Diamonds help Vyfrand kamp shine
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.