fbpx

The lady who inspired the world’s simplest swim program.


 

In 2011, Project Dovetail invited Uswim to Mauritius in Africa to teach at the SOS orphanage, Beau Bassin. The intention was to support the program by teaching some of the children to swim and learn about the work that the SOS organisation does around the world. However arriving with 98 children all eager to go learn, a realization quickly set in I was ill-prepared to deal with the logistics.

It was suggested by Lisa (the Village Coordinator and heroic lady) that one of the house mothers could learn how to teach so lessons could continue after the trip. What seemed like such a simple and obvious suggestion would have a profound affect on me and more importantly Uswim. One of the House Mothers ‘Josset’ was interested in learning so that night I came up with a quick plan to start simplifying everything so she could understand how to teach swimming as quickly as possible.

The next 8 days was one of the most beautiful transformations I have ever seen, as a nervous non-swimmer (Josset would not have survived deep water) who could not speak English (we translated through Lisa) observed, practiced, noted, failed, succeeded, implemented and finally took ownership of the swimming lessons.

In 2012 I returned and was delighted to see Josset and other adults still sticking to the simple program. The effectiveness of Uswim today owes much to the lessons Josset taught us about program design.

Ben Douglas

Uswim Founder

 

First day at the beach, Torpedo Arms

First day at the beach, Torpedo Arms

Josset on our first trip to the pool.

Josset on our first trip to the pool.

Josset on our first trip to the pool.

Teaching the little ones

Teaching the little ones "Breath Control"

Josset unsuccessfully trying to Torpedo Float on one of the 1st days.

Josset unsuccessfully trying to Torpedo Float on one of the 1st days.

Josset unsuccessfully trying to Torpedo Float on one of the 1st days.

Correcting body position while back-floating.

Correcting body position while back-floating.

Torpedo Floating – with Lisa interpreting English into ‘Creole’.

Torpedo Floating – with Lisa interpreting English into ‘Creole’.

Torpedo Floating – with Lisa interpreting English into ‘Creole’.

The children starting to trust their new teacher.

The children starting to trust their new teacher.

Teaching fundamentals such as how to hold the board correctly.

Teaching fundamentals such as how to hold the board correctly.

Teaching fundamentals such as how to hold the board correctly.

Taking her own classes, day 6.

Taking her own classes, day 6.

Josset finally was able to float on her back, after practicing all week.

Josset finally was able to float on her back, after practicing all week.

Josset finally was able to float on her back, after practicing all week.

Josset (far) reminding students to keep their chin down!

Josset (far) reminding students to keep their chin down!

Splitting up different swimming abilities when teaching a large group - Josset in Navy cap.

Splitting up different swimming abilities when teaching a large group - Josset in Navy cap.

Splitting up different swimming abilities when teaching a large group - Josset in Navy cap.

A cold day, however Josset is watching closely how to demonstrate Freestyle arms.

A cold day, however Josset is watching closely how to demonstrate Freestyle arms.

Last day 2011 – fun day to practice the skills we learnt.

Last day 2011 – fun day to practice the skills we learnt.

Last day 2011 – fun day to practice the skills we learnt.

2012 The kids a year older, showing off their Freestyle.

2012 The kids a year older, showing off their Freestyle.

Create Profile

Please fill below in order to create your
Uswim profile

Login for Uswim


Forgot password

Forgot password


When you fill in your registered email address, you will be sent instructions on how to reset your password.