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SwimTayka - ETIV 2022 closing report

The SwimTayka Project 2022 started its activities on April 4th, welcoming children and adolescents ranging from 08 to 16 years of age, all residents of low-income communities of Itacaré, in the southern region of Bahia, Brazil.

The ETIV management team counts on Jenifer Jaci Braga, founder and director of the organization; Miguel Ariza, Administration Coordinator; Fabyane Pagiris, accountant; and Ana Catalina Espinoza, administration intern. The SwimTayka team in Etiv also counted on Denise de Souza in the position of Project Coordinator, Luciana Mota as Environmental Education Mentor, and Dario Soares, a professional Life Guard that acted as our swim instructor. We likewise had the help and dedication of ETIV volunteers, who helped manage the children and guaranteed their safety during the activities. Those were Jimmy Khai, Emilie Merta, Lucian Wou Smith, and Isaac Brosinski.

The SwimTayka classes were held at the ETIV Complex from April 4th until May 28th 2022, and aimed at providing children and adolescents from underprivileged communities in Itacaré with skills in swimming and drowning prevention, as well as essential knowledge on the preservation of natural bodies of water and the natural elements surrounding them.


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Having the SwimTayka Aquatic Survival and Swimming manuals as guides, the ETIV-SwimTayka team was able to develop a programme that met the needs of the local community, taking into account the local geography and culture. The field trips organized for this program cycle promoted situations in which the participants could put their learning into practice while being in an open-water safe, controlled environment. These experiences also allowed the participants to experience different parts of Itacaré.

The events were the following:

May 6th, 2022: SwimTayka team accompanied 17 of the participant children on a trip to the Passagem Harbor, located a few blocks away from the Etiv Complex, to form a task force to plant white mangrove trees and collect litter from the area. This activity was a celebration of International Earth Day.

May 13th, 2022: With the support of the boatsmen association of Itacaré, the SwimTayke team was able to take 42 children and adolescents to visit the Mangrove ecosystem in Rio das Conchas, a river that surrounds the Passagem Neighborhood and leads to the Atlantic Ocean. During this field trip, the participants were divided into groups and took a boat ride passing through the Mangrove ecosystem and ending in Pontal beach. That activity allowed the participants to observe the animals and plants that inhabit this ecosystem in an immersive ride with explanations from the adults. At the end of this activity, already on the Pontal beach, the participants could practice their swimming abilities in a controlled open-water scenario. Litter collecting was also done at the end of the activity. This activity lasted around seven hours, and food was provided for all of the participants.

May 25th, 2022: Several children attended this event held throughout the afternoon and aimed at designing, crafting and painting wooden signs with information and messages about conservation and respect for nature in Itacaré. Around 20 signs were produced by the children and adolescents, with the help of our team and three local artists that helped with the designs. Such signs were hung during the

May 28th celebratory field trip. May 27th, 2022: Water rescue and CPR workshop. Held on Concha Beach, Itacaré, this activity targeted the whole Etiv team, even those not directly involved with the SwimTayka project. Dario Soares, our swimming instructor and professional lifeguard, instructed us on the different stages of drowning, how to spot a dangerous situation in open sea waters, how to identify signs of drowning, how to safely rescue someone from the water, bring them to land and - if necessary - perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. One-on-one simulations were essential to the success of this activity.

May 28, 2022: Celebratory field tripto the Mata Atlântica rainforest. This event celebrated the conclusion of one more SwimTayka cycle. The whole SwimTayka team participated in this event, which also had logistics support from the entirety of the Etiv team. Alongside 40 children and adolescents, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon at Ribeira Beach, where we had a friendly competition on the specific swimming abilities practised during classes. Afterwards, we walked towards the Prainha Trail, a famous tourist site in Itacaré. We took the kids through the first half of it since the previous day's rain jeopardised the trail's conditions, making it risky for us to go with so many children. The team hung 12 signs crafted on May 25th throughout the trail, informing tourists about preserving and respecting the rainforest. For this particular event, since Ribeira Beach is far from the Etiv Complex, we had the help of local friends and supporters of Etiv. They used their vehicles to help transport the participants to the event and back, showing the community's involvement and interest in our activities. Two professional lifeguards assisted our team in keeping all the participants safe.

Efficiency and Innovation

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Classes happened each day, both in the mornings and afternoons, to allow the participation of as many children as possible, regardless of the times they attended regular school activities.

The project participants were separated into eight groups, depending on their age, their neighbourhood, and the time they attended school. Those groups would come to the ETIV Complex twice a week, always two groups at a time, and classes of Environmental Education and Swimming occurred concurrently, on a rotation system, in a way that optimized the use of our space, given that other programs and activities happened regularly throughout the SwimTayka Project.

That logistics solution allowed us to offer 256 individual classes with lower costs for the transport of the participants and better use of the number of time volunteers provided to donate to the activities.

The transport costs were also reduced thanks to the participation of Casa do Conto. This local volunteer organization transported children from three different neighbourhoods to the ETIV Complex and back for every day of classes, and the participation of Community bystanders offered their vehicles to help transport our participants to and from the field trips.

Integrity and Sustainability

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All activities developed by the ETIV Team ora t the ETIV Complex follow guidelines and policies to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all participants and bystanders. This means that no discrimination nor bigotry is ever tolerated. Our team members and volunteers are instructed on the cultural elements that make the communities we work with unique and that could not have been different throughout the development of the SwimTayka Project.

Understanding and respecting our nature and society is one of the most important steps towards sustainable social development, which are non-negotiable aspects of the work developed by ETIV.


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The SwimTayka project made it possible for 96 children and adolescents from the underprivileged neighbourhoods of Passagem, Bairro Novo, Jeribucaçu and Porto de Trás - all in Itacaré - to understand and experience the importance of preserving and maintaining our natural bodies of water, always respecting the nature that surrounds us, participate in critical community-centred activities such as the Passagem Harbor litter-picking, and also develop life-saving swimming and drowning prevention skills. It also allowed nine adults to be trained in water rescue and CPR techniques.

Despite the ETIV Team’s best efforts, we could not reach a more significant number of children enrolled and participating in the project. We consider that objective wasn’t achieved due to three specific situations.

Firstly, the fact that Itacaré is a very popular touristic destination in Brazil meant that despite restrictions and isolation policies due to Covid-19 were quite bland in the central and touristic areas of the city, within the non-touristic neighbourhoods, several families were still reticent about allowing their children to participate in activities that would collect different people on the same space, especially given that on-site school activities had been re-established. It is essential to mention that every member of the ETIV team and the SwimTayka Project were fully vaccinated before the start of our activities.

One other aspect that made it more difficult for us to enrol and ensure the participation of more children and adolescents on the project was the fact that the professional who served as the driver for previous cycles of the SwimTayka Project was unvaccinated and unwilling to get the vaccines, and therefore was not able to participate on this year’s process. Being a contact point between ETIV and some of the rural areas of Itacaré, his participation would be essential for us to reach children in areas of the city where we don’t have a significant presence.

Finally, the fact that the ETIV Complex and all of ETIV’s non-administrative activities were put on hold for nearly two years since the pandemic's beginning also weighed on the previously established reach ETIV had within the local communities.

Financial Report

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