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Diveheart Gives Back To The Needy

by Nicolas See Tho

Diveheart is an organization started in Chicago USA with Objective is to build confidence, independence and self-esteem in the lives of children, adults and veterans with disabilities through scuba diving, scuba therapy and related activities. The program is to instil the “can do” spirit in participants, inspiring them to take on challenges that they may not have considered before. Using zero gravity and the adventure paradigm, we help participants believe that if they can scuba dive they can do anything.

IMG_20180303_225840Diveheart is a nonprofit organization and the purpose of Diveheart is to provide and support educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person. With the program, we’ve discovered the forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column which provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we’re all equal.

IMG-20171208-WA0044Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.

IMG_20180429_110241It all started in Orlando Florida at DEMA 2012 when Syed met Jim Elliot, the President and Founder of Diveheart for the First Time to discuss on the interest in Training PWD in Malaysia.

4 Years later, in March 2016 Jim Elliot was Invited by the Late Charles Rowe and Syed Abd Rahman, the Founder and Director of Kids Scuba which supports Diveheart in Malaysia, they both hosted Jim and Tinamarie Hernandez, Executive Director of Diveheart to Conduct a Diveheart Scuba Experience in Kuala Lumpur with some PWD in a swimming pool environment assisted by Charles Rowe and Kids Scuba Dive Professionals.

20479556_10155440790301280_2036027018631645131_nDiveheart in Malaysia has been making waves since with Regular Monthly Pool Scuba Training Program for PWD Trained by Syed Abd Rahman in working closely with University Malaya Medical Center Kuala Lumpur, UMMC Rehabilitation unit for Spinal Cord Injury SCI Patients.

After Months of intensive Underwater Therapy Training involving the Sports of Scuba Diving, October 2016 saw The First Batch of 4 SCI Patients from UMMC Graduated as PADI Scuba Divers in Tioman Island Pahang with Kids Scuba Diveheart Volunteers and Mr. Jim Elliot Flying in from Chicago to Conduct Diveheart Training and oversee the PWD Open Water Dives.

20228250_10155395899851280_8613624842167727248_nThe Malaysia International Dive Expo MIDE has extended its full support to Diveheart Malaysia, we have been Featured at MIDE Since 2016, 2017 and 2018 exhibition held at the Putra World Trade Center Kuala Lumpur. Diveheart SCI PWD Divers from UMMC was recognized and Invited to Share their Scuba Diving Experience as a PWD on Stage to the Scuba Divers Audience as a Role model and to express Imagine The possibilities for the PWD Community.

Moving Forward, August 2017 Diveheart Malaysia was Invited and given the Opportunity to Train a Team of Dive Professionals from University Malaysia Terengganu UMT, A Marine Research University in the East Coast Region on Malaysia for the Diveheart Adaptive Diver Buddy Course. UMT Became the First University in Malaysia to have qualified Diveheart (ADB) Adaptive Diver Buddy Team.

When Syed Abd Rahman visited the Diveheart World Headquarters in Chicago in November 2017, Kids Scuba was Awarded as the Diveheart 5 Star Dive Center in acknowledgement of the Generous Support and Dedication to the Diveheart Mission in Enhancing the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities through Scuba, and for it’s excellence in Providing High Quality Adaptive Diver Training in Malaysia. This was Truly an Achievement for a Dive Center in Asia in Supporting the Water Therapy and Underwater Sports Involving Scuba Diving.

Kids Scuba Camp December 2017 saw Diveheart Malaysia with Kids Scuba Dive Team Malaysia lead by Syed Abd Rahman went to the Reknown Sipadan Island , Sabah to Conduct the Diveheart Open Water Diving Program, one of our PWD PADI Scuba Diver, Riza Faisal enjoyed the beautiful Dives in Mabul and Sipadan Islands assisted by Many Diveheart Volunteers and Borneo Divers Mabul Resort Dive Professionals. As mentioned personally by Riza, “Truly an Amazing Awesome underwater Zero Gravity experience”.

Another Milestone, Diveheart Borneo in Malaysia was Launched in March 2018 with the Support of Premier Marine Scuba Center, a PADI Dive Center in Kuching Sarawak Lead by Mr. Ernest C Teo. During the Diveheart Adaptive Buddy Diver Training Program, 6 Medical Professionals and Rehab physiotherapist Scuba Divers from the Kuching General Hospital was Trained by Syed Abd Rahman as Diveheart Adaptive Dive Buddy (ADB). The Diveheart Adaptive Buddy Diver Training program in Kuching was the first in Borneo Region.

Diveheart activities are driven by Dive Agencies, volunteers, facilitate by dedicated dive centres and funded by Sponsors and Caring Friends. PADI Asia Pacific Office in Sydney Australia extended PADI Scholarship to the selected PWD Diveheart candidates from University Malaya Medical Center UMMC to be certified as PADI Scuba Diver Trained under the direct Supervision of Syed Abd Rahman of Kids Scuba.

For the Specialized Scuba Training Involving PWD, The Diveheart programs provide supplemental instructions, guidelines and protocol to handle people with disabilities such as the vision impaired, hearing impaired, Amputees, paraplegic and quadriplegic. One of the ADB participants in Borneo, Ms. Caroline said:” The program made us realize how brave and challenging it can be to dive with these special abilities and good teamwork is needed”.

For those who are interested to be trained as an Adaptive Diver Buddy (ADB) or to be a Diveheart volunteer, they may contact Kids Scuba PADI 5 Star Dive Center Located at Tropicana Kajang Heights Recreational Hub, about 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur or Syed Abd Rahman at +6019-3176705, please email to syed.rahman@diveheart.org.

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