The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) yesterday announced that it has received a $30,000 grant from the Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) to support the second year of programming at the mobile school in the mining village of Kankala, of the Kasai Occidental province, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Diamond Empowerment Mobile school was one of the first two in DDI’s “Sending Schools to Kids” remedial education program – offering children the opportunity to leave the mines and go back to school, with the goal of eventually re-integrating the regular education system and building a better future for themselves and their families. DEF funding also provides meals, uniforms and school supplies for the children, as well as paying the salaries of teachers and caretakers.
“We recognize that we are barely scratching the surface,” said Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI. “All children, from elementary and secondary levels, should be in school and we believe this will require a strengthened commitment from international and local partners and various levels of government. “But today, thanks to the Diamond Empowerment Fund, there are 20 children in Kankala who are receiving a good education,” she said. “Twenty children with the chance to succeed are bringing hope to their village. And this is only the beginning.” DEF Executive Director and CEO Nancy Lyman said, “DEF’s mission is to support sustainable approaches to development and education in diamond communities around the world. We are proud to be a part of DDI’s mobile schooling project and we look forward to hearing good things about these 20 students in the future.”