Sport has the power to inspire young people and transform lives. This is the central idea that prompted Princess Charlene of Monaco to launch a Foundation that would work to end death and disease caused by water fatalities.
Her Serene Highness The Princess Charlene of Monaco
Her Serene Highness has contributed to many charitable causes. Her interest in humanitarian work began when her childhood in Africa exposed her to the challenges faced by children in underprivileged communities.
Charlene Lynette Wittstock was born on the 25th January 1978 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, but moved to South Africa at the age of 12.
Princess Charlene developed a passion for swimming at an early age and her talent for the sport soon became evident. At 18 years of age she won the South African Championships in backstroke and four years later she competed in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, with her team coming fifth. That same year, she won a gold medal in the 200m backstroke at the Mare Nostrum international swimming meeting in Monaco. In 2002 she won gold medals at the Swimming World Cup tournament and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. She made the decision to end her competitive career in 2007, but her love of the sport has extended into her work as a philanthropist.
Her Serene Highness has contributed to many charitable causes. Her interest in humanitarian work began when her childhood in Africa exposed her to the challenges faced by children in underprivileged communities. Before her marriage she gave swimming lessons to less fortunate children and as the Princess of Monaco, she frequently accompanies His Serene Highness on his travels to support charitable works and hosts fundraising events for organisations such as amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research).
Launched on 14th December 2012, the primary objective of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation is to save lives by putting an end to drowning.
The Foundation’s mission is threefold: to raise public awareness about the dangers of water and drowning, to teach children preventative measures to decrease water-related morbidity and mortality, and to teach people how to swim.