The International Colored Gemstone Association made a donation of 20 computers to schools in mining areas in Colombia in accordance with the association’s social responsibility initiatives.
Two years ago ICA conducted a mine tour in the emerald mining areas of Muzo, La Pita, and Coscuez where, according to ICA communications director Jean Claude Michelou, the association became closely involved with the mining communities donating two computers to schools at the end of the tour.
“We recognized the lack of technology and need for more computers, so we followed up with the second donation a week ago reaching 18 more schools in the mining areas,” Michelou said.
A ceremony was held at the University of Santo Tomas in the town of Chiquinquira where emerald miners, industry stakeholders, local mayors, provosts, professors, parents, and students attended the well-publicized event. Making the presentation was Benny Bazalel, ICA ambassador to Colombia, and his son Jonathan Bazalel, ICA member and marketing manager of CI Bogota Emerald Mart Ltda.
“The only thing we have asked is that these computers be for the exclusive use of the children and not for administrative purposes,” Jonathan Bazalel said on behalf of ICA.
In June, ICA president Andrew Cody visited the Brazil Gem Show where he made a donation on behalf of ICA to Mayor Jose Bonafacio Mourao of Governador Valadares towards the purchase of computer equipment at the schools in the Tourmalina district of Minas Gerais.
“This is the first time these children will be able to have access to computers and the Internet; we’re glad to have been a facilitator for this opportunity,” Cody said.
Following the ICA Congress in Dubai and the mine tour to East Africa in May, with the help of ICA ambassador to Kenya, Susie Kennedy, ICA arranged for the donation of computers to schools in mining areas the group visited in the country. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, ICA ambassador Eric Saul is overseeing the construction of housing for teachers of a rural school in a mining area from funds donated by ICA and trip participants.