Faces of Africa – Aquatic Master Pt. 1

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A death by drowning incidence of a young girl in the West African coast of Ghana’s Labadi Beach, prompted Felix Uzor  to become an aquatic survival instructor and lifeguard and aspire to impart these skills on to his community through the Felix Foundation.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), unintended drowning accounted for 9% of the total deaths worldwide in the year 2015. This silent killer has its highest mortality rates in developing countries. The most affected being children aged below 13 years.

Mba Adejo, a Lifeguard Trainee at the Felix Foundation Fitness Center conducting a swimming lesson.

The Felix Foundation is a non-profit organization tasked with conducting anti-drowning awareness campaigns in Ghanian schools.

The foundation also conducts capacity building activities for emergency service personnel and selected locals, in conjunction with some of its international partners like International Surf Lifeguard Association (ISLA).

Community Outreach Programs are also conducted by the foundation to help fill the gap left by the overstretched government services.

Eunice Gyamfi one of the Project Officers of the Felix Foundation spearheads its activities near the Weija dam region where messages like the ‘ten step process’ on water safety awareness are disseminated. Participants are taught skills like; checking the depth of water, reading weather conditions, using life jackets etc. These strategies are taught to school going pupils and volunteers from the local community in the region.

Eunice Gyamfi, trains pupils on how to use a plastic gallon as a buoy.

The foundation has also sourced life jackets that are used to ferry the pupil across the precarious water bodies in the area. The foundation has also helped the community improvise everyday materials like gallons and ropes to act as buoys and safety nets in the event of any mishaps around water bodies.

Felix Uzor, the Founder Felix Foundation, during an aqua-aerobics session.

The Felix Foundation in collaboration with the an elite team of lifeguards from the U.S. and U.K.  annually conducts a three to four day Intensive Open Water Resource Course which entails cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and high sea rescue maneuvers among other skills for its selected trainees.

Felix Uzor’s main wish is to either reduce or completely eradicate death by drowning and other unintentional-injury deaths in and along water bodies in Ghana.

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