Support the Artisanal Diamond Mining Communities
Artisanal diamond miners and diggers live in extreme poverty in developing countries. To alleviate poverty, Diamonds for Peace supports these miners and diggers in organizing themselves into cooperatives and strengthening their capacity by providing training sessions. The trainings include team building, leadership, organizational management, smart mining technique, basic evaluation of rough diamonds, human rights and environmental protection, health and safety, and promotion of cottage business such as bee keeping for sustainable income generation.
We have been supporting an artisanal diamond mining community in Liberia in a following way to develop a model to scale to other mining communities in the future:
– Encouraged miners (mining license holders) to form a cooperative and encouraged diggers to form a diggers’ association to be a part of the cooperative to advocate their rights.
– Encourage the existing women’s group to be a part of the cooperative.
– Encourage the cooperative to have regular meetings.
– Help the pre-cooperative to satisfy the conditions set by Liberian government to obtain a full-fledged cooperative status especially the business plan development.
– Teach the importance of keeping minutes of meetings and how to do it.
– Teach the importance of keeping the financial records such as due payment collection, expenditure, sales and how to do it.
– Teach leaders the importance of being responsible for the activities and management.
– Developed and conducted the team building training, taught participants that they have rights to express their opinions/ideas freely even if they are not leaders, importance of communication and trust, and facilitated each group of participants develop its own action plan.
– Facilitated the community meeting on sanitation, the most pressing issue in the community, to grasp the situation and the way forward to improve it.
– Conducted various survey to understand the reality, complexity, and relationships among stakeholders.
– Conducted the feasibility study on bee keeping business.
– Organize and hold the training and OJT (On the Job Training) of bee keeping for beginners, give guidance to the cooperative on management of tools and equipment. Facilitate the discussion how the trainees and the cooperative share the profit to be gained by honey sales. (Plan for 2020)
– Develop and conduct the training on environmental protection. (Plan for 2020)
– Develop the tools for due diligence. (Plan for 2020)
– Develop and conduct the training on human rights including labor rights, safety and health. (Planning)
– Develop the traceable and accountable supply chain of the diamond mined by the cooperative. (Planning)
Support the Diamond Cutting and Polishing Factories
The World cutting center for diamonds is located in Surat, India. Although the Indian government has banned child labor, it is said to be prevalent still in this industry. Diamonds for Peace aims to assist the cutting and polishing factories in India to reduce child labor and introduce humanitarian practices to factories. Diamonds for Peace has already begun research on evaluating the current situation of child labor in the diamond cutting and polishing factories in India. We will update the old literature, analyze the causes, and recommend how we can address this issue effectively.
Support Jewelers’ Responsible Sourcing
There are no responsibly mined diamonds by the artisanal miners in Africa available in the World market, although the demand is big according to our interaction with jewelers around the world. Because Diamonds for Peace is working with the artisanal diamond miners and diggers in Liberia, future goals include linking their cooperatives and international ethical buyers through a licensed exporter so that consumers in other countries can have access to ethically mined diamonds. This will also help the artisanal diamond miners to invest a part of the profit to improve their own communities by making their own decisions.
Support Consumers’ Ethical Decision Making on Diamonds
Throughout history diamonds have been seen as a symbol of love. Diamonds are given as gifts by people in love all around the world at the happiest moments of their lives. We strongly believe that the diamonds mined, cut and processed with love need to be used for these occasions. To support the ethical decision making and purchasing of diamonds, Diamonds for Peace develops and distributes IEC materials on the issues of diamonds and on how consumers can select jewelry created using responsibly sourced diamonds. Diamonds for Peace also shares the latest news and outcomes in terms of responsible diamond sourcing around the world. We also conduct surveys to examine the degree of awareness by consumers and diamond retailers periodically. We consider the activities targeting consumers essential because we believe they are the most powerful entities to change the behavior of the diamond industry.
In a case of disaster and epidemic in countries where we work, Diamonds for Peace provides with emergency assistance to save lives of people.
COVID-19 Emergency Assistance in Liberia (2020, ongoing):
Diamonds for Peace has been providing hygiene supplies such as hand washing buckets, soaps, locally made cloth masks to the poorest families who don’t have hand washing facilities. You can read details at the below pages.
– COVID-19 Emergency Assistance in Liberia (May 2020)
– First Update on COVID-19 Emergency Assistance in Liberia (May 2020)
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Emergency Assistance in Liberia (2014 – 2016):
Diamonds for Peace provided community schools in Monrovia which did not receive any supplies from international organizations/NGOs with hygiene supplies such as faucet buckets, soaps, thermometers and sensitized about how to wash hands properly.
Diamonds for Peace also provided assistance to local volunteer group which sensitized local people with correct information on EVD and provided food for patients.