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Published
Nov 16, 2021
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Designer Marcelo Burlon helps sponsor children’s swimming school in Zanzibar

Published
Nov 16, 2021

The Marcelo Burlon Foundation has linked up with The Rock for Community, a dynamic local charity to develop Watoto, a swimming school for children in Zanzibar, Tanzania. 



 
Watoto, which translates as “the children” in Swahili, was created a few months ago with the goal of teaching village children the practical skill of swimming. Remarkably, it’s an ability the bulk of the population of Zanzibar does not have despite living on an island, and fishing being the top job among villagers.
 
With the support of Marcelo Burlon Foundation and Elena Beraldo, founder of Awear Projects and creative director of Skin of Nature, Watoto will supply swimming gear and swim instructors to the youth. Each child involved in the program is provided goggles, armrests, waterproof bags, and swimwear. Burkinis and swim shorts were produced by Skin of Nature and made from Econyl nylon, a sustainable yarn made of recycled fishing nets donated by Carvico. 

With 98% of girls in Zanzibar unable to swim, burkinis were of prime importance to the project. The swimwear garment is considered a luxury in the predominantly Muslim country, resulting in most women and girls being unable to participate in swimming. 



 
As of now, the program has 80 students enrolled but plans to grow rapidly. Branded T-shirts with a logo designed by Filippo Antonioli will soon be available for purchase on therockforcommunity.com to help raise funds for the school.
 
In this foray into aquatic aid, the Argentine-born Burlon worked closely with art director and video maker Roberto Ortu, and head of project Alice Firman, a fashion designer consultant at New Guards Group, the fashion group that controls Burlon’s brand.

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