We have had a fabulous year at Ilha Blue, clocking up a bunch of new experiences and firsts.
In the last days of 2023, here is a rundown of the achievements.
Women and Tourism
2023 saw a determined focus on opening up possibilities for women and mentoring women to take up meaningful roles in tourism. We kickstarted the year by training and employing 12 local women guides.
We boosted the quota of women employed in full time roles and now we have parity with the number of men employed. Café Azulejo, located in the Ilha Blue shop, is entirely staffed and operated by local women from the island.
Samira, @orampelela, finished her degree in International Development and was employed full time as ‘manager-in-training’.
Mariamo came onboard as a trainee at Café Azulejo and quickly made herself indispensable. You will also see her on the famous Sunset Sail and she is currently increasing her snorkeling skills with the aim of leading tours as well.
Art, Film and Dance
continues to go from strength to strength notching up some excellent sales throughout the year. It is fully self-sustaining and has taken over a separate space for its natural-dye operations. The women have also developed a ‘Capulana Mussiro’ tour for groups. And the fabrics are for sale at Ilha Blue.
In September Bruce and Tarryn Buttery http://www.panga.co.za/ approached Ilha Blue to make a documentary for CNN Inside Africa about the women entrepreneurs. The working title is: Keeping Afloat: The Triumph of Ilha de Moçambique. It also includes Yara Costa https://www.yc-creativeplatform.org/and Nina Cassimo from Ancora D’Ouro restaurant and the gift shop ‘Mussiro’.
Ssh…it has not gone to air yet – more on that later!
To round off the year the women from Ilha Blue have been invited to join ‘Capoeira para futuro’ led by the dynamic Mozambican woman, Joana Vasconcelos. Capoeira emphasizes fluidity, improvisation, and the integration of mind, body, and spirit. It empowers, builds respect and promotes inclusion. A great end to an impact-filled year and an excellent springboard into 2024!