NAMGEM PROMOTING DIAMOND EDUCATION TO OKAHANDJA YOUTH
Okahandja, 30 March 2015 –NamGem Diamond Manufacturing Company (Pty) Ltd and GIA (Gemological Institute of America Education and Laboratory) hosted a Junior Gemologist Training Program at NamGem’s manufacturing facility . NamGem envisions promoting and strengthening Namibia’s diamond sector by making diamond education accessible to all Namibians, especially the youth, and by facilitating the entry into Namibia of global leaders such as the GIA, which is the standard-setter for the global polished diamond industry . This is the second GIA program to be hosted by NamGem, prior to which GIA had no on-the-ground programs in the country.
The focus of this program was the broad world of minerals, in which Namibia is rich, with a specific emphasis on gems. NamGem and GIA believe that training in gemology serves as a gateway for the youth to explore and deepen their understanding of the world around them, while developing an interest and excitement about earth science through geology and mineralogy.
“We are very happy to see that companies such as NamGem that operate in our constituency are also prioritizing the education and transfer of knowledge to the youth. I am very honored to be part of this event as we are investing in the youth especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, this opens many doors and windows of opportunity for them. ” Said Honorable Mayor of Okahandja, Valerie Aron.
Yoav Lavi, Managing Director of NamGem said; “not only do we want to be an industry leader and flagship diamond manufacturer, we also want to promote diamond education in the country, as a way for bringing the Namibian people closer to their heritage and resources.”
The day-long interactive workshop for students aged between 12 and 15 from Five Rand Primary School, one of the biggest informal settlements in Okahandja, provided an overview of geology, minerals, gemology and gemstones. The students practiced with basic gemological tools, using loupes, microscopes and penlights to examine gems and exploring their characteristics, with all the tools and training being provided by GIA and with instruction being provided by Elizabeth Bokaba, the Manager of Alumni and Client Relations for GIA South Africa.
The GIA Junior Gemologist program is based on the same curriculum GIA uses in its Graduate Gemologist diploma program, a world-leading training program for gem and jewelry professionals. The program was launched in 2002 as part of GIA’s public benefit mission to disseminate knowledge and information about gemstones to the public.