News & Press: Member News

Gem Legacy Expands COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Monday, April 13, 2020  
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Feeding artisanal mining families and providing sanitation equipment and awareness

Gem LegacyGem Legacy, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to colored gemstone mining communities in East Africa, is expanding its COVID-19 relief efforts to include foodstuffs and sanitation supplies, along with COVID-19 prevention awareness.

COVID-19 is having urgent and drastic effects on mining regions since their livelihood from selling the gems they mine has virtually stopped for the last six weeks to three months. Gem Legacy is committed to adapting to the most urgent needs of its initiatives and responding with innovative solutions to ensure their holistic success. Rachel Dery, Director of Communication and Outreach, will remain on the ground in Arusha, Tanzania to personally organize all COVID-19 relief efforts and monitor new needs as the situation develops.

The suspension of school includes government-sponsored lunch, leaving children with high poverty levels at home at serious risk of malnutrition or starvation; $25 feeds one child lunch every day for one month. Gem Legacy is also feeding artisanal mining families who have felt the significant decline in gem buyers for the past six weeks to three months and depend on the sale of gemstones to feed their families; $250 feeds one mine and its families along with sanitation supplies for one month.

“Now more than ever, Gem Legacy is working to respond quickly and effectively to the most basic needs of gem mining communities: food, water, and sanitary supplies,” said Dery. “This is a crisis moment for mining communities and we want to make sure they are still mining when COVID-19 has passed.”

For more information or to donate, please email info@gemlegacy.org or visit gemlegacy.org. To learn more, follow Gem Legacy on Instagram @thegemlegacy and on Facebook @thegemlegacy.


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The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

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