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Safdico Looks to Bring Graff to Botswana

Mar 16, 2010 12:18 PM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... Safdico, a diamond manufacturing company that is partly owned by Lawrence Graff, is looking to open a Graff Leadership Center in Botswana following the opening of the first such establishment in Lesotho, the company reported on its website.

“We would like to give something back to the country which gives us our remarkable diamonds,” Graff said. “There is such appalling poverty and hunger in Southern Africa, yet with more help from donations, the situation will begin to improve.”

Safdico has invested heavily in Botswana, setting up its main cutting facility in Gaborone and initiating the Diamond Technology Park, which is being billed as a stepping stone for the development of a diamond hub in the country.

Graff launched his charity, For Africa’s Children Every Time (FACET), to raise money for the education, health and wellbeing of the people of Africa, where Graff sources many of its beautiful stones, he explained on the FACET website.

To this end, FACET raised $1.2 million from the sale of 26 lots at an art auction held on October 12, 2009. The opening of the first Graff Leadership Center in Lesotho occurred on March 6, 2010, with King Letsie III in attendance.

The facility provides an Afro-centered library and training facilities for children, youth and adults in various programs, including pre-employment skills, while the second floor of the building serves as a hostel for 50 young girls in a leadership program designed to develop peer leaders in their villages.

“Thousands of youth will benefit from this outstanding community resource,” Safdico stated.

It is not yet clear when the Botswana center will be opened.

Tags: , Avi Krawitz, Graff, Lesotho, Manufacturing, Safdico
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