SwimLanka has been set up as a charitable Trust and is the brainchild of a group of Sri Lankan and expatriate individuals in Sri Lanka, who after the Tsunami disaster in 2004 realised the need for a large scale island-wide project ultimately aiming to teach all Sri Lankan children how to swim.
We are currently in our fourth year of operations and have reached over 16,000 children from nine of the ten tsunami affected coastal districts, and although the political situation in the North and North-East of the island has obstructed our efforts, it has made us more determined to help those displaced by the troubles and focus on the East, South and West coasts. Graduation ceremonies take place regularly and we are convinced that with our help, children are beginning to loose their fear of the sea and begin to enjoy swimming on a regular basis.
I am currently running SwimLanka in partnership with the child protection organisation Terre des hommes.
With funding and organisational help from TDH, we are currently targeting children in the Eastern provinces of Batticaloa and Ampara. Not only were the two districts devastated by the 2004 tsunami, children now face the onset of displacement from the current political situation in the North.
By using SwimLanka as a rehabilitation tool, we hope to instil a pre-tsunami 'mind set'