Today I’m honored to introduce you to Diamonds Do Good, an global nonprofit dedicated to supporting initiatives that empower people in diamond communities worldwide.
There’s a lot of content out there about the problems in the diamond industry, and even more that simply ignores the issues altogether (something I’m guilty of too often, myself). I’m excited to help even out that imbalance by spotlighting an organization that seeks to actively encourage the diamond industry to be a force for good, rather than just for profit.
Diamonds Do Good is committed to making its own name come true: it is an initiative funded by diamond companies though the Diamond Empowerment Fund. Its mission is to make the world a better place: not just through discovery of the natural world’s wonders, but by actually effecting lasting, positive change in the communities where diamonds are mined.
That sounds great. But what does it actually mean?
Let’s look at one particular example: the ways that Russian diamond mining company ALROSA has found to enrich the lives of the people who live in the towns that have grown up around their mines.
When diamonds were discovered in Siberia in 1948, there were no human settlements at all in the area that would surround the mine, just frigid tundra. The region is harsh, even by Siberian standards: temperatures remain well below zero for up to nine months out of the year.
ALROSA knew from the very beginning that they were asking a lot of their workers, so they wanted to do everything they could to create a strong local community near the mining site, to make sure their employees had a place to thrive. ALROSA built the towns’ infrastructure from the ground up, from power lines, houses, and a hospital to schools, a leisure center, and more.
As of 2015, ALROSA’s mines are supplying 28% of the world’s rough diamonds, and three vibrant towns – Mirny, Aikhal, and Udachny – have sprung up around the mining sites.