The GemFair Way
Keeping people safe during a global pandemic, while continuing to raise the standards of artisanal mining communities.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a crisis for countries around the world, with Sierra Leone being no exception. At the outset, there was concern whether the country’s healthcare sector would be overwhelmed by patients. However, building on a wealth of knowledge from the previous Ebola pandemic, the country employed a strong programme of tracking, tracing and isolating possible infections. This contributed to Sierra Leone largely being spared the high caseloads and fatalities that other countries have experienced; yet, the damage is still likely to be felt economically, longer-term.
The GemFair field team, all from the local area, were committed to being there for members and neighbours throughout. With our field presence and wide networkof contacts in Kono District’s artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) community, the team were ready to act as soon as the crisis reached Sierra Leone. Each month, our field officers visited mine sites to distribute food parcels, soap and protective masks. Meanwhile, we also donated personal protective equipment to the local hospital and purchased radio airtime for public health messaging to reach remote communities.
Despite a year of unprecedented change, uncertainty and adaptation, there are green shoots ahead. In 2021, GemFair will continue to support the formalisation of the ASM sectorby implementing training and knowledge sharing on responsible ASM standards, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains and sharing our world-renowned diamond expertise with members of government, civil society and the artisanal mining sector through our collaboration with the Mano River Union and the German Development Corporation, or GIZ.
Our response to the Covid-19 pandemicGo to 'Covid-19'
GemFair’s engagement in Kono District’s mining villagesGo to 'People'
The GemFair ASM Assurance Programme evolvedGo to 'Programme'
GemFair remained accountable, reporting transparently on our progressGo to 'Reporting'
Covid-19 weekly SMS
Lansana dividing up food parcels for the workers at his mine site
Kono residents at church
Rebecca, GemFair Outreach Officer, on a spot check at a member mine site
Digital training on the GemFair ASM Standard Requirements
Mine site health and safety, environmental management and ethical working standards;
A deep dive on the OECD’s Due Diligence Requirements and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;
Diamond valuation and synthetic detection.
GemFair ASM Assurance Programme training workshop
The GemFair team, from left to right, Koidu and London