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Diamonds help Vyfrand kamp shine

From left to right: Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. David Namwandi, NamGem General Manager Yoav Lavee, Lazare Kaplan Senior Vice President Jeff Edelstein, Governor of Otjozondjupa Region Hon. Samuel Nuuyoma, and the Five Rand school principal Victor Nakapandi.

From left to right: Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. David Namwandi, NamGem General Manager Yoav Lavee, Lazare Kaplan Senior Vice President Jeff Edelstein, Governor of Otjozondjupa Region Hon. Samuel Nuuyoma, and the Five Rand school principal Victor Nakapandi.

The NamGem diamond polishing factory in Okahandja last week gave a donation of N$100,000 to the Five Rand Primary School for general support of the local school’s operations. The handover ceremony was attended by the Hon. Dr. David Namwandi, Minister of Education, Hon. Samuel Nuuyoma, Governor of Otjozondjupa Region, and Her Worship Valerie Aron, the Mayor of Okahandja.
Lazare Kaplan International (LKI), the co-owner of NamGem was represented by a Senior Vice President based in New York, Jeff Edelstein, who traveled to Namibia for the occasion. The funds were raised under LKI’s Ongoma Initiative which seeks to build global consumer and retailer awareness not only of the Namibian source of the diamonds they buy, but also of the community in which those diamonds are beneficiated and from which NamGem’s employees come. The Ongoma Initiative gives those buyers an opportunity to make a contribution to community development, which LKI then matches dollar for dollar. 

The Five Rand School benefited from similar funding from the Ongoma initiative last year, when the programme was first launched, and has also received sponsorships in various other forms from NamGem itself, including bursaries for top scholars to continue their secondary education. Minister Namwandi said, “I want to call upon all the corporate citizens of this country, non-profit making organisations, international organisations, and individuals, to do their part and to follow the example, and to learn from the example of NamGem and Lazare Kaplan, to help Namibians achieve Vision 2030”.
NamGem is the largest and oldest local diamond polishing factory and has been a pillar of Okahandja’s private sector since its opening in 1998. Lazare Kaplan International’s involvement dates to 2004 and has included the injection of over N$35 million into the facility, which now produces polished diamonds of a quality unsurpassed anywhere in the world.

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