At its mid-year board meeting held today, the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) approved up to $500,000 in grants to help students and young entrepreneurs from diamond mining countries or where the diamond industry does significant global business. This is a direct result of sponsors of last month’s highly successful Diamond Do Good Awards fundraising dinner in Las Vegas. The goal of these grants is to help build strong, sustainable, and economically successful communities.
The funds will be allocated to existing beneficiaries, including the Botswana Top Achievers program, the Graca Machel Mandela Foundation, and India-based Veerayatan.
Funds will also support graduates of D.E.F’smobile school in the Democratic Republic of Congo to attend high school through the Diamond Development Initiative’s innovative program.New this year will be the establishment of Diamond Empowerment Fund Scholarships that can be used for higher education, leadership development, entrepreneurship, or vocational training for youth from either diamond mining countries or countries which play a central role in the diamond industry. The stipulation for scholarship recipients is that upon graduating their respective programs, they return to their communities to build economic growth, sustainability, and the development of strong social structures.