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 Tariq Getrouw and Xiomara Getrouw at the United Nations in 2017


Xiomara and Tariq Getrouw are a brother/sister team born in a developing country (Suriname)  where poverty was visible all over the nation. We come from a family of five and we have been fortunate that our parents invested all of what they had into our education and sports. We have learned that education and sports are two opportunities that will make a difference in a life! Now that we have grown older, we want to help influence and support children and young adolescents who are in need. This would allow us to give back the same opportunities we were given.


As that desire has grown in our hearts, we want to make a difference in our world. We believe that by focusing and directly communicating to the unfortunate children, we are making an impact in their lives. 




Drowning is a global public health problem. It is a leading cause of death in nearly every country. While the number of drowning-related injuries and deaths in the western world is high, the problem is much worse in the developing world. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) study, drowning rates in lower-income countries may be up to 50 times higher than in higher-income countries. The good news is that the vast majority of drownings are preventable. A growing body of research provides evidence of a strong link between water safety education and a reduction in drowning deaths. Understanding the importance of water safety education as a public health tool, the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) issued a position statement on the importance of water safety education.



Swim for Life International is a non-governmental organization dedicated to helping children around the world by learning Lifesaving swimming techniques to prevent drowning.
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide with children over the age of one especially at risk. The unfortunate part of these unintentional injuries is that they are preventable.
When brother and sister team, Tariq and Xiomara Getrouw, learned about the high drowning rates around the world, they knew they heard the call to provide assistance. Both siblings are world-class swimmers from Suriname, a developing country in South America. The experience of training for the Olympics while living in a third world country made the need more palpable to them.
In many countries around the world vulnerable children with disabilities as deaf- and blindness are not giving any chance to take part in any swimming training. Swim for Life International is taking the lead by organising trainings especially for these children.
General goal is to lower the number of drownings of these vulnerable children by giving them a one day training which make them capable to safe themselves when they fall (unexpected) in water
In the next 3 years we will organise trainings in Lesotho (2020) and in the following years in Suriname, South Africa, Tanzania and The Netherlands.




  • Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.

  • There are an estimated 320 000 annual drowning deaths worldwide.

  • Global estimates may significantly underestimate the actual public health problem related to drowning.

  • Children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.

Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as death, morbidity and no morbidity.


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