Signet Jewelers supports education in mining communities in DRC

OTTAWA, November 14, 2017 – Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) is pleased to acknowledge Signet Jewelers’ renewed commitment to access to education for children in the DRC, through a grant that will support mobile school graduates as they begin high school.

DDI’s High School Support Program (HSSP) is designed to be a phase II of the mobile schooling program in artisanal diamond mining communities. At the end of the two-year remedial program, 100 per cent of the students passed their national exams and qualified themselves for entry into high school. With Signet’s support, DDI will continue to accompany the students through their academic journey.

The next phase brings its own set of challenges. For some students, the cost of school fees, uniforms and school supplies is prohibitive. Some families may have trouble providing the nutrition necessary for learning. The lure of earning money, or even of early marriage, makes some students at risk of dropping out. With the help of partners like Signet, DDI has systems in place to mitigate the risks and enable success for these students.

According to Dorothée Gizenga, Executive Director of DDI, the High School Support Program is a necessary investment that could have far-reaching effects. “The children registered in the mobile schools worked hard to pass so we are committed to supporting them in the next phase. Those who continue on and complete their secondary education will not only improve their own lives, but potentially become a resource for improvement in their communities.”

“We thank Signet Jewelers for making this possible.”

David, Bouffard, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Signet Jewelers said, “At Signet we understand that artisanal mining for diamonds is an important source of livelihood for people living in some of the poorest regions in the world. We are committed to working with DDI to improve the living and working conditions of the miners and their families. Education plays an important role in a better future.”

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The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) works to transform artisanal and small-scale diamond mining into a source of sustainable socio-economic development. www.ddiglobal.org

Signet Jewelers Limited is the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the US, UK, and Canada. Further information on Signet is available at www.signetjewelers.com.

Contact: Marg Buchanan, Communications Manager
Diamond Development Initiative
1.613.565.0507, x 105