December marks a significant milestone for Swimdo as we celebrate 9 years of protecting and enriching lives through aquatic education. This journey has taken us to various corners of the world, and our latest adventure brought us to the picturesque Nemberala Village on Rote Island, Indonesia. In collaboration with the Massie family and the local community, we embarked on a mission to impart crucial water safety skills and survival swimming to the people of this coastal paradise.

Exploring the Path to Water Safety

In mid-October, Swimdo’s dedicated team members—Indira, Agus, and Agung Pandit—undertook a journey to Nemberala Village. The remote location, nestled southwest of West Timor, required a two-hour flight to Kupang from Bali, followed by a five-hour ferry trip to Rote Island and a two-hour drive. Their late-night arrival at the 81 Palms Resort set the stage for an impactful week ahead.

Nemberala, with a population of 1277 in 2022, relies heavily on farming and fishing, with seaweed farming introduced in 2011. The village is not only a local hub but also a surfing haven, drawing tourists from around the world. However, a tragic boat accident in October 2022, claiming seven lives in the neighboring village of Bo’a, prompted CR Massie to reach out to Swimdo for a collaboration that could prevent such incidents in the future.

A Collaborative Response to Tragedy

CR Massie, a Greenschool student and regular visitor to Nemberala for its renowned waves, mobilized support from the local community to address the water safety gap. Swimdo’s collaboration with CR and the Nemberala villagers materialized into a comprehensive water safety and survival swimming program. The initiative received overwhelming support from accommodation owners, teachers, and locals, leading to the deployment of Swimdo’s main team to set up the program’s foundation.

A Milestone: Pilot Class in October 2023

On the anniversary of the tragic boat accident, Swimdo conducted its inaugural survival swim and safety class in Rote. Initially planning for 70 students, the class welcomed over 100 eager participants, showcasing the community’s enthusiasm for the program. With limited resources, the local community rallied together, including Julia from 81 Palms, Ibu Rena, Pak Tom, and Mitchel from the local learning center, as well as Reef and Rj from Nemberala Beach Resort.

Over five days, Swimdo overcame initial concerns about managing the large class size with the collective effort of the community. In addition to pool sessions, they visited local schools for water safety workshops and even treated the children to a screening of Disney’s “Moana,” a film resonating with the local way of life.

Celebrating Success: Graduation of 100 Students

On the fifth day, Swimdo conducted a test for the students, a condensed version of the usual 10-class, 5-week program. The test included floating for 30 seconds and performing survival backstroke. The challenge of completing the test with over 90 students extended into the evening, but the sense of achievement was palpable.

To mark the conclusion of the program, a beachside farewell dinner was organized, graciously hosted by local hero Pak Melky. The evening was a testament to the connections forged, laughter shared, and promises made during the five days of teaching the children of Nemberala village.

As Swimdo bids farewell to Nemberala, the echoes of “Sampai Jumpa” reverberate—a promise to return and continue enriching lives through the power of aquatic education. Until we meet again, Nemberala!

Thank you for your continued support!


Indira Santi, Swimdo Director, Indonesia

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