Ocean Guardians Mozambique
Did you know that 60% of Mozambicans live close to the ocean and most depend on it for their livelihoods yet many of them do not know how to swim? Ocean Guardians is an education programme run by the Marine Megafauna Foundation, empowering the lives of Mozambicans though various ocean education initiatives.
Their flagship programme combines marine conservation education, life-saving swimming lessons and extra Saturday activities like beach cleanups and surfing to teach young people how to live with and protect the ocean. Through these actives, they are also inspiring a new generation of marine conservationists along the way.
Ocean Guardians needs your help! They are currently aiming to raise 10,000 USD necessary to fund the project. Help us inspire the next generation of Ocean Guardians – Please donate anything you can spare.
Since we started this project in 2012…
1,980 young Mozambicans have learned about marine conservation
430 have learned to swim
7 people represented Inhambane Province at the National Swim Championships
3 areas engaged: Bazaruto, Pomene and Tofo
7 locals trained as swimming instructors
3 graduated from ecotourism internships
Not only do we want to inspire our young graduates to be able to conduct sustainable fishing practices but we want to inspire positive conservation action in all they do. The initiative – which is run by the community for the community – not only promotes a positive relationship with the ocean and increases awareness of the threats to Mozambique’s unique marine environment but, at the same time, reduces the number of drowning incidents.
Ocean Guardians works with the coastal communities that represent the biggest threat to marine life to help change their perception of the ocean as being only a source of income and food. Over half of Mozambique’s population is under 18 so our little Nemos are the decision-makers of the future. Through our lessons, we hope to inspire and empower young Mozambicans to love the ocean as much as we do so they cherish the marine ecosystem and fully understand the importance of the sustainable use of its limited resources.
In Mozambique, the ocean is usually seen as something dangerous to stay away from. By the end of our programme, these young people will have gone through extensive water safety and ocean swimming training and will even have gone on an “ocean safari” to snorkel with ocean giants such as whale sharks and manta rays. Inspired by our initiative, many of our young Guardians have developed a strong love for the ocean. For example, one of our local instructors, Narciso Nhampossa, was not only one of the first to join our Ocean Guardians programme but is now one of the best surfers in Tofo Beach.