“Sink or Swim: Learning to crawl in the Maldives” is an upcoming film by Ocean 8 Flims about a unique learn-to-swim project on the remote Maldivian island of Eydhafushi. It will be released in June. Watch the trailer here.
Despite living just a couple feet above sea level, many of the locals here never learn to swim. With the support of the SLOW LIFE Foundation and Soneva Fushi, the goal of two weeks project in May 2014 was to get moms and kids more confident in the water, in part as a means to impress upon them the importance of taking better care of the beautiful ocean that surrounds them.
At the end of the two weeks, the 48 third-graders and 18 burka-clad mothers who had come each day for lessons put on masks, fins and snorkels and, for many of them, were for a first time able to see the water world below the surface. Like many corners of planet ocean the Maldives suffer from a variety of ills, mostly man-made; Over-fishing, plastic pollution, rising sea levels due to a warming ocean, and ocean acidification.
Teaching these incredible families to swim was hopefully a first step towards encouraging them to be even better guardians.
Currently a new course is being rolled out involving another 40 third-graders from Eydhafushi and 14 third-graders from Maalhos.