A very candid interview with Guludo and Nema's founder, Amy, asking questions such as, "What is your plan to transform the tourism sector? How do you measure your impact? How have you dealt with working across cultural barriers? What new challenges are coming up for you in the next decade?"
Food security, deforestation and climate change all directly impact our local communities. So when Gustavo, Nema's GM, suggested a cashew planting project, we jumped on it. Fast forward a few months and the Nema Team have now planted 3,500 cashew trees in schools, homes and "mashambas" throughout the communities we partner with. So far, the seedlings are doing well. Watch this space for progress...
A great interview on Seven West Travel Club with Guludo's founder, Amy, giving a lovely glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes...
"While working on a whale research boat off Exmouth in her late teens, Amy Carter-James was inspired by the potential of tourism to create positive change. She tells Angie Tomlinson about her work in Mozambique to harness the travel industry to improve the lives of the local community."
Last week I had the honour, and it truly was, of speaking about Guludo to a group of students on the Earth Bound, semester abroad programme of the Green School (in Bali) while they were staying at TribeWanted Monestevole, here in the heart of Italy. If these students are anything to go by, the future of our planet is in safe hands!
After visiting Guludo in October 2014, Joss and Alex decided to say their wedding vows on Guludo's stunning shores. The ceremony, led by our very own Amisse and Angelica, was beautifully simple and intimate. Above all, it was joyous celebration of their relationship; not just for the happy couple and their families but for the whole Guludo team who put their hearts and souls into making the day perfect.
Country & Town House's top picks for a sun-drenched holiday in Africa's hottest beach destination.
"It is situated on possibly the best beach I have ever seen, with pristine white sand stretching as far as the eye can see. Eco credentials are taken seriously here – there’s no electricity or running water – but if you want somewhere a little quirky to stay then it’s a real winner."
Browse around the site and you can see how crazy beautiful Mozambique is. However, sadly Mozambique also has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. A perfect example of why we chose Mozambique for our social enterprise (including Guludo and Nema) and why we are so passionate about working alongside our local communities to build a future which brings more opportunities to young girls (and boys) to marry when the time is right for them.
No one could have prepared us for the Activities Team's first Stand Up Paddling (SUP) lesson! all of us ended up doubled over on the sand, unable to stand for laughing so hard as one by one they confidently stepped onto the board and spectacularly fell in the water. A picture paints a thousand words, so enjoy...
Three women gave birth on the way to the clinic this month. Thankfully all survived and are doing well, but others haven't been so lucky.
After a tremendous amount of work both fundraising and importing the bikes by the Nema team, two motorbike ambulances have just arrived in Guludo.
"Matafome" translates as "kill the hunger" and this is what the children chanted the very first day we (Nema Foundation) started the school meals project in Guludo school. The name stuck and now the project is affectionately called Matafome and reaches almost 1,000 children in our area, every school day.
"A baby girl died today." Founder of JoJo Maman Bebe, Laura Tenison, is in Guludo at the moment and writes a heartbreaking, yet inspiring, blog about child mortality and how important Nema's work is. Laura and the JoJo team work tirelessly to help our sister charity, Nema, develop and expand our mission to relieve poverty in this part of the world.
Over the years we've affectionately got to know one particular pod of bottlenose dolphins. There are normally between a 12-18 in the group and we first got to know them in 2007 when they seemed to be waiting for every time we went past Rolas or Matemo islands. They come and go but it is easy to spot them as a particularly bold one has what looks like a bite out of his (or her!) dorsal fin!
Guludo's story has travelled far and this month it reached the beautiful shores of Borneo.
Guludo's founder Amy, was invited to the Asian Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APECO) to talk about the potential of tourism's to contribute to communities.
I have seen a lot of bad “gender equality” projects, especially in Afghanistan where the culture is not ready for certain projects and it can be more detrimental to empowerment to force it on a culture not ready for women’s rights than it can be to try to do “gender-based” projects by well-meaning but misguided amateurs.
