Turning the tides on child drowning
Rebecca Wear Robinson
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It Takes A Village

by Rebecca Wear Robinson on September 4, 2013

It takes a village.
There are thousands of incredible drowning prevention programs, organizations, and products around the world – all powered by incredibly talented and dedicated individuals. Each one of these becomes more powerful when resources are connected, the existence of organizations is communicated, and like-minded people and programs collaborate.

There are many ways to build our drowning prevention community globally. We have informal networks, industry groups, and formal networks – all of which are critical for making sense out of a complex global issue. I’d like to talk about a few of my favorite resources.

I’m excited about the upcoming World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Germany hosted by International Life Saving, for the opportunity to learn from colleagues, meet new people and renew friendships, and to present on leveraging business skills to improve effectiveness of programs and organizations. (I’m speaking twice, during the Management 2 segment on October 22 at 11am).

The Global Drowning Prevention Forum on LinkedIn is proving to be the online source of some great debate and information. Spirited discussions have ensued on issues as varied as beach flags/signage, epidemiology, and the role of women in lifesaving. If you haven’t joined the group I hope you’ll stop by and see what colleagues around the world are discussing. I know I continue to learn, and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the members in Germany!

In the spirit of sharing information to bring our community closer together and to make people aware of the many amazing initiatives out there, I started the Jabari blog, which is dedicated to highlighting programs, organizations, individuals and products that are approaching water safety and drowning prevention in innovative ways.

The revamped Jabari website  went live May 6, 2013 with a great kick-off blog by Goggles for Guppies. Since then we’ve heard from a wide range of initiatives, including: RLSS UK’s campaign; U.S. National Park Service Women’s Lifeguard Competition; Make A Splash; Global Drowning Tracker; Sri Lanka Women’s Swimming Project; Swim Fin and many others. Stay tuned for updates from RNLI, Nile Swimmers, Water Safety Vietnam and others. A new blog posts every Tuesday.

As exciting as it is to learn about all these amazing projects, I am most happy at the feedback that resources are being connected, people are being connected, and awareness about programs is increasing as a result of highlighting initiatives on the Jabari blog. In other words, it’s working! Our global community is becoming more connected and stronger!

Thank you all for the incredible dedication, professionalism and support. The passion that all of you have for ending drowning inspires me and pushes me every single day.

Thank you.

If you agree it takes a village, click here to Tweet ‘@RebeccaSavesKids and I are part of the village dedicated to ending drowning http://bit.ly/17NX2ER #stop drowning’

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