming Standards Teaching Qualification and six qualified as assistant teachers, enabling them to work alongside fully qualified instructors.

RLSS - Cameroon will continue to deliver a basic ‘learn to swim’ strategy across the country, using its network of new instructors. The training was the first of its kind in the country and the society is now seeking to roll out swimming lessons for schools, hotels and some commercial companies.