Diamonds Do Good is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to support programs that develop and empower people in natural diamond communities and share these positive impact stories.
We, at Dracakis Jewellers, celebrate the positive impact that diamonds have on communities around the world by working closely with vendors from across the globe – who actively participate in Diamonds Do Good programs, including brands like Hearts On Fire & Pomellato, among other specialist diamond merchants.
In keeping with the Diamonds Do Good mission of supporting initiatives that develop and empower people in diamond communities worldwide, the organization looks to fund programs that have proven success in providing youth with high-quality education, including leadership development and entrepreneurial skills building.
Before we look more closely at some of these programs, lets take a closer look at a typical Diamond’s Journey from mine – to Diamonds Do Good’s work.
From the time they are mined…
Diamond mining develops local communities by providing jobs, education & healthcare to over ten million people worldwide.
While they are cut & polished….
Nine out of ten diamonds are cut & polished in India – an industry which employs more than 1 million people!
At Dracakis Jewellers…
We strive to engage & participate in our local community, particularly on Sydney’s North Shore, where the Dracakis brand was born.
Diamonds Do Good…
Diamonds Do Good gives back to programs in diamond-producing countries that have proves success in providing youth with high quality education, including leadership development & entrepreneurial skills building.
The physical aspects of a natural diamond capture a small piece of the immense joy they bring into this world.
The fifth C Community explores, experiences, and expresses a diamonds real story and value.
Along their journey from mine to finger, natural diamonds enrich the lives of those they touch. With commitment from the industry’s responsible and sustainable partners, diamonds help bring economic growth, education, healthcare, infrastructure development, clean water, wildlife protection, and more to towns and cities across the globe.
From time to time, we’ll feature highlights from Diamonds Do Good’s work here on our blog, but here are some of our favourite stories.
De Beers: Protecting Ecosystems in Africa through the Longest Translocation of Elephants in History
Nestled along De Beers’ Diamond Route in South Africa, Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve’s 80,000 acres of fertile land and safe conditions created a “large” problem: too many elephants were impacting the ecosystem.
The Reserve is home to over 400 different species of birds, plants, and fauna among a variety of landscapes as well as a flourishing elephant population. In 2018, there were 270 elephants in the reserve, exceeding the Reserve’s carrying capacity of around 70. This was starting to overwhelm the wider ecosystem.
De Beers Group, a leading mining group in the diamond industry, are managing an initiative in partnership with Peace Parks Foundation, to translocate up to 200 of these elephants to Zinave National Park in Mozambique, a country whose wildlife population was severely depleted.
“Elephants are really intelligent animals,” Dr. Corne Anderson, Ecology & Biodiversity Manager for De Beers Group, said. “We are moving family herds that can communicate with each other during the process of the movement.”
Translocation is the process of capturing, loading, transporting, and releasing the animals in their new habitat, while keeping elephant family groups together. Moving elephants across across borders involves a great deal of planning, taking over eight months to organize.
The move, one of the longest elephant translocations ever attempted, has so far involved moving 101 elephants over 1,000 miles across Africa, helping to “rewild” Zinave National Park and allowing for a rebirth of the ecosystem, with further elephants to be added in the coming years as travel restrictions are lifted.
“There is no greater symbol of Africa than the majestic elephant,” Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said. “For us to be able to help secure their future in Mozambique, while also ensuring other species at our Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve can flourish, is something every employee of De Beers Group is proud of.”
The addition of the elephants in Mozambique has helped spark a rebirth to the ecosystem. Species of birds not seen for several years and new elephant babies have been spotted throughout the park. Through the Anglo American Foundation, De Beers Group has also committed $500,000 of funding over five years to support a well-trained team of anti-poaching rangers to protect the animals, creating more jobs.
De Beers Group’s work to protect ecosystems throughout Africa goes above and beyond to align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land as they continue to support this initiative to protect ecosystems throughout Africa—another example of how Diamonds Do Good.
