60% of Mozambique’s 28 million live close to the ocean and many depend on it for their livelihood. Current fishing practices are placing significant pressures on the marine environment and its resources.
For most Mozambicans, the ocean is something to be feared. Many cannot swim and each year countless drowning fatalities occur along the coastline, as people risk their lives on a daily basis to provide for their families.
52% of Mozambicans are under the age of 18, which provides great opportunity for change. Future Ocean Guardians is our flagship education program which aims to create a new generation of ocean guardians who understand and cherish their marine environment.
Educating young people about the wonders of the ocean empowers them to connect with their underwater world and work together to protect the marine environment for the future. The program inspires action and helps coastal communities by promoting sustainable fishing practices and marine ecotourism. As it is run by the community, for the community, it is shaped by their specific needs and continues to evolve, making sure it is effective and remains relevant for many years to come.
Key achievements since 2012:
- Over 1,500 Mozambican children have learnt about marine conservation
- More than 250 children have learnt how to swim
- The program has received government approval in the Inhambane Province and been incorporated to the curriculum of 6 primary schools
- 8 local people have been employed full-time, of which 7 have been trained as Future Ocean Guardian instructors
- 3 program graduates have secured internships within the ecotourism industry
- 1 silver medal won at Mozambique’s National Swimming Championships in 2016, and 7 medals won in 2017
To make an extensive, lasting contribution to life along Mozambique’s coastline, global support is required through investment and collaboration. Locally, this program has proven to be a success. Our next challenge is to find partnerships to scale up this success on a national and international level. Through global educational campaigns, we can spread our conservation message to reach and inspire women and men, young and old, in communities across the world.