According to the World Health Organisation, drowning “claims a life every 85 seconds” worldwide. Since its launch in December 2012, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has been working to combat this affliction.
HSH Princess Charlene said: “My Foundation is dedicated to saving lives. In the ‘Learn to Swim’ and ‘Water Safety’ programmes, my Foundation teaches school-age children swimming and water safety skills and trains bystanders in safety rescue and resuscitation.”
The Princess, who hosted the Riviera Water Bike Challenge in June, added, “Sport has the power to inspire young people and transform lives. This is central to the ‘Sport and Education’ programme.”
Some of the highlights over the last five years include the first ever swim programme in Agadir, Morocco, in 2013, the 2014 inauguration of the Centre de Sauvetage Aquatique de Monaco (CSAM – or Monaco Lifesaving Centre), the launch of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation USA in 2016 and, also that year, World First Aid Day in Switzerland.
This year saw the start of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation South Africa, the wonderful Saint Devote Rugby Tournament and a visit to the municipal swimming pool Princess Charlene of Monaco in La Turbie.
The first Prix Princesse Charlène de Monaco-Charity Mile at the Hippodrome in Cagnes-sur-Mer also took place this year.
Under the leadership of Princess Charlene, the Foundation continues its mission relentlessly. Many projects will be developed in the near future notably in Japan, Australia and Burkina Faso with the inauguration of the Aquatic Rescue Centre.
The Princess, who penned her first Op-Ed on June 16, 2017, to coincide with Day of the African Child, believes that “teaching children essential life-saving skills and the values of discipline, teamwork and respect for oneself and others will enable them to lead safe and fulfilling lives”.
Over the five years, the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation has developed a total of 149 projects in 33 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, Fiji, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, USA, and Zimbabwe.
The Foundation has not only taught thousands of children how to swim, but also raised awareness of the problem around the world.