Royal Life Saving Society Uganda

Whomsoever You See in Distress, Recognize in Him a Fellow Human Being

Royal Life Saving Society, Uganda

The Drowning Prevention Charity of Uganda

The Royal Life Saving Society Uganda (RLSS Uganda) is a national charity that was founded in the 1960's and its aim is to Safeguard lives in, on and near water bodies in Uganda. The Society has more than 300 members and volunteers throughout Uganda who train communities around water bodies in lifesaving techniques. The Society has partnerships and collaborative programmes with other Royal Life Saving Societies worldwide since 1962.
The activities of Royal Life Saving Society in Uganda started around the time of independence of the new country from British colonial rule in 1962, by the then senior superintendent of Police Mr. John Beaden, a British police officer. Beaden was duly attached to Uganda Police at the Police Training School in Kibuli Surburb, Kampala, where Life Saving was part of the programme by 1963. A major achievement he accomplished was to build a swimming pool in Kibuli which was used for the training of the Uganda Police Force in marine and water safety. In 1965, Mr John Beaden left Uganda and left Jerome Dralega in charge of the Swimming and Life Saving of Uganda Police Force.The political unrest, uncertainty and civil strife that followed the military takeover of the Government of Apollo Milton Obote in January 1971 by Gen. Idi Amin made the projects Beaden had established to be halted. All marine training and safety units were disbanded and their activities came to a standstill between 1971 - 1982. In 1983 John Long who was part of Common Wealth Police was seconded to Uganda Police. Since Jerome had earlier requested for Life Saving Support from the Commonwealth Office UK which coincided with John's coming to Uganda he was able to give support to Jerome in reviving of Marine Life Saving activities in the country, under the regime of Milton Obote, who had been reinstated as president following the elections of 1980.
The fact that the activities of Royal Life Saving Society of Uganda has been on voluntary basis since formation in the 1960's means the level of the involvement of communities and the impact of our projects and programmes has been low. However in 2012, a team of members felt that there was need to have it registered as Civil Society Organization to enable the vulnerable society access the basic life saving skills and for the organization and partners or donors to mobilise resources both financial and logistical to implement our life saving projects. Royal Life Saving Society of Uganda was duly registered on 29/10/2012 as Civil Society Organization in Wakiso District in Central Uganda, where most of the Beaches are located. Since then there has been increased activity at the organization to the extent that we are now in the advanced stages of upgrading to the status of a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in order to fulfill our aims, goals and mission better.
Drowning is one of the biggest causes of preventable death in the world today, accounting for 372,000 fatalities every year. The Royal Life Saving Society – Uganda Drowning Prevention is working to eliminate drowning in the country and neighboring countries. collaborations in 27 other Commonwealth Nations, we aim to reduce the incidence of drowning around the world by developing community-based drowning prevention strategies and lifesaving education programmes, and providing advice and education to Governments, NGOs and individuals on the development of water skills. It is the same guiding principle that was used to re-design the strategic plan for the activities of Royal Life Saving Society - Uganda in 2012. Lifesaving and lifeguarding are promoted as a sport and a life skill by the Royal Life Saving Society Uganda. The learning of lifesaving takes place in a variety of water environments, such as swimming pools, inland water venues and at coastal locations especially Dar-es-Salam City in Tanzania.
Royal Life Saving Society Uganda © 2015

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