By Brecken Branstrator
Industry nonprofit Gem Legacy raised $9,500 this winter to help purchase and ship this compressor to the Precious Women Mine in Kenya.
Royal Oak, Mich.—The Precious Women Mine in Kenya now has its compressor.

Gemstone cutter Roger Dery and his family launched 501(c)(3) Gem Legacy in the fall, dedicated to supporting communities directly involved in the gemstone mining sector.

In December, the nonprofit kicked off a campaign to raise $9,500 to buy a compressor for the mine in Mwatate, Kenya, which is run entirely by women, many of whom are widows. They have been working for almost a year and are finding small tsavorite garnet.

Gem Legacy reached its fundraising goals and announced last week that it has delivered the compressor.

It allows the women to use power tools, instead of having to mine by hand with farming tools, and pumps oxygen into the mine.

20190307 GL jackhammerThe funds raised by Gem Legacy also paid for three types of jackhammers for the Precious Women Mine in Kenya. In addition to the machine and its installation, the money also funded replacement parts, miner training and three varieties of jackhammers.

“We are thankful for donors from all over the industry who made this happen,” Dery said. “We chose the Precious Women Mine as our first long-term mine partnership because of their will to succeed and their dedication to serving their community.

We can’t wait to see what they do in 2019. They are excited, invigorated, and driven with new hope because of their new tool that has the power to forever transform their progress.”

Because of the interest in projects such as this supporting artisanal miners, Gem Legacy said it added an Equipment and Tools Initiative to allow the industry to give back to miners of colored gemstones on a regular basis.

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