New York–The Diamond Empowerment Fund has named the Graça Machel Trust as its beneficiary this year, awarding the organization a $130,000 grant.
The Honorable Graça Machel, former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique and longtime political and social advocate, started the trust in 2010 to improve the lives of African women and children.
In addition to running its own programs, the trust also helps strengthen networks and organizations that help women and children, as well as drive social and economic change across the continent.
DEF co-founder Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. said: “Graça is a global freedom fighter, international advocate for the rights of women and children, United Nations icon and one who continues to give and share her activism, leadership, genius, love, wisdom and grace.”
Machel also received the first Global Humanitarian Award at DEF’s annual “Diamonds Do Good” event in Las Vegas in June.
The grant news comes as DEF gets ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary; it was at a meeting at Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel’s home in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2006 with Chavis and Russell Simmons that the idea for the Diamond Empowerment Fund came to be.
“The Graça Machel Trust is the perfect partner with which to continue our 10-year legacy of giving back to the youth from diamond communities around the world. The trust’s work is a reminder that ‘Diamonds Do Good,’” said Anna Martin, DEF president and senior vice president of Gemological Institute of America.
The Graça Machel Trust joins the existing DEF beneficiaries, India-based Veerayatan and the Botswana Top Achievers Program.