Signet Jewelers Provides Funding for Two Schools in Artisanal Mining Communities in DRC

Ottawa, Canada, March 17, 2016 – The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) is pleased to announce a grant from Signet Jewelers that will enable DDI to send two mobile schools to communities in the Kasai Occidental province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Through its “Sending Schools to Kids” initiative, DDI provides a facility, portable materials and teachers to remote mining communities where education is not available. Each mobile school offers remedial education to 25 children who might otherwise be working in the mining fields.

“Mining diamonds is not an activity for children,” says Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI. “Signet Jewelers recognizes this, and has very generously provided another option. Education will not only change the lives of these children – it will also transform their communities.”

“We are grateful to Signet for their ability to see the value of diamonds through people,” says Ian Smillie, Chair of the DDI Board. “Together with other industry members, they are taking important steps to support DDI in making diamonds a driver of development.”

Signet Jewelers is the largest specialty retail jeweler in the US, UK and Canada, with over 3,600 stores, a diamond polishing factory in Botswana and a liaison office in India.

“As the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry,” said Mark Light, Signet Jewelers CEO, “Signet is proud to support an initiative that focuses on our philanthropic mission which includes supporting underserved children. We believe that education is crucial for responsible development in artisanal mining communities.”

Signet Jewelers has supported DDI in the past through a grant supporting the technical assistance function of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which aims to stem the flow of conflict diamonds.


The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) works to transform artisanal and small-scale diamond mining into a socially and environmentally responsible activity, providing artisanal and small scale miners with access to the opportunities, information and tools they need to work with dignity within flourishing, self-sustaining communities, as valued actors in the formal economy and as contributors to their country’s development (

Signet Jewelers is the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry. Signet operates approximately 3,600 stores primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda. Further information on Signet is available at See also,,,,, and