The Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) has announced a $130,000 grant to the Graça Machel Trust, the pan-African women’s and children’s rights organization founded and led by Graca Machel, former First Lady of South Africa and of Mozambique.
The Graca Machel Trust was started in 2010 to help strengthen organizations that help African women and children, and drive social and economic change across Africa. As the widow of the late South African Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel Mandela has strong roots in social justice, economic development and equal access to education for women and girls.
Says Diamond Empowerment Fund co-founder, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., “Graca is a global freedom fighter, international advocate for the rights of women and children, United Nations Icon, and one who continues to give and share her activism, leadership, genius, love, wisdom, and grace.”
The partnership comes as the Diamond Empowerment Fund gears up to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. It was at a meeting at the home of Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2006 with Dr. Chavis and fellow co-founder Russell Simmons, where the idea of the Diamond Empowerment Fund was first contemplated.
Supported by the global diamond industry, empowering people from diamond communities through access to higher education has been the D.E.F. mission from the beginning. Anna Martin, Diamond Empowerment Fund president and senior vice-president of Gemological Institute of America (GIA), said: “The Graca Machel Trust is the perfect partner with which to continue our 10-year legacy of giving back to the youth from diamond communities around the world. The Trust’s work is a reminder that “Diamonds Do Good.”