Nemos Pequenos: Creating Waves in Mozambique

By Marine Megafauna Foundation

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Mozambique boasts one of Africa's longest and most bio-diverse coastlines, with an abundance of marine megafauna species like whale sharks, manta rays, marine turtles and cetaceans. Over 45% of people living in the Inhambane Province make their living in, on or around the ocean and are dependent on diminishing coastal resources. Incredibly the majority of coastal inhabitants are unable to swim, with up to 4 drowning fatalities per day on Tofo Beach alone during summer. As a result many Mozambicans are afraid of the ocean, unaware of its true value, unique biodiversity or the critical threats it faces from human influences.

With 52% of Mozambique's population under 18 years of age, youth education plays a vital role in conservation. The Marine Megafauna Foundation's flagship education program, Nemos Pequenos, engages local Mozambican children with the ocean through integrated marine conservation, swimming and water safety instruction.

Our program is growing. We have expanded from a school holiday program in one coastal community, to a year-round activity across three communities. On September 10 2015, the Nemos Pequenos program was integrated into the Inhambane Province school curriculum.

By expanding to other coastal communities we can create a coastline of Ocean Guardians who have a compassionate understanding of their marine environment by empowering and enabling this generation to live with it and protect it.

To expand, we need access to remote communities through transportation and consistent access to swimming facilities. With $35,000 USD we can build a swimming pool, with $50,000 USD we can build a swimming pool and purchase an education mobile and with $100,000 USD we can build a swimming pool, purchase an education mobile mini-van AND keep our program running for two years.

Since Nemos Pequenos inauguration in 2012:

  • Over 800 young Mozambicans have learned about their ocean and its conservation
  • More than 200 have learned to swim
  • Three have secured internships within the marine ecotourism industry
  • Three instructors are fully qualified
  • Eleven instructors are currently in training from three communities in the Inhambane Province
  • Our efforts to combat the high incidence of drowning fatalities have resulted in a 30% reduction in these numbers in 2014 (ADMAR).

With your help we can create Ocean Guardians in four additional remote communities and engage 1,200 youth with our marine education program. This will ensure long-term sustainability for Nemos Pequenos.

Nemos Pequenos is a community run program and now we're turning to you, our community, to help us grow.

MMF is a tax-exempt non-profit charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the US tax code (Tax ID #46-0645082). All contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with US tax law. The Marine Megafauna Association is also a registered not-for-profit association in Mozambique.

If we do not raise enough funds to build our pool or buy a mini van, all funds raised will be used to enable the Nemos Pequenos program to grow and prosper.

Jump In. Donate Now. And Select a Perk!

Stay in a casita or chalet at our home, Casa Barry Beach Lodge, and meet our Nemos Pequenos during your visit. 7 night, 4 night and 2 night packages available for four or two people.

Don't miss your chance to snorkel with Tofo's Big 5 - humpback whales, dolphins, turtles, whale sharks and manta rays. Join Peri-Peri Divers for an ocean safari.

Two nights for two people staying in the exclusive Blue Footprints Eco Lodge, situated in the Barra/Tofo area in Inhambane, Mozambique. Blue Footprints offer private, tranquil, luxury accommodation. It is the perfect base from which to explore the area's bountiful marine creatures, rich cultural heritage, or just immerse yourself in the natural surroundings and relax!

This adorable dugong pair is exclusive to Nemos Pequenos - a 9x12" original watercolor painting (fits into an 8x10" mount). It is the fourth addition to the Nemos Pequenos Collection, happily donated by Sydney born artist, Mishy Rowan.

Select an iconic marine species to hang on your wall. A2 canvas print. Images by Daniel van Duinkerken Photography.

Select your favorite manta ray or whale shark photograph, signed by our leading scientists, Dr Andrea Marshall and Dr Simon Pierce.

Learn to surf from a local surf champion (and Nemos Pequenos instructor)!

If you love whale sharks and manta rays, why not ADOPT your own. You get to name the newly identified individual and you will be notified each time your ocean giant is sighted.

Campaign video credits:

Footage courtesy of: Nina Constable, Daniel van Duinkerken and Jo Hurford.

Music:"Beachfront Celebration" Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Team Members

Joanna Hurford

Dani Goldberg

sarah beer