Rio Tinto Takes on Project to Help Villages in India
There’s a new diamond project in India, and the company behind its development—Rio Tinto Group, one of the world’s largest diamond producers—is doing more than preparing to construct a mine site. The company is known for its commitment to sustainable development, and through this development is helping people who live in the area become healthier, happier, and more prosperous.
The developing mine is called the Bunder project, and it’s located in the Chhatarpur district in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, 311 miles southeast of Delhi, India’s capital. The estimated $500 million project, which was discovered in 2004, is exciting for India, because it’s the first diamond discovery in the country in more than 40 years
The Bunder project currently employs 350 people, 94 percent of whom are from Madhya Pradesh—and these numbers will likely double between now and 2019, when the mine is scheduled to become operational.
Better Access to Clean Water
After joining forces with Haritika, a local non-government organization, Rio Tinto Group employees set a goal to provide a reliable water supply to individual homes in the 15 core villages around Bunder (about 860 households containing close to 4,700 people). Working in tandem with the villagers, the employees analyzed results from a study on available water sources near each village, and then installed numerous bore wells and equipped them with solar-powered pumps to transport the water to collection tanks inside the villages. Next, pipelines were installed to take the water from the collection tanks into individual houses. Village Water and Sanitation Committees, comprised of villagers, have been established to manage the recurring expenses and keep the water clean. Just take a look at how this new water system has positively impacted the villagers:
Villagers have more time. In the past, many villagers—usually women—would walk a half of a mile several times a day to collect water for cooking, bathing, and other domestic uses. Jagdish Singh of the Majora village says, “My mother used to spend more than three hours a day fetching water. She had to go down to a valley and climb back with two to three vessels of water.” Today, villagers can use that precious time more wisely.
Villagers have gardens. Singh, for instance, has developed a kitchen garden that he can water. He has planted seeds to grow brinjal (eggplant), tomatoes, chillies, coriander, and more. This allows him to save 250 to 300 rupees per week, and he no longer has to spend any time traveling to buy the food.
Villagers are enjoying improved health. Due to cleaner water, the villagers have seen a decrease in water-borne diseases (which means that incidences of certain health issues, such as vomiting, cholera, and skin problems, are going down).
Villagers are making more money. Since Singh’s mother no longer has to spend three hours each day fetching water, she can now use that time to do tailoring work, which helps her earn more income for her family. Another young villager, Chote Raja from the Jagara village, notes that his mother got a job with her local Village Water and Sanitation Committee. She is paid to operate the water distribution system, and that income helps her support her family.
Villagers have smiles on their faces. The convenience of having fresh water coming directly into their homes brings an immense amount of joy and relief to the villagers. In the past, a high water demand and a low water supply led to lots of quarreling, and all of that psychological stress and pressure was taking a toll on the villagers’ mental health. This new water system has created a calmer, friendlier atmosphere that gives villagers more time to socialize and relax. And it allows women to work more, which boosts not only their bank accounts, but also their self-confidence.
Wider Water Goals
Helping villagers gain direct access to clean water is only one small part of the larger water plan. Efforts are also focused on recharging the water table to prevent the newly dug wells from drying up. Beyond that, programs are in place to make sure that there is sufficient water to support agricultural initiatives. There are also plans to repair and maintain traditional water structures, deepen water augmentation ponds, repair hand pumps, and more.
Water conservation is also an extremely important goal. To help this drought-prone area, the company is harvesting rainwater, using waterless urinals and pour-flush toilets, and using drip irrigation for camp gardens. Also, the state-of-the art sample processing plant at Bunder is designed to reduce water consumption through recycling and water harvesting.
Making sure that water quality in the villages will be maintained once mining begins is a priority for the project. The wastewater from the sample processing plant is monitored daily and the water bores under Bunder’s control in the plant are monitored regularly. Plus, to ensure that the rainwater that may overflow from the tailing pond in monsoon season is not contaminated, a garland drainage system has been constructed.
Through the Bunder project, Rio Tinto strives to provide both an economic and environmental boost to India.
Be sure to check back in again to learn more about Diamonds Do Good & the impact they have worldwide – and wear your Dracakis Diamond Jewellery with pride!