Drowning kills

children in Asia every year

That’s four times more children

than were killed in the 2004 tsunami.

The 2004 tsunami was a tragedy that shocked the world.
It took the lives of around 80,000 children.

But in the 364 days that followed (just like every year since) about four times
as many children drowned while going about their daily lives.
These deaths may not make the news, but that doesn’t make them any less tragic.

Fortunately though, there is a way we can help prevent them.

of the children who die from drowning don’t know how to swim

In many of the poorest areas of Asia, children live and,
play next to water.

With many of the children being unable to swim,
perhaps it’s not so surprising that so many of them drown every day.

Research and intervention trials prove that when these children know how to swim, they are 9 times less likely to drown.

Fatal injury rates by cause, children 0-17 years Back

Through the ‘SwimSafe’ programs in Thailand, Bangladesh and Vietnam, we are helping to teach hundreds of children to swim every year. And because children learn far better when they’re having fun, we make sure that they enjoy themselves.

The Water Giants are five mythological giants from across Asia, each named after the word ‘Water’ in a different Asian language. They are designed to inspire and engage with children, to act as a fighting force for water safety and bring more children to the SwimSafe programs.

Our mission: To teach

1 million

kids to swim

When kids learn to swim they become “waterproofed”
and incidents of drowning reduce significantly.

When kids learn to swim they become “waterproofed” and incidents of drowning reduce
significantly. In fact we now have examples where children that have learnt
to swim go on later to rescue other children in trouble.

How you can help

Whether you’d like to donate, fundraise,
raise awareness or partner with us,
your support can help Water Giants save children’s lives.

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Raise Awareness

Every year 350,000 children's deaths in Asia don't make the headlines.
We want to raise awareness of this and prevent it.
Help us to achieve this by sharing our videos and
content or through setting up events.


Partnerships & Press

We are interested in partnerships that will help us achieve
our goal of raising awareness and teaching kids to swim.
There is also so much more we can share on this issue,
so please get in touch with any questions.
partner@watergiants.org press@watergiants.org


Please email info@watergiants.org for all queries or questions,
including those related to the below.

Back Acknowledgements Biographies

Fundraising & Donations

It costs on average US$20 to teach a child to swim and
US$2,000 to provide a swimming school with a portable pool to do this.
If you would like to make a donation or raise funds
to help more children learn to swim, please contact us at:
donate@watergiants.org fundraise@watergiants.org

Back Read more

The Research

Household surveys and intervention research over the last 15 years in Asian
low and middle income countries has shown the burden,
the causes and the solutions to prevention of drowning.
Get in contact to find out more about this research.


The Water Giants
This project benefits from the support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

And our thanks go to the following across Asia Pacific who have freely given their time
and expertise to help make this project happen.

Pete and Vi Peterson, Founders of TASC (The Alliance for Safe Children)

Dr. Mike Linnan, co-founder of TASC and founder of SwimSafe

Ross Cox, co-founder of SwimSafe

Justin Scarr, CEO of RLSSA (Royal Life Saving Society of Australia) and co-founder of SwimSafe

Dr. Aminur Rahman, IDRCB (International Drowning Research Centre Bangladesh) and co-founder of SwimSafe

Dr. AKM Fazlur Rahman, CIPRB (Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh) and co-founder of SwimSafe

J. Walter Thompson www.jwt.com

Asiatic Marketing Communications Dhaka www.asiatic360.com

Hans Mueller, Executive Creative Director, Degree Bangkok www.degreebkk.com

Mirum www.mirumagency.com

Brooke Laing www.littlesupernovas.com

Craig Conway thecraigconway@yahoo.co.uk

Paul Regan www.ghosttreatments.com


Meet the Team - Our Founders
  • Dr. Michael Linnan

    Dr. Mike Linnan served with the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) for 25 years with assignments to the WHO, UNICEF, USAID and the U.S. Department of State. While serving as Health Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, he helped conduct a national, household-based survey showing injury was the leading cause of child death in Vietnam and drowning was the single leading killer. After retiring from the CDC he helped conduct similar surveys in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Philippines, and Thailand . Together they revealed drowning as the leading cause of child death across developing Asia.

    Since then he has been a major advocate of the issue and passionate about its prevention. He helped found The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC), The Centre for Injury Prevention Research in Bangladesh (CIPRB), the International Drowning Research Centre, Bangladesh (IDRCB) and the SwimSafe program which sets the gold standard for a data-driven, cost-effective and measurable program to dramatically reduce childhood drowning.

  • Mark Webster

    Mark has worked for over 20 years in the advertising industry across Asia Pacific with J. Walter Thompson. This has included setting up a new office in Vietnam, working as CEO in the Philippines, Thailand and Japan. He is currently the Chairman of J. Walter Thompson Hong Kong and Head of Talent Development and Training for the Asia Pacific region.

    During his time in Vietnam, Mark met Ambassador Peterson and Dr. Mike Linnan from the US Embassy and formed both a friendship and partnership that, with Mark’s experience in communications and branding, led to the creation of the Water Giants.

    Today, the Water Giants charity represents the aspiration and unified ambition of the founding members to make a real difference to child survival rates in developing Asia. We are making every effort to understand the causes, analyse the data, develop effective solutions, raise awareness, educate all stakeholders, attract funding and ultimately teach as many children to swim as we can. Because we believe that today this represents one of the most important public health interventions in our lifetimes.