14 August 2008

Diamond Alternative Sponsors Children and Communities in Africa

08/14/08 - Today marks the official launch of The Greener Diamond Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness about the continued trade of conflict diamonds and to fund restoration efforts for communities in Africa that are continuing to suffer from the connection between the diamond trade and warfare.

The Greener Diamond aims to inspire a new generation free of restraints proliferated by conflict diamonds and to educate consumers on the true cost of earth-mined diamonds; financially, environmentally and socially. MiaDonna & Co LLC is the sole sponsor of The Greener Diamond. The two entities work together to bring the beauty of love back to diamonds.

"I am not a policy maker or a corporate tycoon. I'm a woman: mother, wife, and daughter," says CEO of MiaDonna & Co. and The Greener Diamond, Anna-Mieke Anderson. "I believe it's time diamonds started living up to their reputation of love and commitment, to stop taking and give back to the originating communities which they continue to devastate."

The launch event takes place at Coolture Studios in New York City today, August 14, 2008. Spokespeople include Nnenna Agba, former America's Next Top Model contestant and John Littlefield, of ABC's Extreme Home Makeover. Nnenna is an avid activist who has worked to raise awareness on African issues such as HIV/AIDS.

Beneficiary, Youth Action International (YAI), is a global nonprofit working to rebuild war-torn African communities. The organization establishes safe and healthy environments for women and their children by providing core necessities and new community infrastructures. Founder and Liberian native, Kimmie Weeks, is currently working with a group of former child soldiers in Monrovia, Liberia. YAI is determined to set up a vocational training center for recovering children and to clean up the community. Funding from The Greener Diamond will be given to assist YAI's work in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"Having grown up in the midst of a Liberian civil war fueled by the diamond industry, I find The Greener Diamond project a very exciting one. The partnership between our organizations is seamless and I look forward to seeing its success. There is much to be done," says Kimmie Weeks, YAI founder.

SOS Children's Villages - USA, another beneficiary, is an independent, non-governmental social development organization working in 132 countries worldwide and is committed to community development. They will be receiving funds from The Greener Diamond with the long term goal of partnering to build and maintain children's villages in Sub-Sahara Africa.

"There is nothing more painful than the sight of a child whose eyes have grown dull because of homelessness, severe poverty or abuse. It is the mission of SOS to put that light back in a child's face by providing him a family, a home and a future. We are proud to be a chosen beneficiary by The Greener Diamond. They are putting a new light on the problem of conflict diamonds and on simple acts of generosity that can change a young life forevermore," Heather Paul, PhD, CEO of SOS Children's Villages - USA.

"We are very appreciative to be selected as a beneficiary for The Greener Diamond Foundation," says Jennifer Tierney, Director of Development for Doctors Without Borders. "Proceeds from the foundation will allow us to continue our emergency programs in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, where we provide medical assistance to people suffering from the effects of over a decade of conflict and violence."

The Greener Diamond plans to expand their beneficiary list as the program develops.

The Greener Diamond:
For more information, please visit: http://www.thegreenerdiamond.org or http://www.miadonna.com.

Youth Action International:
For more information, please visit: http://www.youthactioninternational.org/yai.

SOS Children's Villages - USA:
For more information, please visit: http://www.sos-usa.org/

About Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF):
Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in nearly 60 countries. In 1999, MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. For more information please visit www.doctorswithoutborders.org.