Zoë Van Straalen and Jo Hepworth are the brains behind their business Children of the Water, which tackles the common and global tragedy of young children drowning by offering self-rescue swimming courses.
Their mission and devotion to minimize the possibility of such a tragedy occurring has been the drive behind the business for the last three years, which has rapidly developed and expanded to a global scale. We caught up with Zoë and Jo to understand more about the philosophy behind their business and what their plans are for the future.
Can you elaborate on your technique in teaching children a potentially lifesaving skill?
The base of our teaching is self-rescue, a highly specialised technique that teaches babies from crawling age to six years old how to rescue themselves should an accident occur in the water. We have developed and evolved this technique over the past few years with our own holistic approach.
What is the approach you take during a course?
The journey we take families on during our course is one far greater than just swimming for survival. Through trust, devotion and courage the child and parents learn to overcome fear and grow together in the water. It can be a life-changing experience with foundation learning for the child that stays with them far beyond the course.
Any clues about the company’s future?
This year we have started to train practitioners of our techniques globally to be able to reach even more people and grow our instructor family. We continue to get requests from all over the world and have recently opened in mainland Spain, Holland, Curacao, London and we are even heading to Australia in November this year. The Children for the Water Foundation will also launch in 2019, which aims to teach underprivileged children in communities where there are large areas of water, yet where most of the local families and children do not know how to swim or save themselves if they happen to fall into the water.