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Brilliant Earth is proud to have funded a new primary school in a rural diamond mining community that brought education to children with little to no formal education.

bringing water to the community

The Brilliant Earth community proudly raised funds to build two new wells to provide clean water in the communities surrounding the mobile school, which community members identified as their most urgent need.

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About the School

Brilliant Earth is proud to have funded a new primary school in Lungudi, a diamond-mining community in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Every child has the right to an education, but in many mining communities there are no local schools. Many of the children attending would otherwise be forced to mine for diamonds and receive no formal education.

Our Brilliant Mobile School, opened in July 2015, has enrolled 25 students. In 2016, we funded a second year of the mobile school and introduced a second cohort of students. The students range in age from 9 to 16, but each has had little to no formal education. The curriculum is carefully targeted to pick up where the children’s previous lessons left off. The 7 girls and 18 boys enrolled are also provided with uniforms, backpacks, school supplies, portable “Tutudesks,” and a daily meal.

Our donation was used to construct a mobile classroom, specially designed to enable quick construction. All of the school structures, including desks, benches, and washrooms were created by local workers using local materials. The Brilliant Mobile School also employs two teachers. We are thrilled to see the school bring the community together and provide local jobs. In 2016, we funded the construction of a permanent structure for the school.

Without school, I know I would have to do whatever it took to survive, even go looking for diamonds...

12-year-old Kalala Ngalamume, from the TIME Magazine article Blood Diamonds

How it Helps

Education in math, history, science, French, and more

Uniforms, backpacks, tutudesks, and school supplies

New jobs in the local community

Recreation for students

Daily meals for students and teachers

Increased gender equality


Why We Care

Our school was located in a village outside the city of Tshikapa in the Kasai West province, a community in which diamond mining is a way of life and schools are entirely absent. Many of the students who attended our school might otherwise have accompanied their parents to the nearby Lungudi diamond mine. Instead, they studied math, learned to read and write, and worked through the school’s socially focused curriculum, discussing issues like gender inequality.

In the DRC, an estimated 800,000 people work as artisanal miners, scouring the earth for diamonds. Sadly, many of these artisanal diamond diggers are children, who do the same dangerous and grueling work as adults: climbing into muddy pits, digging with heavy shovels, and hauling bags of gravel. Child labor is especially common where children have no structured and safe alternative. Because the government of the DRC has never opened schools in many parts of the country, generations of children have not been given the education they need to thrive.


A Visit from

42% of the country's children between the ages of 5 to 14 are involved in some kind of labor, often in mines

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Only 54% of children in the democratic republic of congo complete primary school

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The only source of income comes from mining, most know better how to recognize a rough diamond than a textbook

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looking forward

The Brilliant Mobile School demonstrates the power of education to reduce child labor. Creating the school gives local children a viable option besides working in the mines. Our partner in opening the Brilliant Mobile School, the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), is working to address the absence of primary schools in the DRC’s diamond mining communities. The Brilliant Mobile School is the first school opened as part of a comprehensive strategy DDI hopes will see up to eight schools opened in the DRC. While focusing on this education initiative, DDI is also working with local miners to increase earnings, reduce safety risks, and certify mines that operate responsibly and are free of child labor.