Unlocking Underwater Experiences for Local Women in Gili Air


Protecting the ocean starts by sparking long-lasting love for the underwater world, yet how can we begin loving the realm of the deep blue without first feeling safe underwater? 

Reducing the gap

Globally, women disproportionately lack the opportunities, resources, and environments to learn how to swim – particularly in the Global South. This issue is also prominent in Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago. Many barriers persist when it comes to accessing the ocean – be it geographical, financial, or physical. As a scholarship program that strives to empower local women, Coral Catch provides free weekly swimming lessons for local women in Gili Air to minimize the barriers present in this space. We ensure everyone feels comfortable – we lend goggles, swimsuits, snorkeling gear, hijabs, and even underwear so women have the opportunity to try regardless of their current backgrounds and abilities.

Coral Catch Superwomen give free swimming classes to local women from Gili Air

Swimming as the First Step to Conserve the Ocean

We are not only teaching the students how to swim, but also how to maintain balance and buoyancy in the water, so that when they do activities in the sea like snorkeling, they keep a safe distance to the corals, keeping the coral reef ecosystem safe.

“Throughout my swimming lessons with Coral Catch, my skill has improved, because before the lessons I only swam without proper techniques so I couldn’t move forward on water … and I thought the breaststroke style would suit me better, but turns out I can move faster with freestyle. Thank you Coral Catch for teaching me how to swim ! ”
Student of Universitas Mataram
“Hello my name is Hani, someone who lives near the biggest river in west Kalimantan but cannot swim... When I moved to Gili Air, an island surrounded by sea water, I decided that I should be able to swim! I was very lucky to meet one of the Coral Catch Superwomen who told me about the swimming classes. During eight lessons, they persistently and patiently taught me how to dare to get into the water, swim and feel comfortable in the water. Until the long awaited day arrived, snorkeling in the open sea! Woah all mixed feelings because I have never swam in the sea in my life! I am very grateful to the Superwomen Coral Catch batch 6 who have been willing to patiently teach me to swim. And the good news is, I'm going to buy a set of snorkeling equipment !! Thanks a bunch to Coral Catch Superwomen!”
Bumi Kecil School's teacher

Every Sunday afternoon, we begin our hour-long swim lesson for women of all ages and skill levels. We reach out to teachers, students, and workers around the island to invite them to learn. To date, we have taught 30 women how to swim. The snorkeling lesson at the end of this batch 6’s program also introduced a new experience in the sea for the students, who welcomed it with enthusiasm.

Our Thoughts and Wishes

This swimming class program also left a deep impression on us Coral Catch Superwomen batch 6 that have taught the students for the past 8 weeks. We are amazed and proud of all who joined this swimming class, with their high spirits and their significantly improving swimming skills. The opportunity to snorkel together in the ocean at the end of this swimming class program was beyond our expectations, and we are glad that we were able to make it happen. We hope that the next batch of Coral Catch Superwomen will continue to introduce the beauty of the sea to more local women, starting with this swimming class.

With every session customized to suit individual skill levels, we extend a warm welcome to every woman on the island to join us in growing our circle!

Co-authored by Batch 6 (Brigitta, Rani, Dania, Caca)