Joaquina Marrengula, Love the Ocean’s Gender Equity Lead and who is going to be one of the swim instructors this year.
Our #BreakingBarriers project forms part of our continued commitment for promoting Inclusiveness, Integrity and Collaboration in swimming around the world, and here we are focusing on the latest project by Love The Oceans who are working and helping women learn to swim in Mozambique as part of a pioneering ocean conservation programme.
About Love the Oceans
Love The Oceans is a non-profit marine conservation organisation working in Jangamo Bay, Mozambique. Jangamo, whilst home to a huge host of marine life, has never been studied in depth for any prolonged amount of time. Love The Oceans is working to protect and study the diverse marine life found there, including many species of sharks, rays and the famous humpback whales. They use research, education and diving to drive action towards a more sustainable future. Their ultimate goal is to establish a Marine Protected Area for the Inhambane Province in Mozambique, achieving higher biodiversity whilst protecting endangered species.
Love the Oceans state that empowering key stakeholders to manage their marine assets is essential when creating systemic generational change. A protected area is only as good as its management, and female empowerment forms a major tool in their conservation strategy: “amplifying voices of local women and creating a space for them at the table is key to creating a successful conservation strategy”.
Pairing female empowerment with scientific research forms the bedrock of Love the Oceans evidence-based conservation approach. The team are changemakers, and as a female-led charity, Love The Oceans is a marine conservation organisation working to empower coastal communities to protect their ocean and its inhabitants through holistic management.
To achieve this, Love The Oceans are working with the next generation of women through community-led education and swimming initiatives, and their Ocean Conservation Champion (OCC) programme which provides essential skillsets to increase access to the ocean. Key to this is teaching the OCCs how to swim, because once this has been achieved, they can then learn to scuba dive, which is an essential tool in marine data collection.
These women will be the first ever female Mozambique swim teachers and scuba divers in the district, and will be trailblazers in their community.