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Saturday, August 3, 2013

GIA Working With the Nelson Mandela Foundation to Provide Libraries to Elementary Schools

GIA Collaborates with the Nelson Mandela Foundation
to Provide Libraries to Elementary Schools
Gem institute supports foundation’s work in Africa

The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and GIA (Gemological Institute of America)  have signed a Memo of Understanding (MoU) to provide four elementary schools in South Africa with Mandela Day Libraries.

The MoU supports the legacy of Nelson Mandela to ensure sustainability through transformative democracy. The collaboration will support literacy as an empowerment tool and one of the single most important skills for children, providing them with access to further education and life opportunities.

Susan M. Jacques, chair of the GIA Board of Governors, and Sello K. Hatang, Chief Executive  of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, met in Carlsbad, CA last month to enact the agreement.

Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and Susan Jacques, chair of the GIA Board of Governors, sign a Memorandum of Understanding between GIA and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
The Mandela Day libraries project began in 2011 with the goal of bridging the gap in literacy and reading proficiency in schools throughout South Africa. By bringing libraries to schools without reading facilities, children gain access to appropriate reading material in their own languages. Librarians are trained to manage the facilities and inspire a love of reading among South Africa’s youth. GIA will provide libraries to two schools in 2013 and two more in 2014.

The Mandela Day Container Libraries are created from large shipping containers that have been recycled and retrofitted with new flooring, insulation, electricity and book shelves. The Institute will also provide a selection of books for each library. Breadline Africa, a nongovernmental organization and internationally registered South African-based charity, is the main partner of the container program.

“We are excited about our new collaboration with GIA. It will present many pupils with an opportunity to improve their literacy and ultimately their lives. Literacy remains an enormous challenge in  Africa and is a key priority on the youth agenda,” added Hatang.

Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, right, speaks with Bev Hori, GIA’s chief learning officer and vice president of education during a special luncheon last month.
 “We’re looking forward to growing our relationship with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The first phase of this collaboration will establish libraries in towns where children are underprivileged,” said Bev Hori, GIA’s chief learning officer and vice president of education. “This will be the first time some of these students have had access to books. The Mandela Day Container Libraries are an excellent step in bettering the education, and in turn the lives, of children in Africa.”

GIA has developed education programs in Africa over the past decade to help bring more value from the global trade of diamonds to the countries that are the source of so many gems. GIA’s Junior Gemologist Program™, which gives 10-15-year-old students the opportunity to discover the world of gemology through hands-on, practical training, was introduced in Africa in 2012. The Institute also introduced more than 1,000 African students to gem and jewelry education opportunities at the Career Indaba trade show in Johannesburg in June as part of the seventh annual Africa Education Week

Elizabeth Bokaba, GIA's manager of Alumni and Client Relations in South Africa, speaks during a luncheon for Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
About The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory delivers the core-work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 to support its Founder’s ongoing engagement in worthy causes on his retirement as President of South Africa. The Foundation is registered as a trust, with its board of trustees comprising prominent South Africans selected by the Founder.

To learn more about the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation and related Mandela Day activities visit www.nelsonmandela.org.

More information about the Mandela Day Libraries is at http://www.mandeladay.com/library.


About GIA
An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit www.gia.edu

To learn more about GIA’s activities in Africa, email giaeducationafrica@gia.educnel@gia.edu or ebokaba@gia.edu.
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