Students swim the English Channel to raise over US$100,000


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When Theodosia Catsiapis was an IB Diploma Programme (DP) student at Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, she created the T.E.Y.Y.A (To Empower Youth by Youth Action) charity to fund at least 100 obstetric fistula surgeries by swimming 33.2km across the English Channel.

During a lesson, Theodosia was shocked to learn about how many women across the globe still suffer from obstetric fistula, one of the most serious childbirth injuries, although it is entirely preventable or curable through surgery. A surgery costs US$600—an unaffordable price for many women in underdeveloped communities.

Theodosia set up a swimming group together with seven other DP students from the International School of Geneva called the ChaCha (Channel Challenge) Team to raise money. ChaCha's efforts raised US$110,000 and paid for 166 treatments in Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia.

Marie Narses, CAS (creativity, activity and service) and Character Programme Coordinator at the International School of Geneva, says it was an incredible CAS experience. “We strongly support CAS projects that help students get out of their comfort zone and to take action in a specific cause", she says.

Read the full blog post here.