We operate a small community focused tourism business on the UNESCO World Heritage listed island - Ilha De Mozambique. Our business aims to create employment opportunities for local people within the growing tourism industry. We have been operating for 8 years.
In 2017 our efforts were recognised internationally when we won 'GOLD' in the African Responsible Tourism Awards "Best for engaging people and culture"
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
Language learning is an obvious benefit. Portuguese is the official day-to-day language but more local languages are also spoken.
Also learn more about the local culture and way of life through our activities which are all operated from start to finish by local people. Hang out with the crews of traditional dhows , help with preparing lunch on a remote islands, explore the marine environment with people who were born to the sea. And if you are interested in social justice observe close up local politics, issues and empowering strategies and events - Ilha is a hot spot for these things
A lot of people want to learn about our business, how we operate and how we keep it ethical. we are always happy to share this
We want to hear from IT people, educators, administrators, communicators, fixers and creative types. Specific knowledge of retail, tourism marketing and whale watching/marine biology would be absolutely fantastic.
We always need Volunteers who can help with IT and digital marketing support along with Admin improvements. Earlier volunteers Sophie and Jonathan completely set up an online booking system with Bookeo. Matt and Megan did a huge job to integrate everything through Google drive, Calendars etc. Lowan's work on SEO, Instagram and general improvements was priceless, Oscar cataloging all of our media clips so that we can make better movies easier has greatly improved our ability to make promo films - big thanks guys. If you think you can build on these earlier efforts then let us know.
Education is a huge part of what we do. So far our workers have benefited from Jen's very timely presentation on ocean plastics, this really made an impact at the local level and we continue to see changed attitudes towards plastic bags and other 'disposable' items. Brian's whale workshops inspired our guides and gave them a whole new way to see and describe these magnificent mammals. Kate helped out with customer service and sales techniques but her main contribution was in encouraging our guides to break away from standard historical narratives and introduce contemporary issues and lifestyle stories into their walking and bike tours. Most recently Rosalind worked alongside Atija to develop a new Capalana tour, led by women for women, which is expected to begin this year. Rosalind also contributed her beautiful illustration skills to create groovy menus and other things. Again a big thanks and a call out for more educators to continue these initiatives.
Of course these are the measurable contributions made by volunteers, just as important are the intangible things like friendship, inspiration, fun and style that each volunteer has brought to our staff and to the island.
In the months ahead we want to focus more on responsible whale watching.
We have developed Ilha De Mozambique as a globally significant whale watching destination, but, there are animal welfare issues that we need to address. More and more local operators are taking advantage of this new opportunity, and so they should, but without fully understanding the importance of responsible practice they could impact the whales and damage the destinations reputation. Education on keeping a safe distance, not disturbing mothers with newborn calves, not chasing the whales and other established protocols would benefit both the whale watch operators and the whales themselves. We need Cetacean/marine biology experts as volunteers and also communication and training professionals to get the messages out to operators and future visitors.
We also hope to finally develop our shop space in a way that encourages more women to participate in tourism. We have architects drawings but can still benefit from creative input of designers, cafe and retail professionals. There's also some hands-on building work, working alongside local carpenters and builders to keep the work place functional while the renovation goes on.
Engaging more girls and women in tourism has always been a big goal of ours. It's one of our stated aims to find a way for more women to benefit from the growing tourism economy and now that our shop/cafe space looks finally set to happen this dream can become a reality. First we have to understand the barriers that currently exist and devise strategies for overcoming them. We have years of experience working on this same challenge with young Indigenous people in Central Australia and many of the strategies we developed there can be adopted here. A volunteer would most likely be female, have skills in engaging people through stimulating activities (that may or may not be to do with tourism) but should be educational, creative and fun. Portuguese would be great but not essential. At the beginning we need somebody who can devote a decent chunk of time to this, but after that could be open to volunteers who can offer a one off activity - perhaps come in one morning and teach a particular skill or make a presentation on a topic of interest??
Get in touch if you are interested in volunteering with us. We like discrete projects, something we agree to in advance, with a clear objective and time frame. And it must fit into just 12 hours a week, so lots of time for play and experiencing this unbelievably wonderful island
We still need help with Bike repair and maintenance - we have 12 Pashley ex Royal Mail bikes that we use for tours around the island. These bikes are top quality but would benefit from some expert love and attention. We also have 14 cheaper bikes which we hire out. Only a few days to a week of volunteering work
Gardening/ training. People here have a good understanding of how to grow essential food crops. We would like to step things up a little with more herbs and leafy greens that can handle this climate and also ornamental plants for which there could be a small business opportunity in local homes and hotels. We don't have lots of space but creating a dedicated potting shed/shade area to nurture seedlings/cuttings would be good, also help us improve our compost system to make better soil, and other activities that can be scaled up, perhaps creating opportunities for micro/small enterprises. For a volunteer a little work over longer period would be good - come spend a month or more here (summer is not the best time for this)
English, Portuguese. Macua
We have 2 rooms, both with private ensuite bathroom. One room in the main house the other with separate entrance from the garden. Food provided is breakfast everyday and a big lunch 6 days a week. This is generally sufficient with perhaps a light snack at own expense in the evening
Because we are a tourism business we can offer unlimited activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, sailing on our traditional dhow, bike riding etc Volunteers could also immerse themselves in the local culture, the island has a very lively social scene that centres around the streets in the evening and regular events like festivals, sports and cultural ceremonies. Also because we deal with visitors from all over the world you will never be short of opportunities to make new friends
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
3hrs 4 days a week