Press Release: Diamond Empowerment Fund Supports DDI’s Mobile School Program

140 95 Rapaport News

Press Release: The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) announced its support of a mobile school for youth in the Kankala mining community of the Kasaï Occidentale province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Set to open in June 2015, the Diamond Empowerment Mobile School will give 25 children a chance at a brighter future. It will be one of eight planned schools developed by the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI). Mobile schools consist of traveling teachers and portable materials that are brought to a mining community for a condensed school year. These communities are in remote locations where children, particularly girls, would not otherwise have full access to education.

“To provide education to an additional 25 children in mining communities is phenomenal,” said Dorothée Gizenga, the executive director of DDI. “It means 25 fewer children in mining and 25 more children with a daily meal and the chance to succeed.”

Ian Smillie, the chairman of the board at DDI, said, “Sending schools to kids is a proactive and practical approach to a longstanding problem. We look forward to partnering with those, like the Diamond Empowerment Fund, who share our vision on a more permanent solution.”

D.E.F.’s president, Phyllis Bergman, said “The Mobile Education School’s project is synergistic with D.E.F.’s mission to support sustainable approaches to development and education in diamond communities around the world. This is another example of how diamonds truly do good.”

The D.E.F. joins Brilliant Earth as the first two sponsors of mobile schools in the DRC.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund was co-founded by Russell Simmons, De Beers, and other leaders in the diamond industry in 2007 to empower youth from diamond-producing countries and communities where the diamond and jewelry industry does business around the world with access to higher education. To date D.E.F. has impacted over 2,000 students, furthering the message that Diamonds Do Good. Visit for more inspirational stories and follow Diamonds Do Good on Facebook and @DiamondsDoGood on Twitter and Instagram.

The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) promotes sustainable development through education, policy, dialog and projects working directly with artisanal miners and their communities. Mobile Schooling is Sending Schools to Kids™.

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