The underlying principle of development being Do no Harm, we at Nema try to do all of our projects in slow and understated but effective way.
A few weeks ago at the Bilibeza agricultural school graduation I was approached by a teacher, Bashir, from the school who wanted to collaborate on some projects with Nema. He is quite an inspiration. He has been trained in various countries to do some fantastic environmental and agricultural projects and now lives in Bilibeza, teaching one day a week and running a local NGO, solely peopled by Mozambicans, with an agricultural speciality. At his house I met his wife, an expert in organic pesticides, and saw her prepare a meal of lovely looking tomatoes and other vegetables from their garden. Outside their house, shared with others is a cord pump well, installed by Bashir that is the easiest pump I’ve used since I’ve been here.
After signing an MoU last week we have started working together as partners in earnest, it’s great for me to be able to step back and hand over to a Mozambican, much more positive than a white face giving stuff out all of the time. One of our collaboration is a small cooperative for women to make soap.
After numerous meetings with the village chefe in Ningaia to ask his permission to undertake a project for the ladies, we are now well underway with a soap making project that will give some of the ladies that little bit of income and identity that will make their lives better, but not disproportionately better than anyone else therefore not creating too much resentment.
We asked the Chefe de Ningaia to choose 10 ladies from his village who he thought would be interested in the micro-enterprise we wanted to set up and to choose from those who had the most suffering or largest families to support alone.
There are no Geldof-style Band Aid pictures from this part of Mozambique but I was here in this village measuring kids a few weeks ago and all of them are stunted in their growth; the lack of good and varied nutrition means that not only physical but also mental growth is seriously compromised by the monotonous diet that is affordable for most families. A small income to buy tomatoes and bananas for the family will make a difference to lives that is tangible and important but still a baby step and not out of line with other people in the community.
10 ladies turned up at our training session; of varying ages they all warily entered the house of the adjutant of Ningaia and shyly sat down but after some training they possessed a certain degree of confidence once together in the group which was amazing to see and they were able to have fun whilst learning, what could be better?
Using jatropha oil and caustic soda we made soap to sell and soap for their families. Our new uber‑partner Bashir is great with people and the ladies really responded to his teaching. They were laughing freely and conversing with Bashir and Nema workers Manuel and Assane which was awesome to watch.
The soap has a medical quality that helps with the skin complaints that the children get on their heads here.
The Nema staff were also excited as they described an infection sounding a lot like athlete’s foot that is common here especially during the rainy season and that this soap can help cure.
After the first demonstration the ladies set off on making a batch on their own, even calculating the new amounts to make a bigger batch, given the state of mental arithmetic here (drives me nuts that 40x10 needs to be done on a calculator) it was really good to hear them multiplying numbers. I disappeared for 10 minutes to meet someone and came back to the third batch as everyone wanted to try to make their own.
The ladies were so engaged that the question and answer session at the end involved them all clamouring to answer the questions, they even started making budgets and plans for the future.
After electing Laura as their chef they sang a song for the health of my children (and by default I’m assuming the health of all of our donor’s children). So cute, I watched the video again and again that night, made me so proud of them and hopeful for their future.
Of course that’s not the end of our involvement with these ladies, but it is the beginning of the end: all good projects have an end. Whilst we covered the small cost of the initial investment, the ladies are now their own company and they can make their own decisions. Manuel will visit them every week, he only lives a few houses away so that will be easy enough, and he wants to be their second customer (I am the first). But the rate of production, continuation of the project and ongoing costs are for the group to consider as a group. Whilst we will maintain good contact with these ladies, if for no other reason than I like them, our support will now be for training and help with resupply runs but not financial.
We’re hoping that this is the start of a series of small local projects for people to make their lives a bit better. We’ve already got our orphans making stuff to sell and now our Ningaia soap, next stop an oven for the ladies of Naunde.