Feeling at home in the Netherlands by learning to swim

Proud, happy women at the Geusseltbad. The 5 ladies from different countries were presented with well-deserved certificates, as they had learned to swim in just a few months. The lessons were an initiative of Faren Sallak, a swimming teacher originating from Iran. She had submitted the idea to the Burgerbegroting (Citizens' Budget).

January 9 this year, in the heart of winter, the group had started the lessons. Faren, a qualified swimming teacher, had herself arrived in Maastricht from Iran years earlier. "I submitted the idea to the Burgerbegroting because I wanted to help Muslim women feel at home in Maastricht. It helps people get used to a country if you participate. Because the Netherlands is a country with a lot of water, being able to swim is also very important for safety. And they can do that now."

The ladies were only too happy to show that this morning – shooting through the water, swimming through underwater hoops and making dives from the side of the pool in Geusseltbad. Wethouder Manon Fokke addressed the 5 from the side of the pool and handed out the official certificates. The ladies are definitely eager to continue swimming. "We are extremely grateful that Faren taught us this, she told us to swim at least once a week so we don't forget the technique," says Hanan. Eden, Kisanet and Sara also plan to do so. "Swimming is fun, together with this little club, but also with people we know ourselves. So we will definitely do that."