11 Jun 2020
A TIME FOR LEARNING
More than 9,000 people registered over five weeks for our Institute of Diamonds online Diamond Foundation Course when it was opened up for free in response to COVID-19 and international lock downs.
Designed by experts in the industry, the beginners course provides an overview of the entire diamond pipeline, from diamond exploration and rough diamond sorting to jewelery retail and contemporary synthetic (laboratory-grown) diamond detection.
Usually priced at $250, the course was made available for free to all employees of partners and members of trade associations with the hope that it would enable retailers, designer-makers, sales professionals and business owners to enhance their knowledge and stay focused during these challenging times.
Normally taking around four months, over 1,500 of the 9.000 registered students have already completed the course during lock down, showing hugely positive engagement.
Adeline Uwimbabaz from Rwanda, who lives in Botswana, is one of these students. “When I heard that De Beers was offering their online Diamond Foundation Course for free during lockdown, I was so happy because I wanted to discover more. When I started the course, I enjoyed it. It’s changed my thinking and it’s kept my spirit up. So, I’ve shared it with many women in Rwanda.”
Adeline believes the course will change many lives, including her own. “This course has changed my direction. I can’t wait for COVID-19 to finish, because I want to use what I’ve learnt to start a diamond retail shop and share the knowledge I got from this course with other women who are interested in knowing more.”
Thekla Mutero from Namibia also enrolled in the course. “The education opportunity lifted my spirit and helped me gain my confidence as a woman in the mining industry. It’s kept me focused and has comforted me with the hope for better in the future.”
She explained why the course meant so much for her: “I am one of only a few young women in the mining industry. I didn’t have much knowledge about diamonds, and I found it difficult to understand many of the terms. When I got this opportunity, I was so excited because this is what I was longing for. The course was very useful and powerful. It’s given me confidence to present and share the knowledge, and it has opened business doors. It’s changed me for the better.”