Coronavirus: 12-year-old swims 7,700 laps in Dubai pool to raise money for MSF

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A 12-year-old girl has swum the length of the English Channel in her Dubai swimming pool to raise money for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontiéres – MSF) and their COVID-19 Crisis Fund Campaign.

Chloe Andrews set out to raise money for MSF by swimming the length of the English Channel in her 6-meter swimming pool at home in Dubai. She ended up swimming 7,700 lengths and a distance of 50 kilometers – a little over the shortest distance between England and France.

“It was definitely difficult. It was probably more difficult than I thought it was going to be,” said Andrews, whose father had to construct a cover of umbrellas and sheets to avoid her being burned by the Dubai sun.

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Andrews completed the distance over two 7-hour sessions, requiring thousands of tumble turns in such a small pool.

“At times I was feeling rather dizzy, but I just kept going,” she said.

Andrews told Al Arabiya English she had been inspired by the 99-year-old British army veteran Tom Moore, who walked 100 laps in his back garden to raise millions of pounds for the UK’s National Health Service. His efforts captured international attention and praise, but also prompted criticism of the UK government for inadequately funding its healthcare services.

The proceeds from Andrews’ swim will go to MSF, a nongovernmental organization that provides medical humanitarian aid across the globe.

MSF is currently working to support the fight against coronavirus in the Middle East, including in areas of Syria that are at a heightened risk of a COVID-19 outbreak after nine years of war.

“We were delighted to hear of Chloe’s fundraiser, and are absolutely staggered by her persistence, dedication and resilience,” said Mario Stephan, Executive Director of MSF UAE.

Her efforts have so far raised 15,000 AED dirhams for MSF via their YallaGive page accessible at, IACAD permit #2987.

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