Before an audience of industry leaders, heads of state and foreign dignitaries, The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) last night bestowed its Diamonds Do Good Award for Community Stewardship to leading diamond miner ALROSA and its Diamonds Do Good Award for Community Building to the leading independent jewelers that comprise the Luxury Jewelers Resource Group.
The funds raised will be used to provide higher-education scholarships and assistance to empower young people living in diamond producing countries and where the diamond industry does business, and to help communicate this ‘Diamonds Do Good’ impact to consumers.
Botswana Top Achiever student and recent Stanford graduate, Moratwa Chamme, represented D.E.F’s Student Scholars. She said, “This [scholarship] is not just college tuition. To my country, Botswana, it is an investment in its human capital and evidence of the positive impact of diamonds.”
Dignitaries attending the event included His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, president of the Republic of Botswana, the first lady, Mrs Neo Jane Masisi and a delegation of senior leaders from Botswana.
The successful event was aided by an encore of last year’s first-ever industry “Balloons For Good” appeal. Emceed by Awards Chair and president of Fred Meyers Jewelers, Pete Engel, the on-site appeal raised an additional $100,000 dollars for D.E.F’s mission.
Honorees receiving Diamonds Do Good awards for their own efforts at bringing about social impact change included diamond mining giant, ALROSA. Noted CEO Sergey Ivanov; “We set ourselves an ambitious task, to make ALROSA’s regions of operation develop together with the company by providing employees a good wage, safe working conditions, modern infrastructure and strong social development programs which have been a key priority of the company since diamonds were first found in Yakutia in 1954.”
The Luxury Jewelers Resource Group was awarded the Diamonds do Good Community Building Award for their efforts at fostering positive social programs in the neighborhoods in which their stores are located. Noted Michael Pollak, CEO of Hyde Park Jewelers who accepted the award for the group, “I believe this award will inspire other jewelers to [continue to] elevate their business practices to serve their clients and communities in an ethical and transparent manner, when we can foster this spirit among our peers, this represents a win for the entire industry.”
D.E.F. president Anna Martin, also senior vice president of GIA, closed the evening by saying, “the recipients of this year’s Diamonds Do Good Awards truly reflect the ongoing positive impact being fostered by the diamond industry around the world. Sharing these stories with our consumers is not only good for business, it is a responsibility for the entire industry.”
Lead sponsors of the Diamonds Do Good Awards included De Beers, the Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Signet Jewelers (Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Zales Jewelers), ALROSA, Le Vian, and the JCK Industry Fund.
About the Diamond Empowerment Fund
The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a global non-profit based in New York City inspired by Nelson Mandela and founded by leaders in the diamond industry in 2007 to empower diamond communities around the world. Its beneficiaries include: the Botswana Top Achievers program providing the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development; The Graca Machel Mandela Foundation supports bringing 20,000 Tanzanian out-of-school youth back to school. Veerayatan, a model for encouraging development of responsible citizens who are educated, have strong integrity and a motivation to give back to their community. D.E.F supports students attending its colleges of Pharmacy, Business Administration and Engineering. www.diamondempowerment.org.