The second annual INSPIRE Shore to Open Water Festival, organised in cooperation with Soneva Namoona, was place on Baa. Dhonfanu yesterday.
The three-day festival celebrated the graduation of 11 Swimming and Water Rescue (SWR) instructors trained through the Shore to Open Water Series of the Namoona INSPIRE programme. Participants came from Baa Maalhos, Dharavandhoo, Dhonfanu, Kamadhoo, Kudarikilu, Kendhoo, Noonu Magoodhoo, Lhohi, and Kudafari. The series, which was created in collaboration with the Maldives Swimming and Life Saving Skills Training School (MLSSTS), aims to foster ocean stewardship among island communities and the next generation of ocean users. First Lady Fazna Ahmed attended the graduation ceremony.
The SWR programme produces swimming instructors who will train competent swimmers in their communities and give them the knowledge and abilities they need to enjoy the water safely.
The SWR instructors had to teach swimming and water rescue to 253 people, including women and kids, in their island villages in order to graduate. Additionally, they finished a 150-hour course that the MLSSTS created and taught.
The instructors practised their techniques in a simulation drill that was held at the harbour during the graduation ceremony. A water polo match, a beach and island clean-up, and a community BBQ featuring Boduberu were all part of the celebration.
Speaking at the ceremony, First Lady Fazna Ahmed welcomed the program's graduates, emphasised the significance of Soneva Namoona's work, and highlighted the support that island communities and councils have provided for such work.
My lifelong ambition was to work as a swimming instructor. That wish has come true today, and my work now begins. I'll bring this medal back to my island and share with the local kids how important swimming, the ocean, and safety measures are. This is my objective, stated Aqisa Ahmed, a Baa Dharavandhoo course graduate.
"It gives us great pleasure to hold this festival on our island for the second time. We are honoured to support Soneva Namoona and take part in the wonderful work being done in the fields of trash management and ocean stewardship, said Ahmed Irshad, president of the Dhonfanu Council.
"We are honoured to collaborate in the SOWS program's development with the Namoona Island Communities. We think that allowing communities to interact with and appreciate the ocean will result in a closer connection to the ecosystem. We want to congratulate each graduate on their accomplishment today, said Azhoora Ahmed, the Inspire Manager of Soneva Namoona.