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Frank Vira teaches water safety and survival skills to participants, especially those with disabilities / Swim, Splash & Survive

Aquatics in Vanuatu

Meet Frank Vira, the senior development coordinator at Wan Smolbag in Vanuatu. In his role, Frank is responsible for coordinating the Team Up-supported Swim, Splash & Survive program across schools and communities in Vanuatu. 

The program promotes inclusion and gender equality through a range of aquatic activities while also teaching water safety and survival skills to participants, especially those with disabilities. Frank is also responsible for training new candidate instructors for the various activities in the program. 

“I enjoy working with different people in the community. Some of the things I enjoy most about my role are giving people of all abilities the chance to learn how to swim and feel safe around water,” he said. 

“The swimming program we deliver helps people to be physically and mentally healthy, feel confident around the water, and be accepting of gender and people with disabilities.

"Everyone likes sport, but having messages embedded in drills and games is really helping participants to understand what they should do to make positive changes in their lives and to those around them.”

Frank also highlighted that being involved in the program has benefited him greatly in his personal development. 

“The Swim, Splash & Survive program is a sport for development program which means it is helping to change people’s lives, both inside and outside the pool,” he said.

“I believe what we are doing will impact a lot of people from all genders in different ways, and especially those with disabilities. It has shown me that sports can really change people and has taught me to be more patient. 

“Through the program, I am also fortunate to have participated in several capacity building trainings both in Vanuatu and Australia.”

Apart from being a dedicated swimming coordinator, Frank is also passionate about sharing the successful impact of the program through engaging videos, created on his mobile phone. 

This was evident when the Swim, Splash & Survive program bagged its first ever Team Up Folktale Oscar in the hotly contested ‘Best Impact Story’ category, for a video filmed about Frank by colleague Glentonn Tari.

The inaugural Team Up Folktale Oscars, held on 20 June 2022, honoured Team Up partners from across the Pacific who creatively uses their smartphones together with the video storytelling app, Folktale, to capture inspiring and impactful stories from their respective programs.  

The program helps people of all abilities feel safe around water / Swim, Splash & Survive
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